Bands back in Northampton for town's tenth festival

Zayn Mohammed is among the acts performing
Zayn Mohammed is among the acts performing

Northampton Music Festival returns this weekend with dozens of musicians playing on stages across the town.

Festival organiser Graham Roberts is calling on people to support the event and spend Sunday enjoying some of the talent from across the county.

“I’m really looking forward to the festival, we’ve a really diverse set of acts ranging from rock to operatic and everything in between,” he explains.

“It’s going to be nice to see the town come to life and people come together to enjoy it.

“I appreciate there’s lots of fantastic festivals which take place on the fringes of Northampton but being in the town centre and being free will hopefully help create a good vibe.”

20-piece funk and soul band Jazz Colossus will be headlining this year’s main stage in the Market Square.

There will also be a classical stage at All Saints’ Church, a jazz stage at the Guildhall courtyard, the Y-Factor Factory stage in Abington Street and the Umbrella stage at NN Café courtyard.

“It’s been very challenging to bring things together,” explains Roberts.

“Northampton is a great town. When I was asked if I could be involved in organising it, I thought ‘yes, anything which will help the town’.

“The biggest challenge has been getting it off the ground. I took on the job and at the first meeting said ‘What have we got financially’ and it was zero across the board.

“Fortunately, we’ve a fantastic borough council who have been extremely supportive and a few other private sponsorships and grants – just enough to get it off the ground.

“We’re blessed with lots of great musicians and artists in Northampton and a lot of good will from people.”

Joining Jazz Colossus on the main stage will be Type 22, Boysey Battrum Allstars, Empyre, Royal & Derngate Gospel Choir, Matt Thorpe, Emily Faye Band, O’mahon and Chromatic with Anna Jaichner.

The Classical Stage will be headlined by Zayn Mohammed with support by The 4 Tunes Quartet, The Jenson Quintet, Northampton Gilbert And Sullivan Group and Northampton Male Voice Choir.

The Jazz Stage will be headlined by the Zayn Mohammed Trio with support by the Rachael Johnson Trio, the Roberts / Exall Quintet, Tad Newton’s Jazz Friends, Take Six and the Lincoln Noel Trio.

The Y Factor Factory Stage will be headlined by Kelly Barnes and include sets by Grynn, Scott Booth, Carly Loasby, Leo Robinson and The Incidents.

The Umbrella Fair stage will be headlined by Interafrica with sets by the Bard of Northampton, the Northampton Russian Community, Maria Rincon, Pat Fish, Justin Thyme and the Ashby School of Dance, Jono & The Juke Dealers, Ruth Gasson and Zimwomen.

Mr Roberts added he was frustrated organisers hadn’t been able to convince major businesses from Northampton to help fund the festival.

He said: “I feel a bit frustrated a town of this size and quality, when compared to other towns around the UK, doesn’t have a more financially secure festival – but you can only do what you can do.

“We’ve got some great acts and all we need now is the weather.”

Organisers are still looking for volunteers to help on the day.

For more information, email hello@northamptonmusicfestial.co.uk or visit www.northamptonmusicfestival.co.uk