What a great weekend! Jan and I were in town for most of Saturday and Sunday enjoying a most amazing weekend of live music.
I have a very personal interest in Stone's Music Festival. Although I am far too busy to even contemplate offering to help (the Music Festival always takes place when I'm up to the neck in Food and Drink Festival preparation) I take great pride in watching the Music Festival go from strength to strength. Let me explain. As many of you know, Jan and I have family down in Dartmouth in South Devon and we've been going down to their Music Festival for years. Whenever I saw what Dartmouth were doing I kept thinking that Stone would be an ideal venue to do something similar. So when Steve Brookes and his wife Kate (briefly) became town councillors several years ago, I suggested a small party of us should visit Dartmouth's Festival in the hope that they'd be inspired to organise something in Stone. Well, a very good weekend was had by all! And out of that visit, Steve and Kate decided to form a committee and start a Music Festival up here in Stone.
Sensibly, they learnt to walk before they tried to run. So from small beginnings, the Festival has grown year on year to achieve a size and status that will now ensure that the Stone Music Festival will become another great community event in the Stone calendar. It truly came of age this weekend.
This year's innovation of a two stage arrangement worked a treat. Whilst one group of performers were on one stage, another was setting up and doing sound checks on the other. Great continuity. And Jan and I have learnt a lesson - next year we will buy tickets in advance for ticketed events ! Both Friday night and Saturday night's concerts were total sell outs!
And what a bonus - the weather was kind! So we've sat outside the Lounge watching some great acts including Supersets, Murphy's Marbles and who was the guitarist who was getting the most amazing sounds from his instrument as he sat down with it on his knees? Fantastic! I loved the Slade tribute band 'Slyde' but Jan's favourite was 'Re-Take That' on Sunday night. What a crowd!
Well done Steve, Kate and everyone else involved. The Stone Music Festival is well and truly on the map!