Inaugural Richmond MayFest declared a success

Haut Bois with music from the Great War at Richmond MayFest 2022. Photo: Chris Booth.

Warm sunshine greeted the first Richmond MayFest on Saturday as musicians gathered to stage a weekend of musical entertainment around the town.

Courtesy of English Heritage, local people were given free entry to Richmond Castle.

They were joined by visitors from afar, who gathered to watch maypole dancing and to listen to the music of Trouvere, Tritor, Green Matthews and Bisarr.

Audiences in the Market Place were treated to music from the Ran Tanners, Green Matthews and Trouvere and songs and music from the Great War by Hautbois, with the delighted audience joining in.

The exuberant Morris and Sword dancers gave great entertainment throughout the long weekend.

In Richmond Town Hall the concert given by local folk group, Fourum, was packed and the Scottish Dancers received a warm welcome. Sunday’s chamber music was also popular and the chance to have a go on the bagpipes was swiftly taken up with the novices quickly producing tuneful sounds.

Richard de Winter at Richmond Castle. Richmond MayFest 2022. Photo: Chris Booth.

On Saturday afternoon the audience for Pellingmans’ Saraband were escorted from the Station to Easby in a musical procession led by the Ran Tanners to St. Agatha’s Church. Here they enjoyed a sell-out concert by local musicians Susannah Pell and Jake Heringman.

Blind Panic kept their sell-out audience up on their feet at Saturday evening’s hugely popular ceilidh and the weekend’s festivities were brought to a conclusion with a free concert by Richmondshire Choral Society in St. Mary’ Church

The choir sang extracts from Handel’s Messiah as well as the beautiful Richmond 950 Cantique, commissioned as part of last year’s 950th celebration of Richmond Castle.

Two afternoons of folk music in the Castle Tavern were well attended with the audience and participants enjoying the singarounds and music played by people who dropped in to join in the sessions.

Local residents were joined by visitors from afar, including a couple from Israel in the area for a wedding and people from Bristol who had travelled up to enjoy the weekend of music.

Compliments were many, with people of all ages appreciating the great atmosphere, the friendliness, the quality and diversity of the music and the introduction of a new festival for Richmond – with many keen to see it all happen again!

MayFest organiser, Gill Page, was very pleased with the response to the weekend.

“It was just wonderful to see so many people from near and far enjoying the amazing range Richmond has to offer. And to see so many people coming together to provide it – all the musicians I’ve spoken to say they had a whale of a time!”

Plans are now getting underway for Richmond MayFest 2023, which will be held from Saturday 29th April – Monday 1st May.

If you’d like to be involved in any way, please get in touch with the organisers at richmondmayfest@gmail.com.

Richmond MayFest is supported by Richmondshire District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and the members of The Original Richmond Business & Tourism Association as well as businesses and individuals.

For further information, please visit https://www.richmondmayfest.org/