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.
Once again we invite bands and artists to play at Castle Bytham’s free annual music festival – over the weekend of 17–18 June 2017.
A highlight of the local music calendar, this unique two-day midsummer event has an enviable reputation. Bringing together musical acts from near and far, it has all the creative energy you would expect from a far larger festival of arts.
In the fantastic scenic setting of St Martin’s Meadow (lying at the foot of the Norman Castle Mound), our large Main Stage (fully marquee-covered, for performers and audience) is now successfully joined within the same arena by an “Acoustic” stage. Full sound rigs, operated by sound engineers, and lighting are provided.
We estimate attendance at 3,000–4,000 over the weekend, with up to 750 people in St Martin’s Meadow at peak times.
Be part of the Bythams Midsummer Festival experience
We welcome a broad range of musical styles – from bands to solo acoustic performers – and are keen to encourage new and young performers.
The music will alternate between two stages (from approx. 2.00pm–10.30pm on Saturday 17 June* and approx. 11.30am–6.00pm on Sunday 18 June*), with sets lasting 25–60 minutes. Sunday’s music programme is an integral part of the long-established Castle Bytham Midsummer Fair, with its famous street market and many other entertainments woven throughout the centre of the village.
The main Meadow Stage, set within a large marquee and wider outdoor arena, plays to audiences of 400–500 people and can accommodate acts as diverse as big bands and dance troupes, school choirs and rock groups.
Providing a more intimate setting, ideal for solo acts, duos or trios, the open-air Acoustic Stage is itself covered.
Bythams Midsummer Festival is run entirely by volunteers; proceeds support local charities and good causes. We hope that performers will support our ethos, but modest fees and expenses are negotiable; we also provide you with refreshments on the day.
We also promise a great sound system, an appreciative audience, a write-up in our professionally designed colour souvenir programme, the chance to promote your work and sell CDs and other merchandise, but above all, the opportunity to be part of this unique event.
Stamford School pupil James Ellis, a teenager from the Bythams, is demonstrating his extraordinary enterprise and promotional skill by organising Musicality, a major concert at Peterborough Arena on Friday 4th November in support of four very deserving charities.
James’s action was prompted by a shocking incident on a school rugby tour last year when his friend George Robinson was seriously injured, severely damaging his spinal cord. In James’s own words:
”Last summer, when on Rugby tour to South Africa, an accident happened. On one sunny afternoon, many lives can be turned upside down simply by one incident. This made me realise just how precious every life really is and how quickly things can change.
With this, I grew the passion to make change for those unfortunate people that we see every day. Not only to financially support the charities, but to show them that in modern society, they have the support of thousands of people.
The 4 causes that we have chosen to benefit from this concert are simply incredible. Between them they have supported and inspired hundreds of individuals and their families. I first gained exposure to them when I was at primary school and have a connection to each one; having seen first-hand how public support can change peoples’ lives. I wanted to create this event at Peterborough Arena.
I had a dream and this dream is coming true. To bring to you a concert, as a show of reward, for all the hard work that has been given by these charities over the years.
100% of all proceeds will be split between the beneficiaries with no profit taken by our organisation. Let’s bring thousands of people together at 1 place and at 1 time, to show our support. You will not forget this night, I promise.
Let’s pull together. Let’s change lives.”
Bythams Music wish James every success and urge everyone to spread the word and support him.
Well, that’s it for another year! The Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival was bigger and better than ever. The weather was kind to us (having been dreadful earlier in the week) and we got the site set up in the dry.
Speaking of dry, the Music and Beer Festival on Saturday went really well, selling out all of the guest beers and cider as well as almost every other drop of liquid that could be squeezed out of the village!
Sunday, fair day, was a beautiful day. There was a constant stream of visitors, many of whom lingered to sit in the warm sunshine and listen to the excellent range of music as it alternated between our two stages on St Martins’ Field.
We also managed to fit in a very last-minute late-morning concert at St James’ Church, by special request. Our provision of such a special venue at very short notice was much appreciated by the performers (a group of students from The Purcell School) and their mixed programme of classical music and sultry jazz was rapturously received by the audience.
A wide variety of new and well-established musical acts performed over the weekend. It was great to welcome back several favourite old friends again, some with new or expanded line-ups, as well as see and hear performers who hadn’t played the Bythams before.
We made loads of good contacts and we’re sure we’ll be hearing great things from many of the talented newcomers, some whose skill and stage presence belied their youth. We look forward to welcoming them – and you – back in future. See you next year!