Saturday, July 20, 2024

Stortford Music Festival

Festival time is upon us, and while many are prepping their camping gear for Download, and others are planning their trips to Hevy Fest, there is a gap that cannot be filled by these big hitting week-long adventures – the local music festival. On the cusp of Hertfordshire and Essex is Stortford Music Festival which celebrates local talent breaching the national frontier, and allows people who might not be able to make the bigger festivals, or who cannot afford to, to experience the Festival atmosphere in their own backyard.

Stortford Music Fest has been running for the past 14 years during May Bank Holiday Weekend, and highlights bands that have been approached by labels, BBC introducing, or who just have a local reputation for being awesome.

Elliot Porter and Leah Ringer
Elliot Porter and Leah Ringer

Headlining this year on the main stage were The Christians, The Quireboys, Uncle Funk and The Jar Family, with Elliot Porter and Benjamin Bloom headlining the second stage. The headliners really represent the kind of music that plays throughout – everything from folky acoustic to blues-rock to indie and disco, so metal-heads may not find joy in all acts at all times (but where is the fun in that anyway). The surprise hit for us was Uncle Funk, as we were prepared to dismiss them as just another cheesey 70s throwback, they hit the town with disco-inspired hits from all walks, including more modern tracks by Beyoncé, and really got the crowd going unlike any other. Elliot Porter and The Jar Family displayed more technical expertise and The Quireboys’ version of ‘rock-and-roll’ really reminded us of Blues Brothers/Rocky Horror epic-ness, especially with a frontman that screamed Mick Jagger and Ozzy Osborne inspirations. Fans of heavier live material would be into people like The Broken Chords, who tore down the second stage on the Saturday, along with Navacross, who split opinions as each track attempted a different genre of rock.

The Quireboys
The Quireboys
Jamie Fallon
Jamie Fallon

On Sunday, Death Surf sounded like a cross between Nirvana and New Chain Gang of 1974, with a bass line that screamed ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ and Jamie Fallon impressed us with her vocals and choice of guitarist; while Oka Vanga really hit us with their talented fingering technique and Rodrigo y Gabriela-esque appeal, and Aliceband raised the hair on every person who heard her and left people speechless at the main stage. The biggest turnout for the weekend, however, was 27 Strings – we were put onto them by Anna, the cellist of Mozzy Green who are local legends and play inspired jumpy-rock that really struck a chord with their fusion approach to live music (how many times do you see a cellist on stage introducing a double-bass player for the first time – outside of the symphony of course, it is a rarity) and so we gave them a quick glance as we were walking around the festival. Approaching the second stage, it was clear that we were not getting in and that what was coming out was sheer brilliance. We later found out that almost a dozen musicians filled the stage, with one as young as eleven, and we realised that each of the musicians had an important all-encompassing role throughout the performance – all instruments and players being used all over.

Novacross
Novacross

Something else you can expect at a local festival is a certain amount of locally brewed ale and cider, and while we didn’t touch the ale, the Rapple cider went down so well on Saturday that we were unable to stop shaking on Sunday and had to have a lie-down in the shade. While this was going on in the beer tent, we noticed that among the usual merchants selling hats and sunglasses, there were vintage clothing stalls, jewellery, cupcake stalls, bouncy castles for kids and an array of food-trucks that are completely unique to local festivals – whilst the odd Thai place is common in central London, getting different selections of food can sometimes be hard at a festival as you have to choose between tasty burger or tasty hotdog. Here, however, we had burger for lunch, Thai for dinner, smoothies for breakfast, chicken nugget burgers from an Indian, and the best hog roast and milkshakes we think we have ever encountered. Some would call it middle-class festival food. We were too busy chowing down to give a rat’s buttock.

In short – massive success and you can tell that when people like Rupert Grint turn up incognito

Aliceband
Aliceband

to check out what is going on. Other local festivals should take note, as this is the one to beat in the area, with professional security (headed by a brilliant bloke called Mark Holden who made us giggle all weekend) maintaining order, amazing music across the board, volunteer Stewards trying to stop having fun, and a family-theme that makes it accessible to all and sundry.

If you want to check out Stortford Music Festival next year, keep an eye on their website

Thanks to Funky Faces for recreating the RAMzine logo on our arms, PigginInTheMiddle for the best hogroast ever, and the organisers for pulling off a fantastic local festival.

RAMzine by Funky Faces
RAMzine by Funky Faces

All photos by Leah Blake

Our site contains articles about Gambling. If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling-related problems, contact the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 1333. Free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please Gamble Responsibly.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

seventeen + 3 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RAMzine is proud to support The Mike James Rock Show!

Latest Articles