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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Summertime Blues as Maryport festival gets back on track

After a tough couple of years the Maryport Blues Festival is back on track.

Blues festival photo
Blues Beaten Redshaw

Spokeswoman Debra Park said she is more confident about the future of the festival after the three day event this weekend than she has been for a couple of years.

“Two years ago we were really worried about the future of the blues in Maryport. We still won’t know for another week how much money we have made this year but I do feel confident - and it was fantastic being back in a marquee. It was like coming home.”

Last year, when the festival was cut back to the minimum the main stage was in the Wave Centre, a small indoor theatre in the town.

The town buzzed this weekend. The pubs who had paid to join the blues trail were packed while those who hired their own entertainment benefited on the back of the festival.

The trail, the most popular aspect of the Maryport blues saw over 30 bands and artists playing in different venues around the town.

In a weekend of highlights, those who stood out on the trail included Carlisle-based Soul City Walkers who set the outdoor stage on fire and had everyone up and dancing.

The Quire Boys filled the outdoor stage area to capacity on Saturday. Cumbria’s Got Talent finalists entertained and West Cumbria’s La’al Big Band, with its mixture of jazz and swing, brought a touch of sophistication to the event.

The favourites on the pub scene included Cindy Hoten, whose style was evocative of the girl singers of the big band days and whose grace, elegance and performance style packed out venues such as the Golden Lion Hotel.

Jock’s Juke Joint, which was mainly based at the Sailor’s Return, brought together some of the most popular bands of the trail including the Yahs, Hot Tin Roof, Lewis Hamilton and The Shiverin’ Sheiks, to name but a few.

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