Saturday, 13 February 2016

Brampton gets ready to welcome 1,000 folk to new festival

Brampton is gearing up for the first Stepping Stones Festival next month – with about 1,000 people expected to attend.

Lord William Brett  photo
Maddy Prior

The festival will see Steeleye Span singer Maddy Prior take to the stage on May 5 and 6 in the town’s community centre.

Although north Cumbria is one of the most sparsely populated parts of Cumbria, organisers are still hoping for a big turnout over the bank holiday weekend.

Organiser Tim Coombe said: “We are trying to be a community event with Maddy Prior as the catalyst.

“There was a lot of goodwill generated by the Brampton Live Festival until it folded in 2010 and we want to make this into another community celebration of good music and good fellowship in this unique year of national events such as the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee.

He added: “This is sort of a resurrection from the ashes of Brampton Live.”

The festival was dreamed up by Maddy Prior, whose career spans over 40 years of singing and touring. Between tours she runs singing and musical classes in a converted barn at her home near Bewcastle.

The festival is her way of celebrating 10 years of courses at Stones Barn. Through her contacts in the world of folk music Maddie has secured the talents of some well-known names.

They include Spiers and Bowden, The Carnival Band, Coop Boyes and Simpson, The New Rope String Band and Keith Donnelly and many more.

A group of meditators will also be on hand.

Stepping Stones will feature four major concerts over two days.

There will also be traditional arts and craft demonstrations and concession stalls, street theatre acts, story-telling sessions, a graffiti wall and a children’s activities area.

Bewcastle Primary School, the Brampton Community Orchestra and Nicola Ivinson’s Dance Group will all be performing over the weekend.

On Sunday, Maddie will also be presenting her musical play Hobie Noble which follows the fortunes of a swashbuckling Reiver.

Entrance to the site is £2 for non-ticket holders.

It is £15 per concert and weekend tickets costs £65, with some concessions available. Tim said the festival’s future would depend on the success of this one and whether it enjoyed local support.


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