Festivals now come in all shapes and sizes, from the municipal colossal and up-and-coming right down to the village. No prizes for guessing which category my jaunt to Trowbridge Village Pump was in…
This bank holiday weekend North Yorkshire has got one of its headlines local festivals in the form of Galtres. Now in its ninth year the gig is hotting up, noticeable in its new location in front of Duncombe Park House which borders the North York Moors National Park.
Headliners Maximo Park, the Stranglers, Reef and the Undertones allow the festival to punch well above its £95 weekend ticket. Maximo Park may seem a bit of a blast from our angsty teenage pasts, but an update of the post-punk revival has kept them relevant, and they’re sure to have a core following in their regional home (they originally formed in Newcastle). The Stranglers continue the punk theme playing into their fourth decade, but still going strong with Galtres forming one gig of a 25-stop UK tour.
But unlike so many events where you dive joyfully into the musical unknown, they are backed up by, amongst others, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Frankie and the Heartstrings. The former is a Yorkshire born singer-songwriter with a minimalist, breathy and enchanting approach. The Heartstrings, a five-piece from Sunderland, will be releasing their new single, ‘The Girl, That Scene’ over the weekend and will no doubt be keen to show off tracks from their new album The Days That Run Away. Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell is back from his Spanish retreat having grown tired of the fast pace and expectations of rock’n’roll to join Zazou.
All in all there are seven stages with names such as Arts Barge, The Black Howl and The Duke (the main stage) which beyond the big names, offer acoustic music, orchestral collaboriations and drama. More musical festival-goers can also get on stage themselves with the open mic afternoons on the Firkin Stage. I also couldn’t not mention the desert pirates racing camels – who knows what to expect there, but it gives a flavour of what the weekend might bring.
Galtres doesn’t stop there, with the festival following bigger festivals diversifying into food and drink bonanzas. They boast 100 Yorkshire beers and ales (half a pint of each over the weekend anyone?) as well as a medley of food providers which go far beyond the usual ‘veg and vegan’ and paella woks. Boogie Breakfasts (mornings), Skipton Pie and Mash (anytime) and TeaHee coffee (served from a retro Citroen H camper van) caught my eye for English cooking, while Embiente Tapas, Tuk Tuk café (Thai) and Senor Churro (Portuguese donutty type things – because we’ve all eaten too many of the deep-fried sugary variety…) take the cigar on the international front.
Galtres looks like it’ll give us semi-temporary residents of Yorkshire a proper taste of the county (even if it is only through its ale), even if you have to suffer the great bane of local festivals… 2 o’clock bed times…