Musicport hits all the right notes

Arthur Brown wowed audiences at Musicport     Picture: Scott Wicking
Arthur Brown wowed audiences at Musicport Picture: Scott Wicking
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Organisers of a festival of international music at Whitby Pavilion have said that the event went “better than they could have hoped for.”

Musicians from around the globe took to the stage across three days at Musicport, with thousands of people in attendance to check out an eclectic mix of performers.

“Everything went really well, there were a number of astonishing performances and some really special moments,” said festival organiser Jim McLaughlin.

“People were enjoying themselves so much that they didn’t want the weekend to end.

“A big group of them were singing songs in the Pavilion car park until about 2am on Monday morning.”

Mr McLaughlin picked out sets by Arthur Brown, French band Lo’Jo, Sweden’s Varldens Band and Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita as the highlights of a weekend that attracted greater numbers than last year’s event.

“We were very busy, more people came than last year and at times we were almost at capacity,” he added.

“We had a lot of positive feedback and a number of regular attendees commented that they thought this year was the best Musicport yet.

“As organisers we are happy with how it all went, all of the acts seemed happy and there was a great atmosphere all weekend.

“We’re already looking forward to next year’s festival.”

Arthur Brown, one of Whitby’s most famous sons and the pioneer of shock-rock, performed on the Pavilion’s main stage on Sunday evening.

He was also full of praise for the festival.

“Myself and my band had a great time – Musicport is a beautiful event and I love coming back to Whitby,” he said.

“We received a warm welcome as soon as we arrived, we took in some brilliant performances and then really enjoyed playing to a fantastic audience.

“Everyone was having a good time. By the end of our set I felt a real connection with the crowd.

“I felt like we managed to become one through the music.”

Proceedings got under way on Friday evening outside the Pavilion with an illuminated display of drumming by Edinburgh-based Beastie Drummers accompanied by local musicians.

A new addition to Musicport, a series of cooking demonstrations took place over the weekend and attracted plenty of interest.

A number of local schools played their part with students from Fyling Hall taking to the stage alongside award-winning sci-fi folk band Maia for a performance that was beamed live to schools around the county, while pupils from East Whitby and Eskdale were involved in a mass ukulele jam.

Mr McLaughlin added: “The cookery stage was new for this year and worked very well, while the participation of the local school children in some of the performances really added to the occasion.”