‘Hendrix of Sahara’ in Musicport line-up

Vieux Farka Tour� (Mali) the Hendrix Of The Sahara
Vieux Farka Tour� (Mali) the Hendrix Of The Sahara

The first acts performing at this year’s Musicport Festival in Whitby have been confirmed – and among the star names is a man dubbed “the Hendrix of the Sahara.”

The festival runs from October 19 to 21 at Whitby Pavilion and it then goes on tour to the surrounding North Yorkshire villages from October 22 to 26.

Among the star names at the 19th Musicport Festival, which promises a weekend of eclectic music, are:

• Vieux Farka Touré (Mali) – the “Hendrix Of The Sahara” and son of the legendary Ali Farka Touré.

• Natty – UK reggae artist celebrating 10 years since his chart success with his debut album Man Like I

• Mokoomba (Zimbabwe) Africa’s most internationally successful young band from Victoria Falls

• Kolonien (Sweden) – return visit from “Sweden’s most exciting folk band” according to Songlines Magazine

• The Whiskey Priests Internationally acclaimed and influential Celtic punk cult band on long-awaited reunion tour

• Andreas Tophøj & Rune Barslund – two leading young Danish folk musicians of their generation.

• Ye Vagabonds (Eire)– Glorious harmonies from these two brothers who mix the traditional and contemporary.

• Blackbeard’s Tea Party – York band renowned for their energetic crowd pleasing live shows at Glastonbury and beyond.

• The Angel Brothers – A myriad of cultural influences from this seasoned band of top instrumentalists.

Tickets for the festival are currently priced at £105 but Musicport is offering a bargain ticket for the October festival, together with a ticket for their new and more intimate four-day festival, Musicport On The Moors Festival at Goathland, for £170 – a saving of £35.

Organiser Sue McLaughlin said: “We hope this small-scale festival in May will become part of the Goathland calendar.

“We’re delighted that the North York Moors National Park Authority have awarded us a grant to support this and other events we have planned for 2018 mainly based at The Hut, whose management have themselves been so proactive in allowing this to happen.”

There is an open invitation on Thursday May 3, from 7pm, to see the set-up at The Hut with free entry with local musicians, food, drink and a warm welcome.

Musicport On The Moors, based at The Hut, Goathland’s new community venue, features Anna & Elizabeth (USA), The Ukrainians, Alexander D’Great, Rise Kagona (Zimbabwe), Muntu Valdo (Cameroon) Satteli Sisters (Switzerland), and The Hut People.

Musicport is a not-for-profit community business.

It started back in 2000 with a one-off festival for the Millennium – and that one-off has led to 18 more.

Sue added: “We’ve had some amazing artists play here over the years – our décor transforms Whitby Pavilion into a great venue, really intimate and with a special atmosphere.

“You can get so close to these brilliant musicians, sometimes you have to pinch yourself to realise they really are here, on our doorstep, close enough to touch.”

Whitby-born rocker and God of Hellfire Arthur Brown – known for his 1968 hit Fire – has been a previous big name at a Musicport festival, along with the likes of Courtney Pine and Buena Vista Social Club.

Musicport runs music sessions for under fives, masterclasses and workshops for young musicians, and leading up to and during the festival there is a whole programme of workshops covering a multitude of skills and interests.