The Bank Holiday weekend played host to more than a hundred live music acts as Local & Live returned following financial troubles that threatened to silence the event this year.
The popular free festival drew more than 10,000 music lovers to the town from all over the UK and beyond for three days of entertainment, with the weather even bringing sunshine for most of the weekend.
While the event the festival returned at the weekend for its seventeenth year, it nearly never happened due to financial woes.
In 2019, the event officially became a charity with a remit to support, encourage and nurture local music and culture.
The annual event is designed to showcase the leading original soloists and bands from the local area, but all acts play free of charge, although some made money from royalties and selling their CDs.
‘This is the seventeenth year of Local & Live and it’s been the biggest turnout we’ve ever had – I’ve never seen so many people at the event. It was absolutely fantastic’
But the festival costs about £60,000 to stage, with the bulk of the money being spent on staging, PA and lighting systems, security and marshals, plus insurance.
A deficit of £20,000 was finally plugged this year when local business Maxipay Accounting Services signed up to be headline sponsor, ensuring the festival could go ahead.
Organiser Paul Dunton told the Times: “This significant financial boost, coupled with grants from The BID, numerous sponsorships and donations from the local business community, along with support and assistance from TWBC effectively saved the day and Local & Live 2022 could therefore go ahead as planned.
‘All the bands were incredible – just so many amazing performances – particularly our three headliners’
“My primary hope was that Local & Live would go on to be a highlight of the summer, something for everyone to look forward to and enjoy, for the musicians involved, the local traders, our sponsors and the local community.”
The bank holiday musical extravaganza was headlined by local bands Noble Jacks, Suncharmer and Dull Knife who performed on the main stage in Calverley Grounds.
Other venues, including The Forum, played host to a range of other bands and music acts.
While food choices over the weekend ranged from Indian and Thai to vegan and everything in between, there were beer tents and bars nearby to quench the thirst.
“Day three of Local & Live came to a climactic finish with Noble Jacks giving an incredible headline performance – what a brilliant way to sign off the three days of gigs in Calverley Grounds,” added Paul Dunton.
“This is the seventeenth year of Local & Live and it’s been the biggest turnout we’ve ever had – I’ve never seen so many people at the event. It was absolutely fantastic – the atmosphere, energy and positive vibes were just wonderful and it was just so lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves at Local & Live.
“All the bands were incredible – just so many amazing performances – particularly our three headliners. Double Knife on Friday night rocked Calverley to its knees, as did Suncharmer on Saturday night.
“Then to have Noble Jacks to bring Sunday to a close was just amazing. I’m so pleased – especially with all the help we had from our volunteers and the sound guys who did a fabulous job,” Paul continued.
“Then on day four we saw more live music being performed at The Forum and The Sussex Mews all day.
“Hand on heart this year was the best Local & Live ever and that was certainly reflected in the turnout, and the general goodwill and all the lovely messages we’ve had from people and all the positivity on social media. “I’m very tired – and slightly broken – but ultimately absolutely delighted with how everything went over the weekend!”
‘SHOWCASING A MELTING POT OF CREATIVE GRASSROOTS MUSIC’
PAUL DUNTON draws breath and tells us how he feels now it’s all over… That is what Local & Live is all about, showcasing a melting pot of creative grassroots music from seasoned campaigners like the headline acts, to new artists making their first steps.
This year’s programme featured acts of all ages. Incredibly, our youngest performers were just 12 years old.
In recent years, I feel Local & Live has now developed a more laidback relaxed festival vibe. Calverley Grounds is most definitely its natural home.
Sometimes it is the little details, like having a face painter, arts and crafts, the food and drink quarter, various stalls and stands, all of which help to embellish the event and give it the family-friendly festival vibe.
Despite all the difficulties we faced over the past year, I really enjoyed organising Local & Live 2022 and I feel that we now have a solid festival team and format all in place that will enable the event to develop and thrive for years to come.
Calverley Grounds once again proved to be a wonderful location as a central point for the event and I know all the musicians involved really enjoyed performing on such a wonderful stage to many thousands of people.
Thankfully, the weather gods gently smiled on us, I can’t express how relieved I was to see the sun shining, even if it was in small doses. Roll on 2023!