Clarence Park Festival - 21 years of rocking the city

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THE Clarence Park Festival went out with a bang as it celebrated 21 years of rocking the city.

Last weekend’s concert played host to some 4,500 people as families and friends turned out to celebrate the annual musical tradition.

This year’s event – which has been labelled the best-organised yet – showcased 18 bands over its two-day duration while a specially-brewed beer, prepared to mark the birthday celebrations by Ossett Brewery, sold in mass.

Headliners over the weekend included Red Riding Quartet, The Incredible Magpie Band, Freedom of the City and Benson.

Rachel Winstanley, of Wakefield Music Collective – who run the event – said: “It was fantastic, it was great really good. Every band was fantastic and there was great feedback.

“The special brew went down really well. Everyone loved it and I think they almost ran out of it!”

And no sooner is the event over than thoughts are turning to next year’s festival already.

“All the work paid off and people that were involved are really excited and can’t wait to do it next year,” said Rachel, who has been involved with Clarence for the past 16 years.

“I’d just like to thank the audience for being behind us. Here’s to next year really.”

Over the past two decades, the Clarence Park Festival has risen from virtually nothing to become the longest-running free music event in Yorkshire.

Established in 1991, both the Collective and the festival itself began a journey to promote live, local music and provide help, advice and information to bands on both a local and national level.

Chairwoman of the Collective, Kate Honeyman, said: “I thought it was brilliant, it went really smoothly. It was a collective effort.

“The rain did spoil it a little bit on Saturday – but Sunday was beautiful. I think it was just excellent overall, a lot of bands went down really well.”