Chairman’s verdict on Stainsby Festival

Revellers basked in beats and the heat at a sunshine-soaked weekend of music and merry-making

Visitors flocked to the 47th Stainsby Festival, near Heath, Chesterfield, with numbers up on last year’s attendance.

Stainsby Festival.            'Apple of My Eye on the Hat Block Stage.

Stainsby Festival. 'Apple of My Eye on the Hat Block Stage.

Festival chairman Tony Trafford said: “Numbers were really good this year. We even had to suspend the camping because we simply ran out of room.

“The number of people who simply turned up at the gate was way up, giving the festival a real buzz.

“The atmosphere was fantastic, lots of people said what a really chilled vibe there was: happy, good natured and immensely relaxed.”

Music to suit all ages ranged from legends such as Robin Williamson and Dick Gaughan to the folk electronica sound of Jasper In The Company of Others.

Tony said: “Skinny Lister and Jasper In the Company of Others were both terrific crowd pleasers. In the Skinny Lister set it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anybody from a band crowd surf with a double bass! I think both of them are likely to be back real soon.”

A DIY accident forced the Sunday afternoon headliners Artisan to pull out of the festival at short notice so musicians among the festival volunteers rallied to the cause. Compere Ben Daglish on flute, Dave Sturt on bass, artist organiser Chris Ellis on guitar and visiting performer Paul Dear from the Drum Circle on Jembis played a set of Chris’s songs.

Tony said: “Their rehearsal was the sound check before they went on and... they took the audience by storm. A number of them said it was the highlight of the festival. Many were astonished. They normally see us as the volunteers who organise the festival, what they don’t often see is the depth of talent in our ranks - perhaps because they normally don’t get to see it! We’ve had lots of requests for them to play again.”