Welcome to the Musicport Festival Blog
As tickets go on sale for Musicport 2011 – the 12th festival, the 4th year at Bridlington and aiming to be the biggest yet - we’ll blog our way through the Musicport year, bringing you news of bookings, ideas and developments as the line-up takes shape, and a glimpse of the lives and minds of the Musicport staff and crew. We’ll be looking for thoughts and comments from you too – please join in, wherever you are!
You may have noticed that this blog was rather neglected during last year's festival. This was because we took it upon ourselves to 'live tweet' the event. Follow us @musicportfest or on #musicport you can also find us on facebook
Monday, 31 October 2011
Friday, 10 June 2011
12lve are a group of young people who have came together through the medium of a BBC series "Goldies Band" and flourished. Their music is inspiring and fresh. Their own personal stories are proof that your situation doesn't have to define who you are... For this group of 12 individuals it is obviously music which they choose to be defined by.
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
Artists confirmed so far include Hugh Masekela, Mari Boine, Mercedes Peon, Amsterdam Klezmer Band, Andy Kershaw, Kanda Bongo Man, Julaba Kunda, Deglulen, Mary Coughlan, Iain Matthews, Cigdem Aslan, Krar Collective and lots lots more
Some exciting new additions to the programming this year include a Friday night pyrotechnic extravaganza with a Salvador Dali theme (by NWSI) ... A performance by Ergo Phizmiz & his troupe of The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien ...An aeriel show by Urban Angels....and a Musicport book project by Route Publication & Ian Clayton that you will be encouraged to contribute to...
Friday, 2 July 2010
We've already had some of the small fliers for this years event which we are giving out left right and centre in the cafe. We're really looking forward to being associated with the festival again in a small way this year.
Seasalt & Passion is just on West Street, one street back from the Spa - about a minute's walk, that's all. Last year we held a cookery demonstration by Jean Binta Breeze, (above) which was wonderful! The cafe was packed, and everyone who attended had a great time. Hopefully this year Jim will let us host another workshop or demonstration.
Apart from this we are currently looking at menus for the Musicport weekend. Last year we had only been open a few weeks and already had tickets for the event, so the cafe was shut. This year though we want to stay open through Saturday and Sunday daytime to cater for all the Musicport lovelies coming into Brid. We're looking at things like currries, casseroles, falafal & fritters in pittas, tabuleh, salad boxes - that sort of thing, which can easily be taken out and eaten on the way back to the Spa (although you can always eat in the cafe too!)
Musicport brings a MASSIVE buzz to sleepy Bridlington, myself, family, friends and aquaintences all start talking about it really early and get more geed up as the weeks go by. I am really REALLY excited that Norma Waterson is making an appearence this year. The Waterson Family are my heros - some of the artists who very very influential in getting me passionate about Traditional music back in the 80s.
Also looking forward to Hut People again (Hope they are on in the evening!) who were SO fantastic last year. Also Imagined Village - WOW. Roll on October!
Monday, 10 May 2010
Now we're getting ready for a comedy night this Saturday - Ivan Brackenbury's Hospital Radio Remix show. This will be a new experience for me, but the publicity looks good and Neil at Hilarity Bites hasn't let us down with his bookings yet, so I'm looking forward to it. We certainly need a good laugh after last Thursday, though glimmerings of positive activity are currently on the radio.
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to a meeting tonight with our wonderful stall-meisterin Katy, who will, with any luck, make everything alright for everyone who wants a stall in October even though we've already got more applications than space!
Monday, 1 March 2010
So many nice comments about the new website (thanks Gordon @ sneakytrick who's had very little sleep lately because of us), so many people who have had a great time in the past and just want it all to happen again ... and a few who couldn't make the paypal thing work -sorry if that was you, we've been trying our best but sometimes the technology just won't.
It's been great talking to people today who I feel I know a bit having checked the whole mailing list last week - funny how names and addresses stay with you if you've got the sort of warped mind I have.
Anyway, home for birthday tea - we've had the cake already, which means we can't eat that!
Jim McLaughlin ( as printed in The Link magazine)
Thursday, 29 October 2009
View from the North Sea Stage - almost worth going just for that...
Right, highlights & lowlights time....
My highlights were:
The Bisserov Sisters
The Musicport Collective Jam
The Tibetan Monks
My lowlights were
Misty In Roots
I was disappointed in Misty in Roots - I could accept the bass even though it ripped your eardrums, but they haven't moved on an inch, and are now steady old fellers working their way through their set with little passion. and that's not good. Especially compared to artists on my highlights list.
Fernhill's set was cold, remote and apparently made up their set list on the spot. They may have been better in the more intimate setting of the Theatre, but they had a mighty build-up in the programme only to disappoint.
But with such a great choice, there are bound to be a few people who don't cut it on the day, and some who do.
A few observations:
- Sound in the Main Hall was generally better this year
- I've commented elsewhere on the improved food - clearly I mean Baghdad Johnny's. Value, taste, service, even though he was positioned at the end of a wind tunnel.
- The actual programme booklet is fantastic - well worth the dosh, a credit to whoever produces it. I would LOVE to be able to buy it in advance so I could have a think about who I'm going to see.
- I'd like to know if attendance is up or down on last year - looked about the same.
And a picture of a typical punter?
Yeah, right - THERE IS NO TYPICAL PUNTER AT MUSICPORT. That's one of the reasons it's great....
First of all, a big thank you to the man above. Not only did he and the team organise a fantastic festival, he even found the time to entertain us on Sunday morning with some self-penned songs.
Other good news - the food was good this year, and there was even a mystic cloakroom on the Ground Floor - sometimes it was there. Sometimes it wasn't.
Who was the mystery sax player in the Sunday morning music collective?
she was joined on stage by the stage manager, the sound man, and various others which proved what a multi-talented lot they all are.
Andy Cutting was one of the stars of that session though with a perfectly judged piece.
It's difficult to capture the spirit of the Tibetan Monks - but what a fascinating experience, against all expectations. McGrooger describes them as 'rum gadgers'. He may be right.
I don't know what the collective noun for a load of frozen Urban Gypsies is...but they certainly livened up the place, looked great, and did a bit of dancing.
One of tbe busiest sessions on Sunday was in the Theatre for Samay. I'm sure they thought it was wonderful to have a full house, and the music was good. However there was a bit of a scheduling glitch (or maybe it was a plan?) which meant there was nothing else on...anyway they were great.
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Sunday, 18 October 2009
I think the one moment that stands above everything for me in terms of intensity and significance was introducing 'Ustad Mahwash and Ensemble Kaboul' in 2003. The journey Mahwash and her musicians had taken from conservative Afghanistan, via poisoning, exile and asylum to our stage was inconcievable to most of us and a mere 'ladies and gentlemen please welcome...' was always going to be inadequate.
I'm going to list the rest of my stand out moments below, it would be great to hear everyone elses top moments, so do add your comments!
- Talvin Singh - not a universal choice, but right up there in my memories
- Buena Vista Social Club and being kissed on the cheek by the sadly missed Cachaito Lopez
- Mostar Sevdah Reunion and Ljiljana Buttler
- Danny Thompson in the green room 'it's good 'ere innit'
- The countless late bands ringing up 'oh, I thought it was in Whitley Bay'
- Sansaar the definite highlight of the first festival, bhangra, duffel coats and vodka!
- Los De Abajo taking Musicport by storm in 2002 and 2005
- My compering from a shrubbery for the UK Chinese Ensemble
- Sidi Goma, surely the best opening yet?
- Norma Waterson's beautiful and moving speech in 2001
- Nuru Kane and the Bayefall Gnawa: I think everyone was a little bit in love with him.
- Breakfast at The Royal Hotel, Whitby with The McGarrigles and Liljiana Buttler
- Deckchairs on the roof in Bridlington.
See you Friday, don't forget to book your tickets!
Thursday, 8 October 2009
That apart I am looking forward to listening to familar and non familiar music and spending all my money on Cds that I never knew I needed until Musicport began. Every year is like that. There are some welcome returns and some fabulous surpirses. My highlight will be different for yours but it will be full of them. Can't wait, see you there.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
If you simply want to comment on pictures and stories already posted, you can do so by clicking on the word 'comments' at the bottom of each post.
Since then I have travelled in from many locations, (this year I'll be coming from Edinburgh!) and in several different guises, there have been joyous triumphant festivals and festivals with difficult resonances and sadly missed friends (we haven't forgotten you Fif), festivals in beautiful Whitby, festivals against the odds and now, for the second year, festivals in Bridlington... but, (and you'll notice the ever so subtle theme here), there has always been a festival.
Musicport is a special and lovely beast and this year it will unfold again in it's own unique way. Some of the performers are old friends making a welcome tenth anniversary return and some are new to us, but the one thing that's certain is that they will suprise, delight and entertain us. Every year we are transported and moved by the stories and journeys of those that grace the stages and there are usually some stageside tears as well as lots of laughter and the odd wee drinkie!
So don't miss out, it's ten years old this festival we love and sure to be a bit of a party, tickets are still available at http://www.musicportfestival.com or by calling 0845 373 2760
Nitin Sawhney, Misty In Roots, Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara, Chumbawamba, African Jazz Allstars, The Tashi Lhunpo Monks, Rory McLeod, Jean Binta Breeze and Jim Moray are just a few of the amazing acts you can see over the weekend, right by the sea but with all the benefits of a state of the art indoor venue (no festival toilets here!) what's not to like?
See you in Brid'.... x
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
It was great to see all my friends and colleagues from the arty end of town at Musicport supporting the festival and enjoying the music. I have had a good chinwag with some of them about the weekend and everyone's in agreement that the festival was a roaring success. We have swapped notes as to who we liked and didn't like so much etc. We all have a cameraderie up here in the Old Town anyway, and it's a lovely feeling to think we are all pulling in the same direction and will all support, encourage and promote the festival in the coming years.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
- nice review on Efestivals and Charlie Gillet's "Sound Of The World" site (by Jamie Renton) and this one that we think will be in Scarborough Evening News & Bridlington Free press
MUSICPORT, the country’s biggest indoor world-music festival, made a smooth transfer from Whitby Pavilion to Bridlington Spa at the weekend.
Australian legend Rolf Harris, Malian kora maestro Toumani Diabaté and the Levellers headlined the ninth annual event, which migrated south for a bigger venue.
The move appears to have paid off, according to co-director Sue McLaughlin, who estimated that the biggest audience of the weekend was between 1,300 and 1,400, for the Levellers. Whitby Pavilion, where the festival had been staged for the previous eight years, could hold only 1,000 people.
“It was a really positive start to build on and we are sure we will go from strength to strength in Bridlington,” said Mrs McLaughlin.
“We’ve had loads of positive comments from audience members about how the atmosphere of Musicport came with us and we are delighted with the way the venue worked.”
Most people found the new venue - which recently reopened after a £23m refurbishment - very comfortable and family-friendly.
Besides Harris, Diabaté and the Levellers, highlights included an Indian trio led by blind sitar virtuoso Baluji Shrivastav, whose dramatic soundscapes resembled a locomotive which built up steam slowly, gathering to a thundering crescendo.
Dramatic Palestinian powerhouse Reem Kelani and Portuguese fadista Liana (Reem also ran one of several workshops) one of Saturday’s biggest hits.
There was a strong Bulgarian presence on Sunday, when the 17-piece London Bulgarian Choir aroused a hung-over audience with a vigorous, spine-tingling and slightly raunchy performance. With an equally stunning rendition of a Bulgarian blessing, six choristers capped a humanist wedding service in the afternoon, in a room beautifully adorned by the Cloudbase collective.
The happy couple trouped into the main arena between two lines of guests and stewards just before Ivo Papasov and his Wedding Band started playing. They joined circle-dance leader Karen Michaelson to lead a long chain of people in a dizzying 20-minute sidestep which spiralled around the dancefloor in front of the stage.
It was a memorable weekend for all concerned.
The 10th Musicport will be at Bridlington Spa on 23-25 October 2009.
In the meantime, Musicport will run a world-music stage at Scarborough’s Coastival festival from 13-15 February.
So first of all a big thank you to all the organisers and artistes for a wonderful Musicport festival. We had a great time and intend telling as many people as poss. to come next year.
It's probably unfair to mention highlights and lowlights, but I will anyway....
The highlights for us were:
- Toumani Diabate - and his very distinguished band.
- Baluji Shrivastav
- Etran Finatawa & the Bridlington schoolkids - was this one of the sessions recorded for R3?
- Bob Brozman
- Young Coppers
- Mitch Benn - an inspired booking, so good we went to see him twice
- The Kathakali Theatre company
- Jim Eldon. Especially for a couple of his tracks - I will Survive (the Vampire version) and There's a Puffin in my Pint. It's a true story y'know. Oh yes, he had a real live pirate playing in the band with him
- Also the Alleycats were great.Sadly their Myspace page is virtually unreadable due to mad flashing images. But that Polly will go a long way.
- Laye Sow - not just another great Senegalese musician, not just Baaba Maal's cousin but someone who won the audience over from the very first song. And what a shame they weren't allowed to do an encore (yes, I know time is tight but sometimes if you want to get a good vibe going you do have to make exceptions. difficult if you are into control I guess)
- Ivo Paposov - a pretty bad tempered set from him. A lot of the sound problems were imaginary I think.....but I wouldn't want him at any wedding of family and friends I was involved with unless it was the sort of event that was going to end up with a fight in the carpark. Thanks but no thanks Ivo.
- There does seem to be a problem with the acoustics in the Main Hall at the Spa. We stayed with friends who tell us that this affects other people too. Bass got distorted, artistes can't hear the sound coming back from their speakers. This did seem to affect a few bands, and was certainly noticeable from the floor, but hopefully the sound crew can fix this next time...there will be a next time won't there?
- Generally the logistics were good. Somewhere to store coats (called by many people a cloakroom) would have been really good. And what were all those stewards doing? but they were pretty helpful.
- The food was not that special. I suspect the Spa management weren't too keen to have other people selling food and it does pose certain problems for an indoor venue. Maybe you could persuade some celebrity chefs to take over in the kitchen next time?
- The Spa is an OK building - but it's a bit municipal. It would have been great if the lovely flags wafting about outside could somehow have been replicated somehow inside.
And thanks again for all the hard work that went into this.
Monday, 20 October 2008
It turns out that having a live blog run by the stage crew wasn't necessarily practical, but we have all the photos and the (publishable!) anecdotes and over the next week we will get them all up here and let you in on the goings on stage side.
Right, I'm off for a hot bath and a lie down in a darkened room... Kate x
Highlight of yesterday though, Mike Waterson, Norma Waterson & Martin Carthy. Not a concert as such but a showing of their Travelling For A Living film made in the 60s with a Q&A session afterwards. As a big fan of the Waterson Carthy lot I was obviously looking forward to this, however I learned an awful lot that I didn't know before about this wonderful singing family.
This weekend has marked for me, a bit of a 'First day of the rest of your life' type of scenario. So I feel a little bit funny this morning - liberated sort of. (Recently came out of a 15 year marriage so learning to live by myself, please myself and not have to justify my likes, dislikes and decisions. It's wonderful!). Thankfully don't have to go back to work till tomorrow so can catch up with sleep and get all me washing & shopping done and stuff :-)
What a weekend it's been thoug all in all .....
I have never felt such a buzz in Bridlington, (cos they're all very 'can't be bothered' here you know.) Thank you SO much to Jim and Sue and ALL the folks who organised this fabulous event. I for one will definitely be coming again and plugging the event like crazy to everyone I know round here in the meantime, mark my words.
THANKS MUSICPORT FOR THE BEST WEEKEND IN YEARS!!!!!!!!
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Well what a tremendous couple of days though. Highlights for me so far? The Hut People, Mitch Ben, Reem Kelani & Liana and of course Ska Cubano - WHAT a blast they were! My 13 year old daughter's raving about them. Levellers were good too, mind, particularly the section with the Didgeridoo accompanyment.
I've got a bit of a banging head this morning though. Being used to only a healthy diet, I had chips & curry sauce on Friday night (eugh!) Fish and chips for dinner, and MACDONALDS for tea yesterday (double yeuch!!!) so I think the lack of fruit and veg is catching up with me. I haven't been drinking, so it's deffo lack of vitamins I am suffering from this morning. As I only live round the corner from the Spa I am determined to come home and eat properly today (despite my darling daughter's protestations.)
Anyway, better drag myself to the bathroom as I am stewarding again this morning. Thankfully my shift this afternoon means I have the evening free so am really looking forward to seeing Rolf Harris.
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Friday, 17 October 2008
It's quite quiet in the Gallery today, so every minute seems like an hour. Can't wait to get to my first festival in Brid. OK - I will be working some of the time, but just being able to breathe in the Festival atmosphere will do me the power of good.
I'm having my first day off work in 6 months tomorrow - just can't take time off when you're the boss :-( - so it will be sheer luxury having a Saturday off. Hoping to meet some wonderful new friends at Bridport and to get me ears round some great music.