Festival Feedback – Dart Music Festival

Woohoo…we did it again…!!
Well, our eighteenth Festival turned out to be just as successful this year – the weather was kind to us and a good time was had by all. 
There’s a tired but happy band of DMF Committee Members in Dartmouth right now, currently dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s and generally tying up the loose ends.
Here are some thoughts from Alan Depledge – Vice Chairman:

“This year’s DMF was amazing – EIGHTEEN years old and better than ever! All the venues were packed and all music was free! It was busier than last year and there was no trouble with the crowds of people who just wanted to enjoy the live music for all tastes.

The Wurzels with lovely local bobby Ian Symons

From ‘The Wurzels’ – who produced the biggest crowd ever in front of the Bandstand Stage on Sunday afternoon – to rock band ‘To The Sun’ who packed out The Guildhall on Saturday night, every venue over the weekend was full to capacity.

The Flavel Arts Centre required people to reserve (free) tickets for the concerts held there and these were fully taken before the weekend even started.
 DMF Food Outlets Policy – Keep It Local…
…This year, before the event, the DMF committee invited local Dartmouth food outlets to a meeting to discuss takeaway food during the event weekend. We wanted to ensure they could cope with the huge demand that happens when happy festival goers want to eat and still listen to the music. More importantly we are strongly committed to ensuring all the food available is supplied by local businesses. Our policy is to only use local traders for this local festival. We want to concentrate on the music and let local businesses look after other needs of our lovely visitors.
Fresh fish from Mark Lobb’s Market Stall
This policy worked extremely well this year. Feedback from food outlets and pubs tells us this year was the best ever for local businesses, beating last year’s ‘best ever’ results! 
The music quality was exceptionally good this year – I think we say this every year and mean it! 

Things kicked off before the Festival with our annual fundraiser at Little Dartmouth last month, where piano sensation Ji Liu, the UK’s biggest-selling classical breakthrough artist of 2014, performed to a sell-out audience. This two-night event also showcased wonderful young classical musicians  (link to blog post: http://www.dartmusicfestival.co.uk.gridhosted.co.uk/uncategorized/little-dartmouth-classical-weekend-reviews/ )The Music Festival traditionally starts with a music themed film shown on Thursday evening at the Guildhall by Dartmouth Film Society. This year’s film was ‘The Jersey Boys’ – the story of ‘60’s pop group The Four Seasons. Over 100 guests enjoyed the film and buffet – making it the most popular DFS film night ever!

Tankus the Henge
DMF then ‘explodes’ through the town on Friday in venues as diverse as shop windows where singer songwriter Sam Fearon played guitar for Quba’s shoppers, through the many pubs like The Dolphin in Market Square  and The Windjammer bursting with revellers to restaurants and cafes such as Café Alf Resco who always put on great live music such as James Harris’ Beat Belt. 
We have also received great feedback from our website – www.dartmusicfestival.co.uk:

“I would just like to express our appreciation of all the hard work that went into such an amazing event ,we were blown away with the quality of the musicians and the smooth running of the whole weekend… we are looking forward to next years weekend so well done to you all and a very big thank you from 6 very happy and tired party revellers lol “ Sharon

“I spent the day at Dartmouth on Sunday and had such a great time, I want to try to book accommodation for the 3 days next year. Any information on the best way to find accommodation would also be very much appreciated”  Yours thankfully, Graham

“I attended the festival this weekend and had a fabulous time.  Do you know the dates for 2016 yet please?”  Thanks  Mark  (It’s 13th, 14th & 15th May 2016 – just to let you know)

"Hi- I must tell you how much my husband and I enjoyed the festival. Extremely well organised fantastic acts. Your volunteers  we so
helpful. Thank you so much." Sharon Sanders

Some other really brilliant high lights for me whilst running The Guildhall fore the weekend were Gaz Brookfield – singer songwriter, Billy Thompson – Gypsy Style Jazz and Doug Macleod – blues slide guitar, although to be honest all the performances were hugely enjoyable and of a very high standard – in fact trying to pick out favourites is awful, it’s like trying to pick your favourite son or daughter! All the performances were pretty amazing with many multi-talented performers who really seem to enjoy coming and playing in Dartmouth.”

Happy People in Royal Avenue Gardens – Photo Joe Murtagh
Overall there was a fantastic atmosphere in town over this weekend – Dart Music Festival really does seem to bring out the best in both locals and visitors to Dartmouth!
Next year’s Festival dates: 13th, 14th and 15th May 2016