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!
Bank Holiday Sunday 28th August 2016 - literally hundreds of artists from near and far, famous and infamous at around 40 venues all round Hertford town from lunchtime to bedtime and all for free!
2016 sees the tenth anniversary of Hertford Music Festival's annual MUSICAL MYSTERY TOUR and as always the event promises to be bigger and better than ever with some 40 venues already signed up to take part in 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.
"I'm very grateful to Hertford Planning Service," says festival Chairman Kev Saunders, "for their generosity and support as this year's headline sponsor, without whom none of this huge undertaking would be possible. Thanks also to all our stalwart regular sponsors - and to a couple of new ones."
Acts confirmed so far include Kev's own tribute to The Clash, The Trash, Stevenage roots reggae band The SGs (who went down a storm last year!), newly formed Hertford ska band The Trojan Horses, who play all the early ska classics, the Trailer Trash Orchestra (Johnny Cash meets the Ramones!), Darren Kefford's punk covers band The Smash, brokeback cowboy punks The Real McKoys and the return three decades on of Hertford's own punk/mod poet Eddy Steady Go!
This year's sponsors are Hertford Planning Service, Media Alive, McMullen's, Brass Tacks Web Design, The Guitar Studio, River City Studios, Steve Beeston Photography, Plumb Domestic Services, Waterpoint, Hertford Town Council and Call Print.
Hertford Music Festival is gearing up for next year's Musical Mystery Tour with a fundraiser/showcase at Hertford House Hotel Lounge on Friday 6th November.
The events features raggae outfit The SGs, with support from Los Ladrones Del Amor and The Real McKoys, along with DJs Kev Saunders and Stone Lion Hifi.
Having worked with some of the greats in Jamaican and UK music The SGs formed through their love of reggae three years ago, with a sound reminiscent of the classic roots bands along with some sweet lovers rock. Their original material has won over DJs and sound systems, getting them airplay on 'Revelation Time' Cambridge105 ,Three Counties Radio and 'Roots, Reggae and Bass' online and their storming live sets have won over audiences in support slots for legends such as Lee Perry and Courtney pine ... One Love!
Then there's latin tinged acoustic rock (Latin Noir) from Los Ladrones Del Amor, and The Real McCoys (both of which also played the White Hart at the Musical Mystery Tour),
The Real McKoys are a "cowboy-brokeback" gimmick band, that covers 80's ballads but turn them into Punk Rock classics! Ever thought, "Fuck, this 80's pop song could do with some rocking guitars and some big drums!"? Well, that's exactly what they've done - last year that raucous, riotous and hilarious format took them to number 52 in the Rock charts!!
Also: DJ Kev Saunders playing indie, reggae, latin, ska and punky reggae and Stone Lion Hifi - serious reggae sound system stylee into the small hours. £7 on the door to you guv - or get tickets in advance from www.billeto.co.uk.
Hertford Music Festival's annual MUSICAL MYSTERY TOUR is set to be the biggest and best ever - with 33 venues already on board and more to come.
Last year more than 400 musicians and DJs playing every musical style from rock to reggae, folk and funk to punk, classical and jazz took part in the town's hugely popular music frenzy, with some 30 venues simultaneously taking part in the one-day Musical Mystery Tour. This year Festival Director Kev Saunders is hoping to showcase even more local talent this year with the help of the festival's sponsors, old and new.
'The atmosphere last year was incredible!' says Kev. 'And every single venue was packed to the rafters - this is clearly no longer just a local phenomenon. Thousands of people poured into Hertford for the day and stayed to the end, rocking and strolling round town guided by their Musical Mystery Tour maps of Hertford.'
Sloppy's Join Sponsors
'We're very chuffed to announce that this year's headline sponsor is Sloppy's American Sports Bar & Grill,' Kev adds, 'especially because the place is such a Hertford institution. I was a regular back in the day of the bar's original incarnation as Sloppy Joe's 30 years ago back in 1985 - and now that it's back in its rightful place on the Hertford nightlife horizon we've already got an amazing line-up of artists waiting in the wings, with a load more to be announced.
Already booked for the 30th August at Sloppy's are superb jazz/blues torch singer Francesca Fonzarelli, sixties covers duo Maiden Jeans, terrific acoustic rock and pop covers duo HEX, singer songwriter James Nighthawk (fresh from his appearance at Rock at the Castle) and singer/guitarist Becky Phillips, whom readers might know from her Rock and Country music show on Stevenage radio station SG1 and her popular covers band Dakota Smile (who will also be playing the Musical Mystery Tour - at the Jungle Bar).
An early highlight in the Sloppy's line-up is Bethia Beadman, an artist described by John Kennedy in Dazed and Confused as 'One of the best unsung artists around' and by Chris Roberts in The Quietus as 'the real thing... a rarity, an original ... a cross between Ziggy Stardust and Maria Callas ...'
A child ballerina, ever in search of the ecstatic and transformative, Bethia read Theology and Sanskrit at Cambridge. She has sung in a choir at the Vatican, supported Pete Doherty, played Glastonbury numerous times, the Isle of Wight and the Festival of the Dark Mountain, toured to Albania and lived in Hollywood with Courtney Love while playing piano in Hole. She also went on a waterfall tour of Cornwall in folk-rock band Circulus. This is going to be a real treat for all Hertford's music lovers!
'We all enjoyed last year's event so much - Kev and his team provided amazingly talented and enjoyable musicians from noon till midnight...' says Sloppy's' Stephanie Sarno. 'We've been determined to get more involved in this inspiring annual event and help promote the town's talent as well as our venue, which is why we're excited to be this year's headline sponsor.'
More new sponsors to be announced very soon!
'Steve Beeston is, as always, supporting us in the guise of Steve Beeston Photography by providing all our event and promotional photography - as well as tirelessly building and updating the festival website.
Once again The Guitar Studio (Railway Place) and River City Studios (Mimram Road), both brainchilds of Neil Drummond from local band, The Huxleys are sponsoring the Musical Mystery Tour with backline (Amplifiers and Drum Kit), as well as Rock at the Castle with backline for the main stage and the artists' 'Green Room' hospitality tent!
Finally, I'd like to thank everyone at Hertford Town Council and the mayor Linda Radford for their continued support and co-operation.'
Hertford Music Festival Invites New Sponsors to Get on Board for the Musical Mystery Tour 2015
Now in its 10th year the annual Musical Mystery Tour has become firmly established as an eagerly anticipated event in the County town's cultural calendar - and particularly over the last three years it has grown into a major money-spinner for Hertford's pubs, clubs and entertainment venues.
"Many venues have reported a dramatic uplift in footfall and turnover on the day of up to 600% compared to a normal Sunday - and for some venues it even beats Christmas!" says Music Director Kev Saunders, who came up with the idea when he first joined the festival committee back in 2005 when he was running the former Hertford Marquee music venue.
The event's success does, however, present some new challenges for the festival's management committee, not least of which is the management and safety of the thousands of revellers the event now attracts - not to mention the cost.
"After discussions with the Police and Pearl Devonshire the Licensing and ASB officer, we decided to recruit a public safety expert to our committee," adds Festival Chairman Rob Guinn. "And we didn"t have to look very far to find our long-standing friend John Brown, who sponsored the Musical Mystery Tour last year in his capacity as Managing Director of Couvre-Feu Fire Consulting. John brings with him an incredibly valuable body of experience - as a (now retired) senior fire officer in the London Fire Brigade he has taken operational command of a range of incidents as well as acting as event safety officer at Party in the Park, Wembley and Twickenham!"
New Sponsors Needed
With some 30 venues, over 400 musicians, 25 or more sound engineers and technical assistants and 20+ festival helpers the Musical Mystery Tour is a huge scheduling and logistical challenge. When you add the additional expenses involved in crowd marshalling and other safety precautions the costs start adding up to considerably more than current funding and sponsorship can meet - so the organisers are keen to talk to local companies interested in becoming one of the event's sponsors.
"Whether as headline sponsor or as one of a select few second-tier sponsors, it's great opportunity for a brand to get its name on the lips of almost everyone in Hertford and the surrounding areas," says Kev Saunders. "And we"re developing a range of negotiable sponsorship packages ranging from just �100".