26th Sep, 2020

Brilliant weekend of music as Morton Stanley Festival brings out the crowds

Correspondent 19th Aug, 2019 Updated: 20th Aug, 2019

REDDITCH Rocks!

There may have been a few showers on the Sunday but that didn’t dampen any spirits as the sun and music stars shone bright at this year’s Morton Stanley Festival.

Organised by Redditch Borough Council the free two-day festival played host to more than 30 acts including Republica, Skabucks, Visitation, Pure Queen, Ryan Sparrow, Keep Me Posted and the Soldiers of Swing.

One festival goer, Susan Stirk told the Standard: “It’s been the best weekend ever and totally amazing to see my all time favourite band Republica here in Redditch! I had to pinch myself!”

A video the Standard posted on Facebook has already received more than 4,000 views showing the festival’s great atmosphere and many people have praised the council for putting on yet another first class event.

This didn’t go unnoticed either by headliner Saffron – lead singer of Republica. Addressing the excited crowd she said: “Did your council put this event on for free? Wow – well done Redditch Council.

“I think we need more events like this in our communities! What a great way to spend all our money.” To which the crowd cheered.

Highlights of the event included Pure Queen’s ‘Freddie Mercury’ coming out with a huge Union Jack to ‘We Will Rock You’ which got everyone up, clapping their hands and singing along.

Skabucks who took everyone back to the Nineties with classics such as ‘It Must Be Love’ by Madness while superstars Republica brought the crowd to a crescendo with their techno-pop hit ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous.’

But it was many of Redditch’s homegrown artists that the crowd also really loved including girl band The Violettes and rising star Stuart Woolfenden who gave the Standard a special shout out and performed his new song (to be released next month) ‘I Am Not A Trend’ to a rapturous applause.

The crowd also loved Mitch Loveridge who performed a beautiful rendition of Oasis’s Wonderwall and Alcester’s Jack Blackman had the crowd hooked with his catchy tunes and guitar riffs.

Ros Sidaway from Vintage Trax told the Standard: “We’ve got such fantastic talent here in Redditch and the festival is such a great showcase for our local artists… we have so many!

“Alan Mason was great. The Violettes have really come on and Ryan Sparrow is one to look out for. I just hope the council keep the festival going. It’s so good for Redditch and the community.”

Along with live music the festival also enjoyed a great range of street food vendors, bars, children’s entertainment, fair rides and representation from various organisations including the British Army, Royal Marines, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, Redditch Rugby Club and The Samaritans.

The curtain call came down over Morton Stanley Park on Sunday evening as Republica belted out their 1996 hit single ‘Ready to Go.’

None of us were.

Roll on Morton Stanley Festival 2020. Redditch wants to Rock again…

Claire Bullivant

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