The best of Musicport marks festival’s 20th anniversary

With only a few weeks before the 20th annual Musicport festival, at Whitby Pavilion from 18-20 October, acts are still being added to the line-up.

The latest additions include Phoebe Ophelia Douthwaite, a late stand-in for Talaro, who had a visa refused twice; Fie Fie Fie, who got a standing ovation when they last played the festival; young Leeds rapper Lence; Old Time Rags, who uphold the traditions of Vaudeville, music hall and classic street entertainment; and the interactive FM Organ, a playable drone instrument built by Yorkshire artist Napoleon IV using 10 FM transmitters and 27 FM radios. It will be installed in the basement of La Rosa Hotel near the Pavilion.

A film of the late Jeremy Hardy at Musicport 2016 will be shown as a tribute to the much-missed comedian.

Festival founder and director Jim McLaughlin believes the line-up is the strongest in Musicport’s 20-year history. He says: “There are too many potential highlights to single out any in particular as in lots of ways this can be seen as a best of Musicport line-up to celebrate our first 20 years. We are expecting to be able to announce a major new initiative which will provide the basis for major developments to take the festival forward for the next 20 years”.

A workshop programme covers salsa dance, magic, Indian singing, group singing, Bollywood dance, a drum circle, somatics, tai chi, hang drum, flat dance, musical saw, spoons, henna T-shirts, percussion, poetry with John Hegley and political conflict resolution through play. Ian Clayton will run meet-the-artist sessions and Randall Romero and guests will give cookery demonstrations. Maurice Cairnduff of Northern Ireland’s Really Rubbish Orchestra will lead a junk-instrument workshop.    

Young people's activities in the Makee marquee will show youngsters how to weave and create a desert island. There will be tale-telling and magic from Captain Kipper and Paul Bower.

The festival line-up includes:

Friday night: Misty in Roots, Lo’jo, Warsaw Village Band, Jasdeep Singh Degun, Peace Artistes, Mambo Jambo, Napoleon IIIrd and Manic Chord Theatre (tickets £30 / £15 for ages 11-18).

Saturday, full day: Lemn Sissay, Orchestra les Mangalepa, Catrin Finch and Sekou Keita, Lemn Sissay, Banco de Gaia, Amira Medunjanin, Reem Kelani, the Orchestra that Fell to Earth, Sarah Jane Morris, Jim Moray Trio, Världens Band, Lake Poets, Riccardo Tesi, Martin Stephenson, John Hegley, Anne Niepold, Reg Meuross, Twelve Silk Handkerchiefs, Hut People, Paul Armfield, Katie Spencer, Jo Freya, Annie Whitehead, Jennifer Maidman and Jay Johnson (£55/£27.50).

Sunday, full day: Aziza Brahim, Peatbog Faeries, Moussu T e lei jovents, Belinda O’Hooley, Holy Moly and the Crackers, the Little Unsaid, Me and My Friends, Rafiki Jazz, Commoners Choir, Harry Gallagher, Rebecca Riley, Joe Solo, Joshua Burnell, Don't Feed the Peacocks, Rosie Brown, Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage and the Far Side (£50/£25).

Weekend tickets cost £130, concessions £115. As over three quarters of the tickets have been sold, festivalgoers are advised not to wait too long before booking as there is no guarantee there will be tickets on the door.

The cheapest accommodation in town is on the floor at the Brunswick Centre, an old church, at £30 for 3 nights. It has central heating, kitchen facilities and showers.

Book via or ring 01947 603475.

For the fourth year, some of the acts will embark on a one-week tour of villages straight after the festival. They are Andy Irvine at Hawsker Church (7pm 21 Oct), Moussu T e lei jovents at the Grosvenor in Robin Hoods Bay (9.30pm 21) and the Forge in Aislaby (8pm 22), Naghma and Paul Downes at St Hilda’s Church in Danby (7.30pm 23), Paul Armfield and Mackie at the Robinson Institute in Glaisdale (7.30pm 24) and Poor Nameless Boy at St Oswald’s Church in Lythe (7.30pm 25).