Monday, 23 July 2012

Once Upon a Time ...

Clarence Park FestivalOnce upon a time I had a music festival. It wasn't a massive music festival. It wasn't wildly successful. It wasn't, ever, Glastonbury but for some period of time it was the biggest free live music festival in Yorkshire.
 But then Leeds started doing Party in the Park. *Tuts*

Nevertheless MY festival, or as it is more generally know by those who know no better, Wakefield Music Collective's Clarence free live music festival (held annually on a bedraggled and previously unloved Victorian bandstand in the city park on the last weekend in July) is now in it's 21st year. TWENTY ONE YEARS ... That's a lot of bloody years.

The festival was once a drunken conversation in a pub with a friend in 1991 but he was, and is, one of those people who Gets Things Done. And he got funding and people and ideas. I had enthusiasm and a pair of breasts but you should never, EVER underestimate the power of a pair of breasts.

Ian Hawkins The Deal Clarence Park FestivalAnd so Clarence festival was born and it has been a fixture in my life longer than anything, jobs, children and *cough* husbands. Though I did meet my second (current and better) husband because of the festival in the first place. (That I met him the same year I met Husband1 we'll just brush over as insanity on my part and wilful ignorance on his.)

Of course I'm not as involved in the festival now as I used to be when I was the, mostly self-styled, Chief Queen of the city's music scene (Yes. Really.). Those were the days when I would get emotionally teary when the first band of the weekend took to the festival stage because we'd made it happen.Then, of course, I'd get emotionally teary at the end of the weekend because it was all over for another year. I would sometimes spend bits emotionally teary in between too, but that was mostly the drink.

At the, because of, and during the festival I have danced and drank, sometimes drunk-danced and occasionally fallen asleep under the trees. I've erroneously called an ambulance, broken up fights and gone nose-to-neanderthal-forehead with a knife-carrying chav at 2am in the morning. I also spent the whole of 1995 festival laid down in a caravan pregnant with twins, nearly gave birth to the Third Girl at the back of the bandstand in 2001 and *blushes* conceived The Boy on a festival morning. In a hotel adjoining the festival grounds though, because I DO have standards and I DON'T do camping *rolls eyes*

Oh, and I danced barefoot on my wedding night in front of the empty bandstand stage at twilight because we'd had the foresight to get married the day BEFORE that year's event. Though I WAS dancing to AC/DC's Touch Too Much because I can, sometimes, be a little bit rock and roll.

It's the Clarence Festival this weekend. These days the festival committee are other people who get things done and have ideas of their own and I'm mostly content to stand around saying irritating things like "In my day..." and "When we were young.." And sometimes I get emotionally teary all over again ..... I think that's my age though. *Big sigh*

Clarence Park Festival, Wakefield

But really, if you're around this weekend, you should come ... if only to buy me a drink at the bar *hopeful face* :)


  1. Fantastic post, and what a cool thing to be involved in with loads of great memories even if it's not quite the same these days.

    You are welcome to link up to my Flashback Friday if you would like to?

  2. Brilliant! Very cool to have been involved in this! I have a meme called Once upon a time, for the backstory of my life ... link up if you want to! :o).

  3. You are seriously rock and roll! How cool is that to have your own music festival?? As a muso, I'm just a teensy bit jealous.

    And I think it's lovely that you have so many personal memories'll always be your festival :-)


  4. Love Live Music
    Very Exciting to be involved with planning music with your beloved Town.
    I Love Yorkshire too

  5. You and Gals are all Great Looking ...
    Your Photography is quite outstanding


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