Musicport Festival 2016 brings the worlds oldest girl group to the stage

Stage Lights

The first round of artists who will perform and headline at this year’s Musicport Festival have been announced.

Now in its 17th year Musicport Festival, Indoor Festival Of The Year 2013FATEA AWARDS, is launching its 2016 programme which includes some of the finest major international world class acts playing alongside some of the best local and regional acts.  It is an inclusive and wide-ranging event that has all the feel of an outdoor summer festival but all indoors under one roof – there’s even an indoor camping option to complete the festival experience.

“is a festival that doesn’t shy away from giving its punters what they didn’t know they wanted. The heady mix of musical, culinary and spoken word performances has a re-energising effect that manages to give your mind a good scrubbing before you return to the daily grind. Because of this, Musicport is not just a festival to which we look forward, it’s one that’s become an annual necessity.” – Northern Sky Magazine

Established in 2000 to promote live music and music education in Whitby and the surrounding area, Musicport welcomes festival goers of all ages with it’s safe and indoor surroundings – guaranteeing a warm and wonderful festival, whatever the weather! Being held in the beautiful Pavilion and at one of the UK’s most beautiful and charming seaside resorts of Whitby, North Yorkshire, with an abundance of quality places to eat, drink and stay, makes for a truly unique festival.

Over the years the festival has grown year on year and has established itself as a prestigious event in the festival calendar attracting major names such as Eliza Carthy, Demon Barbers XL, Världens Band, Rachid Taha, The Buena Vista Social Club presents Cachaito Lopez etc, Toumani Diabate, Levellers, Misty In Roots, Courtney Pine, Talvin Singh, Richard Hawley, Hugh Masekela,  Chumbawamba, Altan,  Mory Kante, Osibisa, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, & Los De Abajo to name but a few.

“The festival has really changed my perspective on World Music; opening my eyes to the vast spectrum of musical acts the genre encompasses, and also how contemporary it has become. For a music festival that offers captivating music, exciting new cultural experiences… it looks like Musicport is the place to be”. – Yorkshire Coast Gigs

The line-up for Musicport 2016

The first artist announcements include the worlds oldest girl group… The Mahotella Queens were formed in 1964 in their native South Africa, and now these three women are keeping the legacy that has influenced so many who have followed them including Ladysmith Black Mambazo alive.

South Africa’s legendary Mahotella Queens deserve the status of musical royalty. Since the 1960s, this female trio have been selling-out shows worldwide. Their songs draw on rural Zulu music and feature three-part harmonies and a guitar-driven sound. Rather than manufactured hype, it is their hard work, perseverance and musical innovation that qualifies them to wear crowns. Always a wonderful crowd pleasing act with their young band they still know to rock and to totally engage a crowdouth Africa´s legendary Mahotella Queens: Hilda Tloubatla, Nobesuthu Mbadu and Mildred Mangxola are indeed queens – The Mahotella Queens – 3 doyennes, who since the mid-sixties, have been singing, dancing and selling-out shows worldwide.

“I guess we are true musicians – born musicians – we’re talented! We`ve got the spirit of true musicians, hence we know how to go about a song… how to do a song, like with “Town Hall” [a song we know how to sing]… & people ask, how do you do it, how do you start, cos we don’t see anyone doing a sign to say now we’re going to do this…? It’s in us… we’ve been together for a long time, hence we know exactly what to do.” – Hilda Tloubatla

Lemn Sissay MBE is a poet playwright, author, foster child and recently elected Chancellor of Manchester University (having beaten Sir Peter Mandelson to the post) who will also be performing at Musicport this October. He was recently a castaway on BBC’s Desert Island Discs where he talked movingly about his early life when his Ethiopian mother was forced to give him up for fostering and his subsequent life in Lancashire.

He was the first poet to be commissioned to write for 2012 Olympics, is the official poet for the FA Cup Final and is associate artist at Southbank Centre amongst many other titles on his impressive CV. He follows in the wake of many other great poets who have appeared at the festival including Linton Kwesi Johnson, Zena Edwards, Labi Siffre, Dr John Cooper Clarke & Jack Mapanje.

Line up so far:The Mahotella Queens (South Africa) / The Magic Numbers / Lynched (Eire) / Soupsongs Live (The Songs of Robert Wyatt) / Lemn Sissay / Kathryn Tickell & The Side / Sarah Jane Morris & Bloody Rain Band / Black Umfolosi (Zimbabwe) / Jamie Smith’s Mabon (Wales) / Martin Taylor MBE / Don Letts / Maz O’Connor / Geoff Berner (Canada) / Adam Ben Ezra (Israel) / Michael Messer’s Mitra (UK/India) / Rory McLeod and the Familiar Strangers / Quraishi (Afghanistan) / Himmerland (Denmark) / Martin Alvrado / Maia Barrouh (Japan/France)

Further artists will be announced in due course.