City’s free music festival marks its 25th anniversary

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It was a year that saw the charts dominated by rock band Nirvana and the music world saddened by the death of Queen legend Freddy Mercury.

But in Wakefield, 1991 also marked another musical milestone - the launch of the city’s Clarence Park Festival.

More than 3,000 music lovers from across the district turned out to enjoy the first ever festival in the park.

And now, a quarter of a century later, Wakefield Music Collective is making the final preparations for the annual live music event.

Kate Honeyman, chairwoman of the collective, said: “People come for the love of music, for a day out. It’s not just a rock festival, or indie festival. We support all genres, and hope there is really something for everyone.”

The eclectic mix of music has made the festival a much-loved and anticipated local tradition. And at 25-years-old, it stands out as Yorkshire’s longest running free music event.

Mrs Honeyman said: “People have suggested we make it a ticketed event, to attract bigger names, but the ethos of Wakefield Music Collective will always be to provide free music.”

The festival will take place on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 from noon.

Organisers hope it will attract an audience of loyal festival fans, as well as families looking to enjoy the community spirit.

Mrs Honeyman said: “This year 400 bands applied to take part, both locally and some from across the globe, including India and New York.

“We shortlisted a band from Slovakia and we listen to everything that is sent in, but it just isn’t possible for everyone to play. I think acts get disappointed, but we have to ensure we select a diverse mix.”

More than twenty performers will take to the stage throughout the weekend at the Tent Stage and Bandstand.

Mrs Honeyman said: “We believe there is something for everyone here. All we need now is for the sun to shine.”

Wakefield Music Collective offered its thanks to this year’s sponsors and festival co-ordinators.

*Saturday’s music takes place from noon until 8.45pm.

It kicks off with a performance from rock band Cold Summer and this year’s headliners will be Dub Vocaliza.

Performances will take place at the same time on Sunday.

The music will begin with a performance from Seas of Scarlet and finish with headliner Issimo.

For more information about the festival and to see the full line-up, visit