Bradford on Avon music festival has really taken root

Wiltshire Times: Holt Morris man Bryan Baker completes the Wassail ceremony by pouring cider on the tree at the second Bradford Roots Music Festival Holt Morris man Bryan Baker completes the Wassail ceremony by pouring cider on the tree at the second Bradford Roots Music Festival

The second Bradford Roots Music Festival has surpassed last year’s success in showcasing Bradford on Avon’s musical talents.

A total of 53 acoustic and electric acts took to four stages at Wiltshire Music Centre, which is up on the 40 acts last year, and the event sold 75 more tickets than in 2013.

Altogether 850 tickets were sold and proceeds from the festival will go towards Wiltshire Young Carers, Wiltshire Music Centre charitable trust, and Zone Club, a creative music project for learning disabled young adults, based at the music centre.

Music ranged from jazz, blues, world, indie, rock and classical, and there were plenty of opportunities for audiences to get involved as there was an open mic stage, jam sessions, children’s activities, workshops, folk dancing and wassailing.

Clare Jack, executive director of Wiltshire Music Centre, said: “It was fantastic. This year has grown by about 10 per cent. Bradford is a very musical place. People love to have an opportunity to come together and perform and support others performing.

“It was extraordinary to experience the extent of young talent in this area and we are really pleased to be able to celebrate all these young musicians and give them and the rest of the community a wonderful chance to perform.

“We had a big team of 40 volunteers on each day and they were amazing. We could not have done it without them. Chris and Lisa Samuel programmed all the music and did a fantastic job.”

The local theme continued throughout the weekend, with The Fat Fowl restaurant providing food and drink, and Willy Good Ale, based in Winsley, providing the beer.

School choirs from Fitzmaurice Primary School and St Laurence performed and carers from Wiltshire Young Carers also gave their support by volunteering at the event.

Mr and Mrs Samuel have lived in the town for 14 years and run three choirs in Wiltshire. They helped create the festival after recognising there was a lack of local music at Wiltshire Music Centre.

Mrs Samuel said: “The atmosphere was great last year because we hadn’t done it before but there was a feeling of apprehension. This year felt more comfortable and there was a lovely warm community feel.

“The number of acts has grown and the festival appeals to every age. All genres of music were represented and the standard and quality was extraordinary.

“We have already had people saying we cannot stop now, it has to be a fixture on the calendar. It is great that people want it to keep going and we’d love to do it again.”

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