All posts by Simon Garbutt

Another superb Midsummer Festival

What a great weekend of music we had! Despite the dodgy weather on Saturday, there was still a pretty good turnout. Sunday’s perfect weather more than made up for the previous day; lively crowds on both days obviously enjoyed the return of Castle Bytham’s Midsummer Fair after a two-year break – and what was perhaps our best-ever line-up of acts.

There are live recordings* of some highlights from Saturday’s music festival line-up at Iain richardsons live scene on Facebook and YouTube:

* (unauthorised, and not copyright cleared, so far as I know, so these links may disappear)

Back at last!!!

We are delighted to announce that Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival is returning this year, on Saturday & Sunday 18 & 19th June. Bythams Music is once again involved, providing a diverse and exciting programme of music for all tastes. More details below.

There will also, of course, be a feast of fun for all the family throughout the weekend, with a host of other attractions including Saturday’s 5k Chase trail run, open village garage sales, and guided walks; on Sunday the famous bustling Streetmarket will be further enlivened by entertainer Bill Brookman‘s fun and games, not forgetting the Dog Show and Duck Race!

Other highlights of both days are the Real Ale and Gin Bars, delicious BBQ and veggie food options, and exciting flypasts by historic aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. (See the Festival’s own website for full details.)

A full programme of music

Acts appearing on Saturday 18 June will include The Box of Frogs Djembe Band, Mark Stevens, The Loungers, Richard Durrant, The Dancing Wu-Li Masters, The Smokestack Blues Band, Idle Hands, Uninvited Guests and Groove Cartell

On Sunday 19 June we once again showcase some of our local talent with performances by, among others, Corby Glen Dance Academy, The Ruth Dutton Singers, The Stringlers, Chloe Lorentzen, Figure of Eight and The Undefined

For fuller details, band biogs, social media links etc, click here

Bythams Music and Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival look forward to welcoming you back to St Martins Meadow, Castle Bytham, for a superb line-up of musical talent. Not forgetting all kinds of fun for all the family throughout the weekend!

See you there!

Covid Cancellation

The Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival Committee has decided to cancel this year’s Festival which was due to be held on June 20/21 2020.

By now you will know the reasons why,  in these very uncertain times, the day-by-day societal changes made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic mean that it is most unlikely that large social gatherings will be allowed in mid June and indeed, beyond. This is all very sad and frustrating, but in the circumstances it is the right decision.

When the current emergency passes over, it is hoped that there may be some form of village event later this year, but as yet, there are no details. To what extent Bythams Music might be involved in this is unknown.

That said, we can now look further ahead to 2021 and a Festival is planned for June, though we cannot confirm the exact dates.

Midsummer Festival 2019: BM takes a break

The Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival will be taking place on June 22nd/23rd 2019, but Bythams Music will not be organising the musical and arts activities. After more than 10 years of putting on some great gigs in Castle Bytham and Little Bytham, we have decided to take a break this year as we neither have the staffing, resources nor time to do what we would like to do. If Michael Eavis can take a year’s break at Glastonbury, then there is no reason why we cannot do the same – though on a slightly smaller scale!

We realise that this will be a disappointment to the many bands who have played for us in the past and would like to do so again (or, indeed, those who have yet to play for us for the first time). We are also sorry that we are not able to provide for the many hundreds of music lovers who have enjoyed the ambience and atmosphere of our past Festivals.


However, all is not lost, as the Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival Committee has decided to put on the music this year, so any band or performer that is interested in playing should contact in the first instance. Or drop by the Festival Facebook page and leave a message there.

We’ll be back!

Bythams Music plans to be back in action for 2020, so we will keep you all up to date as and when we are putting out our usual “Call for bands”.

Festival site taking shape!

Meadow site in preparation; site of "Fishponds Stage" in foreground
Meadow site in preparation; site of “Fishponds Stage” in centre foreground (the earthworks of the medieval fishponds are in the middle distance on the right).
Important delivery...
Important delivery…
CBMF Bar 2018: 25 beers racked in record time, awaiting their cooling jackets.

We seem to be (dare I say!) slightly ahead of schedule with setting up the meadow for the Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival this year. The weather forecast for this weekend looks good – not quite so hot and blisteringly sunny as last year, which is probably a good thing, but still pleasantly warm and slightly breezy. And most importantly, 25 barrels of ale were delivered and installed yesterday evening…
…so you shouldn’t go thirsty, even if it does turn really hot! (And yes, we’ll also have six ciders and some token lagers, wine, including prosecco, and soft drinks for the kiddies and other abstainers as well!)

Full online 2018 programme now live

Screen Shot 2018-06-16 at 23.11.34The interactive version of the music programme for CB2018 is now live on our Midsummer Festival 2018 page, with biographies and photos of all the artists appearing on both stages on June 23rd and 24th. There’s an alphabetical list of who’s on and when; there are links to their websites, Facebook pages, sound recordings and YouTube clips where available, so you can check out the whole fantastic running order and decide who you want to hear. The only problem, as with any good festival, is going to be choosing between stages!

If you’d like to print off a hard copy to peruse at your leisure, you can download it here by clicking on the images below (but be aware that it is wider than A4, so you’ll either need an A3 printer, or you’ll have to print it out at a reduced size).

Printed programmes should be available in the village and elsewhere by midweek, in time for the Festival weekend.




2018 Midsummer Festival line-up announced

Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival 2018

We present a feast of great music for all tastes – our biggest and best festival line-up yet, with new acts aplenty and some old favourites too.

This year, reflecting the Midsummer Festival’s overall ‘Country Capers’ theme, there’s a folky, bluesy, country, rootsy flavour to the weekend’s musical mix.

The real ale bar

Plus our amazing beer festival, which this year features 24 real ales, 7 lagers and 10 ciders, as well as a prosecco bar and a Pimms tent! The excellent food options include our perennially popular barbecue and the Village Veggie, a recent introduction that has also gone down well with those just looking for an alternative to regular barbie fare.

Among the performers appearing on our 2 stages on St Martin’s Meadow on Saturday 23 June (1.30–11pm) are:

  • The Band From County Hell
  • Centre Excuse
  • Don’t Forget Rupert
  • Paul Galloway
  • Ian Goodsman
  • The House of Ghosts
  • Listen Like Thieves
  • The Malingerers
  • North End
  • Ock’n’Dough
  • Will Purdue
  • Jon Rogers’ Linesmen
  • The Ruby Doos
  • Uninvited Guests
  • The Zarakan Blues Band

On Sunday 24 June (when the historic village holds its main street market, with all the usual stalls and a wide range of entertainments) there will be performances on our St Martin’s Meadow stages between 10am and 5pm by performers including

  • Brotherhoods Roundabout
  • Bythams School Choir
  • Vikki Clayton
  • EAGA Gospel Choir (as seen on Britain’s Got Talent)
  • The Full Moon Drummers (drumming workshop)
  • The Fox and The Pirate
  • Homity
  • Inferno
  • Kenneth J Nash
  • The Settlers
  • Swinstead Dance Academy
  • Pembroke Tenneson
  • Pennyless
  • W45

There will also be live music in the village’s two pubs, the village hall and a concert in the church by local choir Village Voices.

Further bands and performers are yet to be announced, so watch this space. Acts and timings are still subject to confirmation. Detailed listings will be given on our website and in a souvenir programme available just before the event.

We are always looking for folks to come and help us put on the festival so if you have a few hours spare before or over the week-end, do come and join in the fun.

For further information contact Patrick Candler, Chairman, Bythams Music, 07876 806646.