Keynsham Music Festival is a smash hit!

KEYNSHAM Music Festival has been hailed a great success, blessed with fine weather and the best visitor numbers since the Covid-19 lockdown.

There were music and comedy shows in the run-up to the big weekend, when the Family Festival attracted crowds to the Memorial Park.

Festival chair Mike May said: “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive – we now seem to have struck the right balance between activities and performances for young families. Seeing so many happy young faces was an absolute joy.”

Comments from festival visitors included:

“So lovely. Such a wonderful variety of things for everyone to do and enjoy. It also had a really nice feel of people having fun.”

“It was absolutely brilliant, and we will definitely want to do the whole day next year if it’s similar. The kids loved the shows, all the food and snack trucks, and playing with the circus gear. Loads of the stalls were great. It was lovely to see so many people there, the place was buzzing. There was a real community vibe.”

“Absolutely amazing festival, yet again!”

Mike said that although all the ticketed events in the run-up to the weekend were excellent, ticket sales were disappointing. But the festival overall did well in a difficult economic climate.

Mike said: “As with everything else these days, our running costs are constantly increasing and are very difficult to keep in check.

“Back in December of last year, there was a distinct possibility that we would not be able to continue and were planning for drastic cuts.

“However, we are very grateful to local businesses who have been so supportive and have enabled us to continue. Thankfully, donations were back on target this year and we are likely to break even for the festival as a whole.”

An innovation this year was a Memory Café for those living with dementia, and their carers.

Mike said: “We wanted to provide an opportunity, for those normally unable to do so, to experience just a bit of the festival atmosphere. It was a great success and will definitely be repeated next year.”

Another plus was the launch of the Nova Youth Arts Festival as an integral part of the festival – an opportunity for young people to take part in and enjoy their own activities and performances.

As for next year, Mike said: “The Family Festival is a very busy environment which does not suit all children, so we will try to build a quieter sensory zone with lower-key activities.”

Photo: Colin Rayner