Whitby Music Festival Might Be Last


THE music festival in Whitby this month may be the last as the organizers step down.

Jim and Sue McLaughlin, who have run the Musicport Festival in Whitby since its inception in 2000, have decided to retire. This year’s festival, October 22-24, will therefore likely be the last.

Jim said: “The past 21 years have been a life changing experience, and we have met and worked with so many wonderful people and met hundreds of amazing artists.

“We always hoped to pass the baton, but we are realizing in these difficult times and because Musicport has never been a lucrative business that this is unlikely.

“An important factor that contributed to our decision was the increase in the cost of accommodation in Whitby, which significantly affected the costs for us of artist accommodation and for our audience who typically stay in guest houses.

“When we started, one of the reasons for having the festival at the time of year was to help extend the tourist season.

Hundreds of artists have appeared at the festival over the years, including The Buena Vista Social Club, Hugh Masekela, Richard Hawley, Toumani Diabate, The Levellers, Misty In Roots, Courtney Pine, Vieux Farka Touré, The Mahotella Queens and Lemn Sissay .

Jim said: ‘We are proud of the accomplishments we have made in introducing young people to music from diverse cultures locally, bringing top international artists to the Yorkshire coast and creating an event that many believed was the highlight of their year, but we feel now is the time for us to focus our time on hosting smaller local events and our music store.

Sue added, “Wanting to go out on a high, and having recently secured funding from the Arts Council for this year, we believe the programming is stronger than ever and fairly reflects the range of artists we have worked with over the years. years.

“The work with the Pavilion and its manager will be missed, along with our wonderful team of staff and volunteers, many of whom have been there from the start.

“We have events at Whitby Coliseum in November, December and next spring and we hope to have more outdoor events like In The Grove (which happened at Mulgrave Woods earlier this year), so we don’t ‘let’s not give up to organize high quality events in the zone. ”

For more information and tickets, see www.musicportfestival.com.


Gerald R. Schneider

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