Stretching this year over 6 days Musicport 2017 started with the wonderfully engaging Yorkshire rock band Hope & Social on Friday 20th at Whitby Pavilion and finished in a brand new venue The Hut in Goathland with Yorkshire folk heroes Martin & Eliza Carthy on Weds 25th October.
In between the capacity audience at The Pavilion had witnessed some phenomenal performances notably by headliners Afro Celt Sound System, Benjamin Zephaniah & The Revolutionary Minds and the astonishing Japanese/French performer Maia Barouh.
Festival director Jim McLaughlin said the programme which celebrated the festivals 18th year really did prove a coming of age “because it showed that in these difficult times an end of season festival that transcends borders and nationalities and focuses on highest quality music from wherever has a real place in the national calendar. What was very encouraging was the increased number of young people and teenagers amongst this year’s audience who engaged with the festival with enthusiasm this year. “
Following the weekend event at the Pavilion which featured some 60 plus acts and over 150 separate events the festival then went on tour to surrounding villages with several acts playing in unusual places and drawing really good audiences during the half term week.
A star amongst these acts was the 19 year old London musician Jay Johnson who recently appeared on The One Show and is Artist In Residence in London’s Roundhouse. He is already booked to play the main festival in 2018 having won a legion of new fans in the area.
Plans for 2019 Festival (October 19th-21st) are already underway with several acts under negotiation and a Musicport led project called The Kirsty MacColl Story featuring the late singer- songwriters band with guest vocalists already being planned. Next years tours to the villages will extend to 5 days making the festival 8 days in total.
A 4 day mini-Musicport weekend May 4th-7th 2018 based at The Hut Goathland and focussing on workshops/ participative events /small performances is currently being planned with detail to follow shortly.