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Monday, 25 May 2015

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Fest’s success means there will be another for Ulverston

A NEW festival organised on a shoestring budget proved a runaway success and will become an annual occasion.

Live music, street theatre, comedy and the weird and wonderful combined to make the inaugural Another Fine Fest a hit with the crowds in Ulverston on Saturday.

Inspired by the legacy of the town’s greatest citizen Stan Laurel, the feel-good atmosphere spread inside and out. Artists performed in the sunshine at Market Cross and on a stage alongside the Roxy, which later hosted the main event - a sell-out show from comedian Paul Merton.

But the festivities also spread across six pubs and restaurants, with live performances at Amigos, the Kings Head, The Mill, the Hope and Anchor, Natterjacks and an all day party at The Sun.

In addition to sets from the likes of singer-guitarist David Kay and massive sounds from carnival band Blast Furness, there was also madcap shenanigans from entertainers such as Gary “Gacko” Bridgens, and a free-for-all cream pie fight.

The festival was funded thanks to donations of around £2,000 amassed on the website Indiegogo. Laurel and Hardy Museum boss Mark Greenhow, who organised the spectacle with local event organiser Dave Crossley and Jakki Moore, the owner and manager of the Beggar’s Theatre in Millom, said: “It was an amazing day. There were just so many positive comments.

“Everyone seemed to have a good time and it all went off reasonably smoothly for our first go. There was a lot of hard work. The other two guys, Mark and Jakki, did a huge amount and we all worked really hard. We can learn some things, but next year will be bigger again. All of us I’m sure would really like to thank everybody who donated, helped, gave their time and everyone who came out for the day.

“It was completely thanks to everyone who gave us a little bit of money. It was fivers here and tenners there and people volunteering their time that allowed it all to come together. We wouldn’t have done it had everyone not been so enthusiastic and keen for the idea of the festival. It’s absolutely going to be an annual thing.”

The occasion transformed the town, as a striking graffiti image of Stan Laurel was sprayed on the side of the museum, and colourful knitted creations were draped on bollards, lampposts and even on the Stan and Ollie statue.

Fellow organiser Mr Crossley, the man behind the Monster Monster club movement, which entertained crowds at The Sun, was “overwhelmed by the response” and said there was “quite literally people from eight to 80” enjoying what was always intended to be a family event.

He said: “I’m on a bit of a high right now. It was an amazing day. The feedback has been non-stop and pretty much all positive. The amount of people in town was beyond our expectations. I’ve talked with all the venues and they’ve all said it went superb and said ‘let’s do it again next year’.

“We want to develop it and involve more venues. It’s maybe a still a bit soon to be thinking that, but there’s no reason why we can’t.”

Have your say

Brilliant day out and a big thanks to the organisers. Can't wait for the next one.

Posted by Sue Stoney on 19 June 2014 at 13:53

With the carnival getting quieter ever year why not combine both the carnival and another fine fest? Seems stupid having them both so close.

Posted by Baz on 18 June 2014 at 17:23

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