Musical Mystery Tour promises an enjoyable day's rock 'n' stroll in Hertford

PUBLISHED: 15:46 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:49 19 August 2019

The Hertford Music Festival team (left to right): Martin Lumsden (The Cream Room/North Herts FM), Rob and Sammie (Quivering Lip), HMF co-chairman Kev Saunders, Brad Palmer (Passifs), HMF co-chairman Rob Guinn, John Brown (HMF/Couvre Feu), George Clark (Passifs) and Jo Asker (HMF). Picture: Steve Beeston

The Hertford Music Festival team (left to right): Martin Lumsden (The Cream Room/North Herts FM), Rob and Sammie (Quivering Lip), HMF co-chairman Kev Saunders, Brad Palmer (Passifs), HMF co-chairman Rob Guinn, John Brown (HMF/Couvre Feu), George Clark (Passifs) and Jo Asker (HMF). Picture: Steve Beeston

Steve Beeston

It's almost time to "rock 'n' stroll" at Hertford's annual Musical Mystery Tour in the county town.

Hertford Music Festival 2019.Hertford Music Festival 2019.

As Hertford Music Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary, the county town's most popular and biggest musical event is now in its 14th year.

The free, all-day Hertford Music Festival event returns on Bank Holiday Sunday, August 25.

The Musical Mystery Tour has grown from just a couple of stages back in 2006 to 30 or at times even 40 venues these days - from pubs, including the new The Crafty Duck, clubs, cafes and hotels to the Hertford Museum, McMullens' yard and the new Brothership art gallery.

Festival co-chairman and MMT instigator Kev Saunders said: "It's called the Musical Mystery Tour because from day one, we've based everything on the map of Hertford - making great music happen and putting it on the map so everyone can 'rock 'n' stroll' round town, visiting venues they might not know and enjoying all kinds of live music from lunchtime to bedtime and all for free."

With around 30 venues on board so far this year, and more in the pipeline, the line-ups are all but finalised.

"Last year was to have been the first time McMullens took part by opening their yard as a major venue," said Kev.

"But we had to cancel because of torrential rain.

"This year it's back with almost the same line-up as planned last year.

"The vibe is laid-back and family friendly with the likes of The Tom Braggins Trio and the 80-strong Somewhere 2 Sing choir."

The White Hart is always at the heart of things and among acts already confirmed for the stage in the yard are The Real McKoys, Radio Video, eight-piece reggae band The SGs and Kev Saunders' own Clash tribute band The Trash.

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Martin Lumsden, of The Cream Room Studios, will be setting up the North Herts FM outside broadcast unit with a stage of its own in Market Place by the Shire Hall to broadcast live performances and interview for his 'BIG Sound Machine' local music show.

Hertford hero Baron Goodlove, without the Dreadful Noise, plays solo at The Millstream and the Black Horse, while Maxx Palmer headlines Hertford House Basement.

At the new Brothership gallery in Bull Plain, artist Pure Evil will be 'live finishing' his work accompanied by Junior Boy's Own DJ legend Terry Farley on the decks.

Meanwhile, up at The Greyhound in Bengeo, superstar DJ Brandon Block drops an exclusive early afternoon set.

Co-chairman Rob Guinn added: "Of course, we couldn't keep making this happen without the co-operation of all the venues, the artists, our team of committed volunteers and the authorities, including Hertford Town Council who back us every year with a grant."

Then there's the sponsors. Kev said: "First and foremost this year is Hertford Planning Service, who have once again stepped in as main sponsor - alongside Rivertown Brewery, Couvre Feu, Waterpoint, Steve Beeston Photography, and Brass Tacks Web Design.

"Hertford Planning Service have sponsored for four out of the last five years and without its support the Musical Mystery Tour simply wouldn't have been able to become what it is today.

"And it's been a very symbiotic relationship in which both parties do their bit, albeit in very different ways, to make Hertford a more pleasant place to live in.

"We're hugely grateful to the partners and the team for their continuing support."

Keep up to date with the line-ups at www.hertfordmusicfestival.co.uk

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