The Musical Mystery Tour 2017

Wednesday 12 July 2017

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."

Advertise in the Mystery Tour Programme

Monday 10 July 2017

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!

Why Advertise?

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

Huge Thanks

Monday 29 August 2016

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.

Punky Reggae Party with Glen Matlock

Friday 5 August 2016

2016 is the 40th anniversary of the birth of punk in the UK, and is being marked by a year of events, gigs, films, talks, exhibits and more celebrating 40 years of punk heritage and influence in London (

'We couldn't let that pass without getting involved - so this year's centrepiece outdoor stage in the rear courtyard at the White Hart in Salisbury Square is themed as the PUNKY REGGAE PARTY, after the Bob Marley song of that name,' says festival chairman Kev Saunders. 'As the title suggests, I'm assembling a line-up of punk, reggae and ska bands and I'm very chuffed to announce that our headline artist is singer songwriter and bona fide punk pioneer Glen Matlock, the original bassist and chief songwriter with the Sex Pistols!'

Glen's contribution to the Sex Pistols, and thus culture itself, is well documented. Penning the anthem Pretty Vacant, arguably the most famous punk song ever, Glen wrote the music to all the Sex Pistols classics, including Anarchy In The UK and God Save The Queen. The Sex Pistols, however, represent only a fraction of Glen's legacy. His next band, the Rich Kids, put out one of the most influential albums of the late 70s, Ghosts Of Princes In Towers, packed full of rock 'n' pop gems. Working with Iggy Pop, (who recorded Glen's song Ambition), during the 80s kept him sharp and sought-after with a body of work during this period giving rise to releases by bands such as The Spectres and Hot Club.

Glen's appearance is only possible thanks to Media Alive who are funding the stage and transforming the White Hart's courtyard into a multi-media visual celebration of all things punk from music to film and fashion. Hertford Museum will also be present exhibiting some of their archive of Hertford's own surprisingly rich punk heritage.

Here's what Darren Kefford, Media Alive Creative Director has to say about it!

'I have always been amazed by the creative talent that exists in this area. It's a major factor as to why we chose to base our full service creative and media agency right in the centre of it. The Musical Mystery Tour is a fantastic event which we have attended and enjoyed over many years - so when we heard of an opportunity to be involved in a special stage celebrating 40 years of Punk I simply had to go for it. Growing up and studying amongst such an explosive period of British creativity is something I feel extremely privileged to have experienced. Everyone takes something from that period but the lasting impression it made to me was �don't let anyone tell you you can't!� i.e. If you're passionate about something, make it happen. Today that sentiment is the foundation for our agency.

Who says business and pleasure don't mix! We're creating a logo for the event and backdrops for the "Punky Reggae Party� stage area at the White Hart. It's also a great excuse for me and my band to be playing a short set covering some of my vinyl heroes from that period - so see you all there and please pogo responsibly'.

The Bermondset Joyriders

Sunday 31 July 2016

Thanks to the sponsorship of Plumb Domestic Services, this year's Musical Mystery Tour features an act with all the credentials of a bona fide �77 supergroup. The Bermondsey Joyriders, a band pooling the hard-won experience and history of three veteran punks. Founding members Gary Lammin (vocals/guitar) and Martin Stacey (bass) cut their teeth in the Joe Strummer-produced Little Roosters and Generation X precursors Chelsea respectively, whilst recent recruit Chris Musto (drums) is a sticksman of some credentials - having previously played with Johnny Thunders, Joe Strummer and Nico, to name but a few!

You can catch The Bermondsey Joyriders at The White Hart on Sunday 28th August 2016 as part of the Musical Mystery Tour.

This Year's Music Festival Sponsors