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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Simply the best music festival yet for Alsager

The growing reputation of Alsager Music Festival and Saturday’s wall-to-wall sunshine made the popular event “the best ever”, organisers said.

Some 3,500 tickets were sold for the best outdoor live music show in town and while performances began in Milton Park at noon the queue to get in still stretched onto Crewe Road at 4pm.

The centre of the park quickly filled with gazebos as festival-goers staked their place for an afternoon and evening of music and a good time. Others laid out picnic blankets beneath trees for some protection from the baking sun.

As ever, the popular attractions were on the main stage, now known as Stath’s Stage in memory of Stath Kyrantonis, one of the music festival’s founders, who died in 2020.

The chilled out vibe of the park’s sunken garden, surrounded by trees, offered spectators a shady space to sit on straw bales and enjoy an eclectic mix of music on a hot summer’s day.

In contrast, the tunes were being belted out by bands performing on the marquee stage at the back of which punters were slaking their thirst at the festival bar.

The Red Hot Chilli Potters tribute band were a big draw in the marquee while dance music fans threw some shapes in front of the skate park’s concrete stage.

Back in the sunken garden, singer/satirist Chris Taverner was a pleasure to listen to on a balmy summer afternoon. His standouts were the Singing Teslar Dummy, a tribute to the mannequin in a car blasted into space by billionaire Elon Musk, sung to the tune of David

Bowie classic Space Oddity. The other was a catchy song about Mr Taverner’s hometown, called The Crisis in Northwich.

Last year’s festival headliners on the main stage, classic rock covers band Double Denim, again brought a great day of music in Alsager to a close with some classic Stones, U2, Stealers Wheel and Quo.

The crowd, many with hands aloft, loved the tunes and danced the evening away until the final chord was played.

Festival chair Peter Weatherburn said he was “delighted” with the response to Saturday’s crowd-puller.

He said: “We sold 3,500 tickets and it all went really smoothly. I would say it was our best music festival ever.

“It’s definitely on the map of smaller festivals. We had people performing who had come over from Norfolk and someone from Lancaster. There were really talented musicians who were really keen to perform here – and they want to come back.

“They see how well the festival is organised and the lovely atmosphere it creates. I think everyone really appreciates the safety aspect and the organisation.”

He said the decision two years ago to make the musical festival a ticketed event had paid off.

“It means we can do a bit more,” Mr Weatherburn added. “For instance, we were able to hire a professional PA company to do the sound on the main stage. That really worked. The quality of the sounds was really superb.”

He also thanked the 15-strong music festival team: “We all have a good time, get on really well and appreciate the effort everyone puts in to make the music festival a success.”

On Sunday, the live music continued in Alsager’s pubs.

Next year’s festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, 15th and 16th July.

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