Festival in live return

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A village music festival featuring the best local bands and artists will return this summer.

Cranford Live, which attracted about 1,500 visitors in its inaugural year, will take place in Cranford Park, Grafton Road, on Sunday, August 5.

The event was held for the first time last year and was a such a success that organisers hope it will become a permanent fixture in the village’s annual calendar.

Huw Boyt, one of the festival’s organisers, said: “Our first event last summer was a fantastic success and raised valuable funds for Cranford Village Hall.

“We turned over about £12,000 and made about £7,000 for the hall. That has been used to fix the hall’s floor and replace some of the windows.

“We also spent some money on the annual over-60s’ Christmas dinner.

“This year we are concentrating more on setting up stalls and having a wider range on offer.

“We think it will be bigger this year. Last year we had no idea what to expect because we hadn’t done it before but it went really well.

“Once again we’ll be presenting a wide range of musical styles for everyone to enjoy, in the superb setting of Cranford Park, in what could become an established annual event.”

This year’s festival will see a wider range of activities for all the family, including a climbing wall, an inflatable obstacle course, a bouncy castle and races to keep the children entertained.

New bands confirmed for this summer include Celtic Reggae, Rock Voices Choir, 7StoreySoul and Divisional.

They will be joined by favourites from last year’s maiden event, including jazz singer and Cranford resident Susan Valliant Speer, Branstown Band, Blacklight Pioneer and The Shamlas.

There will also be an acoustic stage at the festival, which will feature Paul Liddell and Mitch Daniels.

Bob Stonebridge, who plays saxophone in motown and soul band The Shamlas and lives in the village, said: “We did the opening show last year and there was a tremendous atmosphere in the village because people didn’t know what to expect.

“It brought the whole village together and the weather in the main was quite good to us. One of the great things is that many of the performers are from the village.

“There hasn’t been an event like this in the village before on this scale. We’re looking forward to performing again.”

Entrance to Cranford Live will cost £2.50 per person.

For more information about the festival visit the Cranford Live Facebook page or email cranfordlive@hotmail.com.