The huge task of scheduling what amounted last year to more than 240 individual performances by over 600 individual artists is well under way and we will soon be ready to publish the first few venues' line-ups.
'As always, the stage in the back courtyard of the White Hart is geographically and metaphorically the centre of things,' says Kev Saunders. 'We wondered at first how we could top last year's headliner, former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock, but I'm certain we've got a band more than worthy of the job. We're making the White Hart our carnival stage - a sort of Not-in-Notting-Hill-Carnival! So it's bands with loads of brass, bass and party grooves, including Lip Service Brass Band, Trailer Trash Orchestra, The Trash (Clash tribute), The Bleeding Hearts Rhythm and Blues Fan Club, The Trojan Horses, The SGs and to close the show the mighty BIG 10 – the magnificent Two Tone/Ska tribute band who rocked last year's Rock at the Castle! During the live part of the show reggae sound system Stone Lion Hi Fi will be spinning roots, dub, ska and lover's rock and from 8.30 the Friday Fox DJs take over, spinning feelgood dance music, made for those who refuse to be pigeonholed, defined or restricted by genre.'
Renowned for a huge Ska sound, entertaining stage antics and a loyal following, Big 10 are one of the most popular ska/2 tone acts in the South East. With 8-10 musicians on stage at gigs ( a 2-3 brass section and 2-3 singers) including Jase Tourette, Splendid Brown, Spazz, Buster Bricklayer, Saxy Liz and more, a Big 10 performance is a real treat for the senses!
The relatively new landlord at the White Hart has been part of the Musical Mystery Tour a few times in his former job at The Stonehouse – but now he’s right at the heart of the action.
'It's great being back in Hertford at the new, much-improved White Hart and all of us in the team are excited about hosting the Musical Mystery Tour’s flagship show!' says Manager Steve Walsh
Our annual festival would not be possible without the support of our sponsors.
This year's headline sponsor is Hertford Planning Service, based in Castle Street. Established in Hertford in 1981, Hertford Planning Service is an Architectural/Planning Consultancy Practice that’s been involved in a variety of projects ranging from small domestic extensions to a feasibility study for a whole new village in Warwickshire. Other prestigious projects have included the design/build of several golf clubs, involving both the courses and associated buildings. HPS provide guidance on all aspects of design, from obtaining planning, listed building and building control approvals, seeking competitive tenders and supervise and administrate projects until completion. They have a dedicated team responsible for the preparation & submission of planning appeals to include written representations, local hearings and public enquiries. Over the years they have won 5 Civic Awards, the most recent in 2007 for major conversion projects, and secured a position in the Ideal Homes Exhibition’s house design ‘Top Ten’.
Other sponsors so far:
"It's also important to point out," Kev adds, "that some of the sponsors are also active members of the team - particularly Steve Beeston who, as Brass Tack Web Design, works all year round to keep the website up to date and in his Steve Beeston Photography guise provides all our venue, artist and event photos (as well as doing the same for almost every event for miles!), Jo Asker who handles our social media, John Brown of Couvre Feu and not least co-Chairman Rob Guinn, who’s also a partner in HPS."
The 2017 Musical Mystery Tour takes place on Bank Holiday Sunday 27th August 2017 – when literally hundreds of artists from near and far (OK mostly near), nearly famous and vaguely infamous, will be playing at around 40 venues all round Hertford town from lunchtime to bedtime and all for free!
Rob Guinn, Kev Saunders, Steve Beeston and the rest of the Hertford Music Festival team, including some new recruits, have been working on this year’s Musical Mystery Tour almost from the moment the last one was over. And with almost all the same venues once more on board along with a couple of new ones, they’re looking forward to an event just as exciting and all-embracing as ever – if not more so!
As regulars will know, the Musical Mystery Tour is now thoroughly established as the biggest musical event in Hertford’s calendar – a frenzy of live music of every kind from classical and jazz to rock, reggae, folk, indie and punk from lunchtime till bedtime and all free of charge. And without the generous support of its sponsors and the co-operation and endorsement of the police and local councils, it really couldn’t continue at this scale, having grown organically – and on a shoestring budget – from a single stage to more than forty over its eleven-year history with an audience from far and wide estimated at more than 20,000.
"I'm very pleased to announce that for the second year running Hertford Planning Service is our headline sponsor," says joint festival Chairman Kev Saunders. "The event has evolved to become a huge undertaking that’s only possible with their support and that of our other sponsors, as well as that of Hertford's incredible and evidently inexhaustible pool of musical talent and of course the people of the town. That said, there are still sponsorship opportunities available, so please get in touch if you're interested in a great way to literally put your business on Hertford's map."
Who wants to advertise in the 2017 MUSICAL MYSTERY TOUR GUIDE?
With more to 600 musicians, some 240 sets and 40+ venues, it’s getting hard to fit all the acts and info into our usual programme format. So we’re planning a bigger better programme – and to make that possible and to contribute to our ever-growing costs, we need to sell advertising space!
As a local business, shouldn’t you be part of Hertford’s biggest social and musical event? One that literally puts you on the map. With upwards of 25,000 people descending on the town each year, the venues have a bonanza comparable with Christmas and New Year – so isn’t it time all you other businesses got a share. Our programme is the ideal vehicle for leisure and lifestyle ads – or even special restaurant/café/pub promo activities!
Get in touch NOW to let us know if you’re interested!
Please contact email@example.com
This is a big thank you: please read right through to see who's involved and what they do for us and you, to make this event what it is.
It's very hard to put into words how much we appreciate the efforts of all involved in yesterday's Musical Mystery Tour. We can't begin to tell you how much effort goes into organising this event. Thank you seems a tiny sentiment to offer those involved.
Thanks Rob Hunt, the runner, the carrier of heavy things and for getting up early to fetch carry, deliver and organise. Where would we be without you?
Steve and Serena Parkhouse of Waterpoint. Storing our equipment throughout the year and providing a much appreciated delivery and collection service. We thank you.
Holly Rapley and Sara Taylor at the museum for their continued support and stocking the HMF merchandise.
Steve Beeston. Pictures, website, organising bands and helping with the promotion of the event.
John Brown. All things legal. Risk assessments, meetings with the local authorities and issuing of all the appropriate documentation.
Steve Hunt. A provider of PA equipment and engineering skills we couldn't do without.
Jo Asker. Our social media guru. We've seen quite a lot of her posts and will hopefully see a lot more in the future.
Jonathan Davis for helping to coordinate the engineers.
Our fantastic stewards for helping people find their way and handing out programmes.
All the loaners of odd bits and pieces. Euan, we're talking to you. George Clark and James.
Our underappreciated team of volunteer engineers. These guys and girls work all day and well into the night for the love of music and for the music festival. I would particularly like to mention that we had two engineers that came along way to help us - Matt from North Wales and Leslie Baldock from Hastings. This job is particularly thankless, and only those without them know their true value.
The local authorities and the police. All the mess we make is quickly cleaned up and taken away the following day as if nothing has happened.
Our sponsors. Without this sponsorship this event would not happen. Although we sail, financially, close to the wind, this sponsorship money helps with the hidden costs of hiring PAs, printing, promotion and marketing.
Giggear, River City Studios and Guitar Studio for loaning equipment. We could not possibly afford to do without.
Our friends. Each year they continue to support us and offer suggestions to make the event bigger, better and different to the year before.
Our wives. They must get pretty sick of this event by the end of August. The continued grumbles, phone calls, late nights and discussions we inflict upon them. They must be glad this event is over, at least for another year.
The people of Hertford. Its noisy, messy and sometimes an inconvenience. Thank you for not complaining and seeing our event for what it is. A chance for people to enjoy free music and catch up with old friends and new in the comfortable surroundings of our beautiful town, Hertford. Thank you for making it trouble free and behaving in a good natured, friendly manner that Hertford has become known for.
Most of all we would like to thank all the artists. They give up their time and talent for the event. Their skills have been crafted over a lifetime (in some cases this is quite a long period of time) and they give this to us and you free for one day. Some artists perform more than once and in some cases four or five times during the day. Some take on the role of coordinating the artists and sound in their chosen venues. We can't even begin to tell you how much we are in awe of these guys; they are the true heroes of this event.