Gig review: Oakwell Festival

The Dunwell at Oakwell Music Festival. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
The Dunwell at Oakwell Music Festival. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
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The Hoosiers hit the nail on their head via their official Twitter account.

“It’s a sign of a great festival when the weather can’t even ruin it. Bravo,” they tweeted after the inaugural Oakwell Hall Festival.

After a quite glorious day of sunshine which saw bands playing from midday, the Hoosiers headlined at around 9.30pm amid a huge downpour.

It was a shame because, with many families present, it prompted a number of early departures before the main act came on stage.

Nevertheless, there was no denying the success of the event which looks well placed to grow year on year.

Oakwell Hall is an Elizabethan manor house in Birstall, set in period gardens surrounded by 110 acres of country park.

There was a fairground, bars, bouncy slides and play area, a Prosecco wine bar and plenty of places to buy food.

It really was an all-day event with many locals turning out to support it amid a chilled-out, laid-back atmosphere.

A crowd estimated to be in the region of 3,000 saw the festival play host to X Factor stars Kingsland Road and Lucy Spraggan, and local acts such as Rupert Stroud, the Dunwells and the Littlemores.

Bluetones frontman Mark Morriss headlined the second stage, whilst the Hoosiers took to the main stage, where they playing a mix of old and new, ending on their chart-topping hit “Good Bye Mr A”.

Festival organiser Paul Fisher, said: “Despite the rain towards the end, we couldn’t have asked for a better first festival.

“It was a great day, all the acts were great and the turnout was amazing.

“We’re overwhelmed by all the positive feedback we’ve received following the festival and we couldn’t have done it without our team of volunteers on the day, so thank you to everyone that helped us.”

Festival organisers are now focussing on the second annual Cleckheaton Beer and Music Festival, being held on September 6.

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