Bands prove a hit at Stourbridge's SMARTFEST

Stourbridge News: The Nigel Passey Band at SMARTFEST. Pic by Kingsley Studios in Stourbridge The Nigel Passey Band at SMARTFEST. Pic by Kingsley Studios in Stourbridge

BANDS descended on Stourbridge for the town’s first-ever SMARTFEST arts festival.

The event, which ran from August 10 to 12, saw Midlands pop quartet The Musgraves headline an all-day music event at Stourbridge Town.

Black Country acts Of Kings and Captains, the Nigel Passey Band, Kelly Louise and Al Rudge also took to the stage throughout the day on Saturday August 11.

An original plan to hold an event in Mary Stevens Park featuring West End musical star Kerry Ellis was shelved because of concerns over the weather.

A variety show was also held at the town hall on Sunday and a host of other events were laid on in Stourbridge during the weekend which raised £200 for the Midlands Air Ambulance.

Comedian Dave Dinsdale and Netherton band Split Ends performed on Friday in Fountain Square by the Ryemarket which hosted a Search for a Star competition - won by 11-year-old Alesi Summer.

The Coachhouse Writers also held a literary event at the Mary Stevens Hospice charity shop in High Street on Friday; and exhibitions of paintings, sketchings, photography and drawings were held at The Well coffee shop, Rimski’s cafe and the Duke William and Mitre pubs throughout the weekend.

SMARTFEST spokesman Dan Richards said: “From Saturday afternoon to the evening and Sunday evening just in the town hall there was some top class music, comedy, drama and poetry and it was very well received by all who attended, as were all the events throughout the town centre which attracted a lot of visitors.

“We have had our problems, not least because of the change of plans which were forced on us, but there was generally a good turnout and everyone who came out at any point will have enjoyed a great weekend of free entertainment.”

Performances at the town hall were recorded by Stourbridge’s community radio station 102.5 The Bridge and will be broadcast throughout this week along with interviews with the artists.

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