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The complete line-up for Musicport in October is beginning to emerge. Now in its 17th year, and in its ancestral home at Whitby Pavilion; the award winning festival hosts international artists alongside national and local artists on 6 stages in one building overlooking the North Sea. The family friendly festival (back in half term this year) encompasses a wide range of music styles alongside poetry, comedy, cookery, film, storytelling and workshops, with a reputation for springing wonderful surprises in its programming, as well as being one of the most inclusive and friendly music festivals in the UK.

The Friday night headliners include the Top 10 Album charting & Mercury Prize Nominees The Magic Numbers, world famous jazz guitarist Martin Taylor MBE and Black Umfolosi from Zimbabwe. Other acts on Friday include Moscow Drugs Club, Jamie Smith's Mabon (Wales) The Peace Artistes & Geoff Berner (Canada).

Saturday headliners include revered veteran song and dance trio from South Africa, The Mahotella Queens; highly regarded Northumbrian piper and accompanying band, Kathryn Tickell & The Side; poet, broadcaster & Chancellor of Manchester University Lemn Sissay, Sarah Jane Morris (of The Communards fame) and DJ Don Letts of Big Audio Dynamite and 6Music. Other Saturday acts include Jackson Reed (South Africa) fine blues/acoustic singer/songwriter Sean Taylor, the eclectic genius Rory McLeod and the Familiar Strangers, & Michael Messer’s Mitra; a unique fusion of blues slide guitar, Hindustani classical slide guitar and tabla rhythms. Whitby pianist Jess Wright will also be joining forces with percussionist & Young Musician of the Year finalist Delia Stevens; taking the audience on an instrumental world tour.

Sunday headliners include a Dublin band nominated for three Radio 2 Folk awards in 2016, including best live act, Lynched; the talented Soupsongs Live; led by trombone legend Annie Whitehead as she performs the songs of Robert Wyatt; Devonian guitar maestro/singer John Smith, accompanied by his acapella folk trio; and Coope Boyes & Simpson as they present their final tour, with their final album being released on the festival weekend itself. Other Sunday acts include fine bluegrass band Ragged Union(USA), rising English folk star Maz O’Connor, extraordinary young flautist Maïa Barouh (Japan/France) with band, Icelandic folk band Árstíðir and acclaimed Tango singer Martin Alvarado (Argentina). Young Swedish multicultural 16-piece band Världens, who brilliantly headlined last year’s festival, will also put in an appearance on the Sunday.

Throughout the festival there will be cookery demonstrations inspired by different artists’ cultures; hosted by celebrity chef, comedian and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli, as well as various cookery workshops for children and adults alike. Outside the main venue will be Bob’s Blundabus, the comedy/fringe venue that proved such a popular addition in 2015. Spoken word events include a book reading and Q & A from Miles Hunt of The Wonder Stuff, plus a round-table discussion of music & politics led by Daniel Rachel, whose book Walls Come Tumbling Down is due to be published shortly before the festival commences.

The indoor café area is to become The Hub for the weekend; hosting various local & nationally known DJs, including London regulars The Flying Chilli Beats and Scarborough’s Mr Tooley. Outside food vans offering a taste-based round-the-world trip will enhance the catering provision of the venue, and around the main hall you can expect a festival bazaar; creating the vibe of an outdoor festival without the mud that comes with it. For those wanting an outdoor experience there will even be a Sunday morning sea dip, accompanied by the excellent drumming band Runaway Samba from County Durham.

The festival even offers indoor camping in The Brunswick Centre; a converted church in the centre of Whitby - and if you'd like to take advantage of this, we highly recommend booked early to guarantee your party's space!

A completely new addition to the festival will be Musicport Goes On Tour on Monday 24th & Tuesday 25th October, as the festival takes several acts on tour to small venues on the moors and nearby coast. Further details will be released closer to the time - but Lynched (Eire), Arstidir (Iceland), Världens Band (Sweden) and Maz O’Connor are already set to be heading out!

Tickets are currently £99 for full weekend (11-18s half price & under 11’s free) and single day tickets will be on sale from August.

Tel 01947 603475 or visit www.musicportfestival.com for more information. 

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