Excellent music and great family entertainment have all contributed to the resounding success of the past FIVE festivals. With the first festival taking place across the road at Perins School on June 19th 2010...
...in 2010 you could sense the obvious delight of the audience, not only at the professionalism of the presentation and the variety of acts performing, but also at the selection of food and drink available, the attractions for the children, and the merchandise for sale.
Noticeably, all age groups were represented and many stayed the course from midday until 11pm, dancing and toe-tapping in a welcome cooling breeze which ensured that the long sunny spells didn’t become too overbearing.
Many of the 1,100 festival-goers said that providing children’s entertainment was a terrific idea; circus skills, a pop music school, the ever popular face painting and simple drawing and painting were on offer which allowed grateful mums and dads to wander around the stalls or “chill out” to the wide range of music.
The event, which was held on the school's sports field, hit the mark perfectly as a showcase for local, regional and national talent, and the standard of performance was top notch: Lee Abraham provided some pounding heavy rock for the afternoon; The Ashbies, with their distinctive sound, played a powerful set, proving exactly why major label Polydor signed them up two days prior to the festival; and the folk-based dynamism of Pressgang led beautifully to a rousing closing session from Hattie Jacques’ Playlist that sent the audience home happy.
Students from the school played with great energy and skill and even some of the school staff put on a highly entertaining set – albeit with a little help from some of their students. Thrilled Head of Music at Perins, Liz McLaughlin, remarked "What a day! The Perins crew had a brilliant time performing at the Alresford Music festival and were on such a high from the excellent response that the crowds gave them. They are very keen to do it all again next year and hope that the performances that they gave will one day get them onto the main stage. I am proud to be their music teacher - they were a credit to the department and to the school. An excellent experience for both the pupils and teachers that performed and those that came to watch. Perins rocked the stage!"
Festival chief organiser Ken Veitch, who also played guitar with crowd-pleasing rock combo Rattlewreck, said that the festival had achieved all of its aims. “We wanted to provide Alresford with another dimension to its great character and to help out some good causes. We’ve been lucky with the weather and had huge support from local organisations and that’s a perfect formula for a kick-off event. We’d like to thank all those who played today and those who came along to hear the music and enjoy the experience.” Referring to comments made by almost every spectator at the event, he added “People are telling us they want this to be a permanent fixture in the calendar - well we’re raring to go for next year”.
The organisers worked hard to ensure that the event was environmentally friendly and its “leave no trace” policy returned the school playing field to pristine condition. While it is understood that the police took a couple of calls about the volume of the music during the event, other complaints about noise in the small hours of Sunday morning were a case of mistaken identity, being the result of another event nearby. The festival finished at 11pm sharp as planned.