Northumberland crowds defy the downpours for Alnwick International Music festival 2019

The Alnwick International Music Festival was back with a bang after a two-year absence.

Monday, 12th August 2019, 11:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th August 2019, 10:39 am
The Staying Alive Christian camp, including guests from Norway, visited Alnwick Music Festival 2019. Picture by Jane Coltman

Hundreds were entertained by over 40 acts including the Mighty Doonans, legendary Scottish band, the Tannahill Weavers, the Bottlebank Band, Carl Cape, Peter Donegan, the Caffreys, Dan Walsh, Alistair Anderson and Storyteller Laureate Taffy Thomas.

Held at Barneyside beside Alnwick Garden, the festival showcased musical talent from far and wide. Heavy rain meant some vendors had to cancel.

But the show must go on. There was plenty of free entertainment, as well as musicians’ sessions, dancing and workshops.

David Ainsworth and Gary Steward at Alnwick Music Festival 2019. Picture by Jane Coltman

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Speaking after the weekend, Taffy Thomas said: “It was determined but moist. The artists have been well-looked after by a team that were bloodied but unbowed by the weather.”

TV star and son of the King of Skiffle Lonnie Donegan, Peter Donegan performed on the Main Stage.

He said: “It was a totally awesome weekend. This is a real hidden gem of a festival.”

Banjo virtuoso Dan Walsh described his audience as: “The bravest festival goers in the country.”

Rhythm Stix at Alnwick Music Festival 2019. Picture by Jane Coltman

Technical director Dave Wearn said: “With their first song of Singin’ In The Rain on Friday evening, the Mighty Doonans set the theme for this year’s Alnwick Music Festival.

“We reviewed site safety at regular intervals. But the marquees stayed dry and all the artists managed to get here. So the show went on. Unfortunately conditions meant that the food and craft stalls had to close, but thanks to Hadrian and Border Brewery the bar stayed open.

“Those audience members who braved the weather were rewarded with top class entertainment from internationally renowned musicians, mainly from the folk world, as well as our own local talent.

“I’d like to thank everyone: artists, audience, our stoical volunteer helpers, Alnwick Garden Trust and our supporters. Despite everything, everyone stayed cheerful and there was a great atmosphere.”

The ever-popular festival began in 1976. The 2018 event was cancelled for the first time in its history, due mainly to a lack of volunteers. Because of renovations taking place at the Alnwick Playhouse, the festival moved to the Alnwick Garden this year.