First Hartlepool Folk Festival hailed a roaring success

Redcar sword dance groups performing at the Hartlepool Folk Festival.
Redcar sword dance groups performing at the Hartlepool Folk Festival.

There was dancing in the street as a new Hartlepool Folk Festival got off to a great start.

A huge variety of musicians, singers and folk groups entertained people during three fun-packed days at venues across the Headland.

One of the sword dance groups performing at the Hartlepool Folk Festival.

One of the sword dance groups performing at the Hartlepool Folk Festival.

Organisers staged concerts and workshops celebrating the rich music, heritage and traditions of Teesside and the North East.

The line up featured everyone from established folk performers to new up and comers.

Events took place in venues including St Mary’s Church, St Hilda’s Church, the Duke of Cleveland pub.

There were also outdoor performances by teams of sword dancers and Morris dancers in Town Square where there was also a food and craft markets.

members of the Durham based Appalachian clog dance group 'Step This Way

members of the Durham based Appalachian clog dance group 'Step This Way

The centre-piece of the weekend was a concert celebrating the songs and people of the coal mining industry.

It took place in St Hilda’s Church on Saturday night and included members of the Durham Miners’ Association.

Joan Crump, one of the festival’s organisers, said: “The festival was absolutely fantastic.

“The great thing is we had so many people from outside the region come and enjoy everything that Hartlepool and the Headland has to offer.

One of the sword dance groups performing at the Hartlepool Folk Festival.

One of the sword dance groups performing at the Hartlepool Folk Festival.

“There was a real buzz and festival atmosphere in the town square on Saturday morning for the Morris dancers.

“We have had nothing but positive comments from people.”
Visitors from as far away as Australia and Canada attended the festival which was supported by a £15,000 Arts Council England grant.

Organisers are already planning for next year.

One of the sword dance teams performing at the Headland Folk Festival.

One of the sword dance teams performing at the Headland Folk Festival.

'3 Sheets to the Wind' performing in the Town Square during the Headland Folk Festival.

'3 Sheets to the Wind' performing in the Town Square during the Headland Folk Festival.

One of the music workshops underway in the Duke of Cleveland during the Hartlepool Folk Festival.

One of the music workshops underway in the Duke of Cleveland during the Hartlepool Folk Festival.

One of the sword dance teams performing at the Headland Folk Festival.

One of the sword dance teams performing at the Headland Folk Festival.

'Fosbrooks' dancers perform in the Town Square in the Healand Folk Festival at the weekend.

'Fosbrooks' dancers perform in the Town Square in the Healand Folk Festival at the weekend.

Dallahan performing at St Mary's church.

Dallahan performing at St Mary's church.