New Hartlepool Family Folk Day on the Headland proved a big hit with calls for an encore

Folk music, live street theatre performances and family activities went down a storm in a new event staged on Hartlepool’s Headland at the weekend.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:30 pm

Hartlepool Folk Festival organisers staged the free Family Folk Day in the Town Square on Saturday, October 16.

It was a scaled-down alternative to their traditional larger festival due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.

But it proved so popular that there have been requests from people to the organisers to hold it again.

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Eko The Sea Giant having a walkabout at Hartlepool Family Folk Day.

A number of folk music, dance and theatre performers entertained on a stage in the town square to audiences in deck chairs.

They included a group singing sea shanties, clog dancers and more.

Star of the day though was Eko a large puppet of a sea giant that interacted with the public, featured on stage in a show called Out of the Deep Blue, and took part in a procession to end the day.

Festival director Joan Crump said: “I couldn’t be happier with how it went.

Step this Way perform in the Town Square for Family Folk Day.

"There was a really good crowd all day. Even later on when it got a bit chilly, 15 minutes before the procession started all of a sudden people started streaming in and we had a gorgeous procession through the streets with Eko and fire performers at the Heugh Battery Museum.

"It worked really well.”

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There was also lots of workshops for visitors, including children, to try their hand at including dancing, circus skills, making a sea creature, helping to make a big teddy bear and playing musical instruments.

Appalachian Cloggers on stage at the Hartlepool Family Folk Day.

“Everyone seemed to love the mixture of performance and things that you could actually get involved with,” added Joan.

"People just adored Eko and the theatre performance had a climate change theme about pollution and the sea so was really relevant for where we live.”

Looking ahead to next year Joan said: “It’s been so successful. People said we have to do it again next year.

"If we get the same support from the arts council and Tees Valley Combined Authority we could look at this as something of a more regular feature which would be fantastic.”

Alongside all the free entertainment, a number of musicians performed in special online concerts on the festival’s website.

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