Saturday at the Riverside Festival 2013
1st June, Riverside festival
Bright sunshine and lovely hot weather brought out the crowds in large numbers to enjoy Leicester’s increasingly popular free festival. Music was a key feature of the event, with the main stage and the acoustic area in operation, throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday. This year, the site included Castle Gardens, along with everything that was happening down by the riverside and along Western Boulevard.
The main stage opened with a performance by students from Leicester College. The Performing Arts and Music Department of the college set up a ‘pop-up’ studio at the festival and equipped it with acoustic guitars and bass guitar and all the recording tools needed to create a mini-demo CD for the musicians who went there to see what they could do.
John Meredith (Programme Manager for Music and Sound Engineering at the College) said: “We are really thrilled to be offering local musical talent the chance to be recorded by staff and learners on the Music Tech courses.”
Each session lasted for half and hour, allowing participants to be as creative and innovative with their music as possible. A CD of the rough mix was made which the musicians took away.
The sessions were then professionally mixed, after the festival, an the state-of-the-art studios at the Abbey Park Campus.
The resulting ‘Riverside pop-up sessions album will be available as a download.
On the main stage a variety of student acts played to the growing audience on Saturday morning.
The festival site offered a range of activities for all the family – rides and games for the children, a bar for the grown-ups and lots of water-based activities down on the river. Plenty of food stalls were there to cater for hungry people and small art and craft stalls set up to show off their wares.
The Acoustic Area was placed next to the bar and was always full of people, sitting at the picnic tables or on the grass.
This morning, Leicester singer Calvin Jeffrey was in top form. Standing at the mic – in the blazing sunshine – Calvin delivered a great set of songs, full of vibrant rhythms and ear-pleasing melodies. A well known artist and someone who I have followed over several years, this was, without doubt, one of his best sets yet.
On the main stage, local band Grace and the Magic Roots, entertained a large audience with their selection of delightful songs.
Bathed in the hot sunshine, the crowd in front of the main stage enjoyed some relaxing sounds from Grace and her Magic Roots.
Mike Kerslake sang to the crowd in the acoustic area. Mike was interviewed live by broadcaster Ed Stagg for Radio Leicester and performed a song for the listeners.
Ravel Lumba’s set was very welcome; having seen him before at the Looking Glass, I knew he was good and today’s performance confirmed that he is a talent worthy of acknowledgement. Ravel got his photo in the Leicester Mercury. See what we said about Ravel on 20th March on arts in Leicester.
Elliot Friskin was at the mic to sing his songs to the crowd as they basked in the warm sunshine.
The main stage saw Pamella Moo and her band and heard a set of appealing songs and marvelous singing from this popular music group.
OBS winners Leaving Party drew in many of the younger members of the festival crowd for their set of foot-tapping indie songs. This young band won the Original Bands Showcase this year and have been steadily growing in popularity since their emergence on to the local scene in the spring of 2012.
Alex Freeman came to the mic, at the Acoustic Area, to deliver some of his characteristic songs, joined at one point by Rhett Barrow on harmonica.
A hugely good day down at Bede Park; we estimated that somewhere in the region of 15,00o people came to the site today, attracted by the exceptionally fine weather and the wide range of music and activities that was on offer.