Roots festival keen to grow next year

This Is Wiltshire: Members of the Christ Church School orchestra tune up in the wings at the music centre before their performance Members of the Christ Church School orchestra tune up in the wings at the music centre before their performance

Local talents worked together for a weekend of live performances at the first Bradford Roots Acoustic Music Festival.

The event, at the Wiltshire Music Centre, spanned the weekend, with 391 musicians taking part.

The marketing manager for the centre, Gary Prestwich, said: “It was a fantastic weekend, showcasing an array of music.

“It was so successful that we had artists begging us for return slots next year. We got great feedback and there were some really positive comments on Twitter and Facebook.

“It was nice to bring everyone together. Some people had not been to the music centre before and others bumped into people they hadn’t seen for years.”

There were 775 tickets sold and money raised will be given to the centre and Wiltshire Young Carers.

Staff and volunteers made sure the event ran smoothly and provided activities including workshops, morris dancing and wassailing.

The centre’s artistic director, Keith Nimmo, said: “It was, without doubt, a massive success; an absolutely fabulous event, with so many highlights and such a brilliant atmosphere.

“It was great to see so many people from the local community performing and attending the festival.

“I will shortly be meeting with organisers, local musicians and the community programmers for the festival, to discuss the scheduling and programming of an even bigger and better Bradford Roots Acoustic Music Festival next year Musician Andrew Bazeley was involved with the idea for Wiltshire Music Centre 20 years ago. He gave a talk on the story of the blues and performed an acoustic set on Saturday.

Mr Bazeley said: “It was absolutely packed and people had to be stopped from coming in. The staff and volunteers were so helpful, guiding you where to go and where to put your things. I would love to return.”

Made in Bradford had a stall on the mezzanine level, showcasing products sold at the shop. Musicians had the opportunity to hand over music to be sold there and continue the store’s locally made theme.

The shop’s co-ordinator, Wellie O’Driscoll, said: “The festival was brilliant for PR and securing new members.

“We created a lot of interest and are going from strength to strength. People are realising they can drop in CDs for us to sell in the shop. It is a unique idea and posters will be going up reminding people of this.”

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