Maryport’s Still Got The Blues
This year’s Maryport Blues Festival is set to be a swinging success on the last weekend in July.
The festival’s 19th year will once again see a weekend jam-packed with live music and family entertainment, that will no doubt have the crowds gathering in their droves. From Friday 28 – Sunday 30 July, Maryport will play host to a mixture of well established acts and of course, plenty of local talent.
This year the line-up includes none other than the legendary Wilko Johnson, who is hoped to be bringing some special guests along with him. Wilko was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, but despite doctor’s pessimistic predictions he discovered a new zest for life and continued to perform with even more vigour than before. After gigging his way through much of the past five decades, Wilko is touring again and will bring some of his invigorating, pub rock and rhythm to Maryport.
Headlining the Friday night, is Andy Fairweather Low and his band, The Low Riders. The soulful singer, best known for his hits in Amen Corner, has worked with some of the greatest musicians of our time, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix.
Other acts lined-up include the Jon Amour Band, Chasin Train and The Brian Rawson Band. On the outside stage, heavy rock group,Quireboys will take things in a slightly different direction, followed by a performance from Estonian rock group, Illumenium, along with many others throughout the weekend. As always, there will be tonnes of local talent and all the old favourites playing in the pubs and clubs around the town.
The event was initially set up 19 years ago by the council, in a bid to regenerate the town. After a few years a group of local volunteers took on the responsibility and have kept the festival thriving ever since.
Although it receives no funding, organisers hold fundraising events throughout the year and every penny earned goes straight back into making Blues Fest a success. The band, Broken English, who will also be appearing at the festival, even brought out a CD, Maryport Blues, to raise funds for the festival.
Debra Parks, Festival Organiser, has been involved with the Blues fest since the beginning, she said: “It really does help Maryport and the local people really embrace it.
“It’s extremely difficult without the funding, but I think we have done really well considering. We are really grateful to anyone who helps us out. We couldn’t do without the local bands and their support.”
The festival is a favourite with those far and wide. The people of Maryport always come out in force to support the event, however organisers have also sent tickets all over the world, to international fans.
And things are set to get only bigger and better as the event approaches the remarkable 20 year milestone next year.
Debra said: “Hopefully we can make a success of this year and make it to 20 years and continue to make it bigger and better.
She added: “I think you have to do something special for 20 years, don’t you?
We are already looking at headliners now.”
Workington Transport Heritage Trust will be running buses between Maryport, Cockermouth, Workington and Whitehaven, for a small donation.
For more information and tickets for this year’s festival visit www.maryportbluesfestival.com