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Review: The Galtres Festival

By Joel James
BBC Blast Reporter, BBC York & North Yorkshire

People at the Galtres Festival
More than 1500 people attended a rather damp Galtres Festival.

You start with a sports field in North Yorkshire and book it for August bank holiday weekend. Then you add fifty guest ales, lagers and ciders plus a festival of fun. Finally you mix in some great music and 1500 people - and you have yourself the Galtres Festival.

When I arrived at the festival I was lucky enough to be greeted by some classic Yorkshire weather, but I had the wellies on so I wasn't going to let a bit of rain spoil my day!

On entry to the sports field in Crayke it seemed others might have had their spirits dampened by the weather. However, on closer inspection it became clear they were all enjoying the beer tent which was joined with the acoustic stage.

Here everyone was enjoying the delights of Dave Smith and Mike Jackson, a double bass and guitar duo who left audiences stunned by their talent. Kids and adults alike were enjoying the mix of classic and contemporary acoustic country blues.

The Bluetones at the Galtres Festival
Performers braved the elements to deliver exciting sets.

The rain did eventually pass and just in time for the crowd to flock to the main stage for the electrifying set by Dead Rebellion. Two vocalists, a drummer who was just a blur and a DJ made up the band which got the whole crowd jumping. A perfect band to pull the crowd in and warm them up for the headliners.

There was plenty of time between bands to explore the rest of the festival. Some highlights included the acoustic stage, complete with hay bales to sit on; the festival of fun, with circus workshops and a pavilion with REAL toilets (trust me this is a rare and very much appreciated element of a festival!)

The beer tent was also spectacular. The whole back wall was lined with barrels stacked on more barrels of real Yorkshire ale and, although supplies ran out in the early evening, there were thousands of bottled Yorkshire ales to keep everyone happy and just to top it all off, it was only £2.50 per pint.

Despite fears that the weather could make for a slightly embarrassing crowd it was time for the Bluetones to play, and what a crowd they pulled. What looked like thousands made their way to the outside main stage to see the 90's Brit pop legends do their thing.

They played a great set combining some new material with all the old favourites and had the whole crowd singing along; it was fantastic. I caught up with the band after they played:

"Considering everyone has been rained on for the last few hours it was a great crowd, everyone was up-beat and energetic"

Mike Jackson and Dave Smith
The sports field in Crayke was transformed.

Soon enough it was time to go home and luckily enough there was a couple of spaces left on the specially organised bus. This was a great chance to catch up with some fellow festival goers:

"We've had a great time! The Bluetones were definitely highlights, I've been waiting thirteen years to see them! Absolutely brilliant!"

On a personal note, I had a great time at the Galtres Festival. It was well organised, had superb music, ample refreshments and an overall brilliant atmosphere. If you weren't there to see it this year, make sure you do next year.




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