Category Archives: Midsummer Festival

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…
CBMFBar2018
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.

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Call for Bands & Musicians for 23-24 June 2018

Bythams Midsummer Festival 2018 wants to hear from YOU!

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when we invite musicians and singers to play at Castle Bytham’s free annual music festival over the weekend of 23–24 June 2018. We welcome a broad range of musical styles ­– from bands to solo acoustic performers – and are keen to encourage new and young performers.

This unique two-day midsummer event, a highlight of the local music calendar, has an enviable reputation. Featuring musical acts from near and far, it has all the creative energy you would expect from a far larger festival of arts.

St Martin's Meadow main arena (with Marquee Stage in centre)
St Martin’s Meadow main arena (Marquee Stage in centre)

In the fantastic scenic setting of St Martin’s Meadow (lying at the foot of the Norman castle mound), our large Marquee Stage (fully covered, for performers and a large audience) is now successfully joined within the same arena by an “Acoustic” stage. Full sound rigs, operated by experienced 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

The music will alternate between two stages (from approx. 2.00pm–10.30pm on Saturday 23 June* and approx. 11.30am–6.00pm on Sunday 24 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 Marquee 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. And as in previous years, there may be opportunities for performances at venues elsewhere in the historic village.

Performers love to play at this friendly festival

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.

If you would like to join us for the 2018 Bythams Midsummer Festival, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch via our Contact Page

*actual times to be confirmed nearer the date

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Extra attractions join the 2017 festival lineup

We’re delighted to confirm some extra names to add to the already impressive list of performers for this year’s Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival.

ChloeLorentzenIn line with our ethos of encouraging young and emerging talent, on Saturday we are especially pleased that Rutland Radio will be introducing young Stamford singer-songwriter Chloe Lorentzen on our Marquee Stage at 2pm. A remarkably precocious talent, Chloe won the 2017 Youth Music Showcase at the Peterborough Music Festival. Though only 12, she has already released her first CD, “Beneath Safer Skies” (left), with all proceeds going to War Child UK. It includes her award- winning song, “Circus Clown”. Recently Chloe starred as Annie at Stamford Corn Exchange.

Additions to Sunday’s bill include a set from talented classical guitarist Harry Carter, who is already a familiar face at Bythams Music events, both as a performer and sound engineer. Yet despite only being 18 years old, Harry, with a decade’s experience in performing classical guitar, has recently completed his grade 8 and started to focus on his musical diploma. He has performed in many different venues across the county, from large concerts to small private dinner parties including the Peterborough Mayor’s farewell
ball. With a modern interpretation on classical Spanish guitar, he always puts his own spin on a piece.

Finally, to round off Sunday’s performances on the Marquee Stage in style, we are excited to announce the reunion of Flash! Their funky guitarist Bob Wells may be familiar to you from his appearances with Bianca & the TopCats, but here he rejoins two friends from West London to play classics from the era of glam rock – T Rex, Bowie, Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, the Quo… the finishing touch to another excellent weekend of music for all tastes!

For full details of the programme, regularly updated as more information becomes available, go to our Midsummer Festival 2017 listing page.

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2017 Midsummer Festival line-up announced

CASTLE BYTHAM
MIDSUMMER FESTIVAL
17 & 18 JUNE 2017
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENTS

Bythams Music is delighted to announce the first bands and performers booked for this year’s festival. Even bigger and better than ever, this musical and artistic feast is all part of the wider weekend Midsummer Festival programme.

Saturday June 17: 1.30pm – 11pm

To start the festival weekend we have a range of excellent local bands and solo artistes playing on the main Meadow Stage and also the Green (acoustic) stage at St Martin’s Field. Some you may have seen before, which is always great, but in true serendipitous spirit, there will be others who you won’t have heard of but are guaranteed to fall in love with….

_MG_5867_edit_LowResOn the Marquee stage:
The Tin Pigeons (left),
Uninvited Guests,
Jon Rogers’ Linesmen,
Will Purdue Band,
Los Cojones

_MG_5482_edit_LowResOn the Green stage:
Oakleas Rise,
Diamond Dac and Cap Gordy,
CJ Hatt,
David Lacey and Pembroke Tenneson (left)

Sunday June 18: 10.00am – 5.00pm

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 13.41.29On the Marquee Stage:
Rutland Big Band,
Ruby Doos,
Bythams School,
Swinstead Dance Academy

 

On the Green stage:
Sophie Hurst
and more acts to be announced.

We’ve got you covered!
And don’t forget, we now have our huge marquee, which means that bands and audience can all be under cover if, heaven forbid, it should rain! And if it is boiling hot (fingers crossed!) then we can all be in the shade. Either way, everyone wins!

Living history
Away from the main meadow site, and in keeping with the weekend’s medieval theme (primarily on Sunday), we will also have a wonderful array of historical re-enactors, including an alchemist, a bodger, touring theatre, a magician, archery, falconry, a coracle demonstration, lots of children’s activities and parade – and our very own knight in shining armour.

Hurdy gurdyAppropriate musical accompaniment will be by Tourdion, who will perform in the streets, entertaining visitors to the village’s ever-popular fair and street market on Sunday. In the village hall and two pubs – the Castle Inn and Fox and Hounds – the Lincolnshire Poachers will be performing. In the church, Village Voices, a local choir, will be singing their interpretations of medieval songs and music.

Watch this space!
Further bands and performers are still to be announced, so watch this space. Further details about the bands and the line-up will be in our special souvenir programme, which will be available just before the Festival. All timings are subject to change.

Can you help?
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 weekend, do come and join in the fun.

Rutland Radio LogoBythams Music is very grateful to Rutland Radio for promoting this year’s music programme.

The Castle Bytham Midsummer Festival 2017 is being supported by the Big Lottery Fund through its Celebrate! programme:

Lottery "Celebrate!" logo

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A superb weekend!

The Festival arena from the hill
The Festival arena from the hill

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!

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