MONTHS of preparation, glorious sunshine and the support of a BBC broadcaster helped make Knutsford Music Festival a major success at the weekend.
Knutsford Town Council hosted the event for the second year with more than 40 events in 18 venues.
Headliner Miles Hunt performed at The Courthouse on Saturday, which had people off their seats and dancing before the end of the show.
The 200-year-old former crown court was a new venue for the festival, having recently been transformed into a restaurant, hotel and community function space.
Meanwhile, Mark Radcliffe hosted three folk nights and performed himself at Knutsford’s Little Theatre to packed crowds.
The Radio 2 and 6 Music DJ usually presents the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage during the festival, but was able to lend his support due to Glastonbury’s ‘fallow year’.
He brought a number of BBC Folk Award winners and nominees to the town including Mike McGoldrick, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar and Pilgrims’ Way.
Mark said: “We had three nights of amazing music and copious imbibing of session ale at the Little Theatre and I feel proud of what we achieved.
“I want to thank everyone at the theatre, all the council staff and volunteers who helped so much, all the artists who appeared for reduced fees.
“But mostly to the people of Knutsford who came out and supported us as we try to build live music as part of what the town has to offer.”
Also new for 2018 was family-friendly music activities on The Moor, including an eclectic range of acoustic performances, drumming workshops and a singalong with Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, which was well attended in the sunshine.
On top of that there was a blues night with the acclaimed duo Mat Walklate and Tom Attah and classical and choral performances including an evening with Halle Brass as part of Knutsford Music Festival’s emphasis on providing something for everybody.
Sarah Morgan, Deputy Town Clerk for Knutsford Town Council, led the event’s organisation.
She said: “Knutsford Music Festival exceeded our expectations and showed what can be achieved when a community pulls together.
“We’re a small team and the event is only possible thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of everyone involved.
“Mark Radcliffe’s support and celebrity kudos was hugely appreciated and the folk nights were a huge highlight. The standard of the musicianship was incredible.
“But I also can’t thank the town council team and councillors involved, performers, Knutsford Hosts, venue staff and volunteers enough.
“As a mum, I thought the music on The Moor was a great addition and focal point for families too.
“And the wider community took the event to heart with a number of ‘fringe’ events.
“We’re already thinking about and looking forward to the 2019 festival.”
Cllr James Power, a member of the music festival working group, played a jam session in Dexter and Jones.
He said: “There was something for everyone – from drumming workshops to blues, folk and classical sounds.
“Knutsford showed its charm and its easy-going welcome to everyone.
“You could hear incredible music on every street, and the event on the Moor really did opened things up to younger audiences and families. A heartfelt thank you must go to everyone involved.”
Photographs by WA16PR.