Still Sowing The Seeds Of Love

Monday 29 April 2019

The Musical Mystery Tour and Mudlarks raised £1100 at our 2018 event.

"Shortly before last year’s Musical Mystery Tour, we announced that we'd chosen our mates Mudlarks as our charity partner," says Hertford Music Festival Co-Chairman Kev Saunders, "and now all the 'dust has settled' on the last Mystery Tour and we're well under way with preparations for 2019's event, we're all very pleased to be able to donate our modest surplus of £350 to the charity!"

Hertford Music Festival Co-Chairman Kev Saunders presents Mudlarks Founder and Managing Director with the cheque.

Hertford Music Festival is a not-for-profit limited company – so all the funds raised through sponsorship and council support are spent on the year-round work organising and promoting the event on behalf of all the venues and artists. Its role is as a facilitator – and in the same way HMF tries to facilitate the good works of other organisation in the process. 

"Mudlarks is a case in point - and not just because they’re our friends," Kev explains. "There’s a natural symbiosis there because we need people to hand out programmes and act as 'wayfinders’'on Musical Mystery Tour day - and by providing the volunteers for those roles Mudlarks is able to collect money from the thousands who flock to the town for the event."

"We are so proud to be supported by the Hertford Musical Mystery Tour," says Mudlarks' Founder and Managing Director Vic Hobson. "The music festival is a highlight of the year for Hertford, with almost every building in the town hosting an array of talented musicians, and people coming from far and wide to enjoy the entertainment.

"We raised £750 in our buckets, so with your £350 have raised an amazing £1,100. Thank you!

"All of our funds support the work we do for people with learning disabilities in our community, at our allotments or in the cafe. Over 100 people with learning disabilities attend our projects every week, and your support changes people's lives."

Civic Society Learns About Festival

Thursday 25 April 2019

The public face of Hertford Music Festival, Kev Saunders, yesterday gave a short talk to Hertford Civic Society about the development of the event and its role in the town.

Kev was one of four speakers looking back on how the town has evolved over the last fifty years, following the foundation of the Civic Society in 1969.

Kev touched on some of the challenges faced in mounting the festival and what inspired him to get involved.

"I wanted to put on something that brings people together and makes them happier", he told the audience.

Other speakers included local architect David Kirby, digital consultant Anna Schlenker and transport expert Reg Harman.

A Big Thank You

Tuesday 16 October 2018

A belated thank you to everyone who made the 2018 Musical Mystery Tour such a huge success.

The crowds turned out in their thousands, despite the bad weather, filling venues to capacity and enjoying the wide variety of acts performing across the town.

Festivalgoers enjoying the music at The Six Templars

Despite the huge numbers attending the festival, police reported a largely trouble free day  whilst medical teams attended just a couple of minor incidents. We are so lucky to have such a well-behaved audience!

A big thanks to all the musicians who played, sound engineers, roadies, PA providers and everyone who helped out behind the scenes, not forgetting the security staff and medics who were all on call during the day.

A gallery of photos taken during this year's festival is now online.

Thank you again from the Hertford Music Festival Team.

Here's looking forward to 2019.

Declan McKenna Comes Home

Monday 20 August 2018

As always the Musical Mystery Tour involves a huge number of mostly local artists - as well as a few surprises. In a packed programme involving over 235 performances (and counting) from over 150 acts (so far), there are some special guests, new venues and even more musical genres than ever before.

For instance, operatic contralto Rebecca Starling will be opening the day's proceedings at noon in Parliament Square with a rendition of Puccini's Nessun Dorma, before strolling Pied Piper-like over to Hertford House Hotel's bar to continue her half-hour performance. Later Rebecca will be performing again at McMullens' brewery yard (not just in her operatic guise but as a jazz singer too). 

"It's especially important that Rebecca's performing this year. It's only recently dawned on me that we'd met a decade ago when she won our Young Soloists' Competition in 2008!" Kev Saunders comments. "Look her up and you’ll see just how far she’s been since then!"

Another 'alumnus' of the Musical Mystery Tour and Rock at the Castle is Declan McKenna - who got in touch with Kev Saunders a few weeks ago to ask if he could have a 'slot' somewhere. It's only at this late stage it's possible to announce what's going to be a very special event!

Declan McKenna performing at Rock At The Castle in 2014

"It's great that Declan's up for coming back to do a little gig with us - makes all this stuff feel worthwhile!," says Kev Saunders. "After touring the world, being a major label star, playing Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, Lollapalooza and so on, it's going to seem very small! Last time he played the MMT, in 2014 I think, I was running out of suitable 'slots' and Declan played the Salisbury Arms hotel. This time it's the downstairs lounge at Hertford House Hotel. The venue this time's bigger and a bit more rock 'n' roll;  and I suspect the audience will be a lot bigger and a lot more excited! "

"I'm looking forward to coming home for the festival, and the show will be entirely separate from anything else I've done recently, which is really exciting, " says Declan.

Mudlarks Partnership

Monday 13 August 2018

We’re pleased to announce that this year for the first time we’ve hooked up with a charity partner for the Musical Mystery Tour - namely our mates at Mudlarks.

L-R: Jo Asker (HMF), Rob Guinn (HMF Co-Chairman/Treasurer), Faye Surtees (Mudlarks), Vicki Hobson (Founder & director of Mudlarks) and Kev Saunders (HMF Co-Chairman)

Founder and Managing Director of Mudlarks, Vicki Hobson said: "We are delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner for the music festival. So many people are involved in the festival that it is an amazing opportunity for us as a Hertford based charity to promote the work that we do to the whole community."

"Our allotment site is now open 5 days a week, with over 160 people enjoying horticultural therapy and training. Our gardening teams are busy with the castle and town council gardens, and helping elderly people to keep their gardens looking beautiful. Our cafe is also busy providing training and employment for people with learning disabilities, as well as serving fabulous cakes and vegetarian food!"

"We are always looking for volunteers and help with fund-raising, so if anyone would like to be involved, please get in touch."

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