"We're the most diverse music festival in town": Northampton event organisers hit back at criticism over lack of representation

Some of the crowds at Northampton Music Festival 2019. Photo: Dave Jackson
Some of the crowds at Northampton Music Festival 2019. Photo: Dave Jackson

Northampton Music Festival has been accused of a 'shocking' lack of diversity - but organisers say their event has the broadest range of acts out of any in the town.

Tré Ventour, who is one of three vice presidents at Northampton Student Union, tweeted yesterday (Monday, June 17) to complain about the lack of representation at the festival on Sunday.

The creative writing undergraduate said there was no Latin, reggae, African, hip-hop, grime or rap artists on show despite an abundance of talent in Northampton.

"I couldn't help but feel disappointed at the lack of diversity. Sure there was jazz, but the lack of black British music and world music was shocking," he wrote.

Hundreds of people visited the multiple stages across the town centre for the free festival which has been going since 2007.

Mr Ventour did acknowledge that people were enjoying themselves, but felt more could be done to showcase minority artists and cultures, saying it did not feel inclusive.

However festival director Graham Roberts wholeheartedly disagreed, listing numerous world music and non-white acts who performed throughout the day.

He admitted there were more 'rock 'n' roll' acts than usual but the line-up depends on who applies and they try not to repeat performers as much as possible.

"The festival is open to all, it's free to enter so get on board, we have had everything over the years and we try to be as diverse as we can every year," he said.

"We have a very limited budget and we're always open to more diversity and opinions but I believe we're the most diverse music festival in the town centre and we're free for everybody."