Musicport’s complete 2016 line-up begins to take shape

Stage Lights

The complete line-up for Musicport in October is beginning to emerge.

Now in its 17th year and in its ancestral home at Whitby Pavilion the award winning festival hosts international artists alongside national and local artists on 6 stages in one building overlooking the North Sea. The family friendly festival (it is back in half term this year) encompasses a wide range of music styles alongside poetry, comedy, cookery, film, storytelling and workshops with a reputation for springing wonderful surprises in its programming as well as being one of the most inclusive and friendly events in the UK.

The Friday night headliners include the Top 10 Album charting & Mercury Prize Nominees The Magic Numbers, world famous jazz guitarist Martin Taylor MBE and Black Umfolosi from Zimbabwe. Other acts on Friday include Moscow Drugs Club, Jamie Smith’s Mabon (Wales) The Peace Artistes & Geoff Berner (Canada)

Saturday headliners include The Mahotella Queens the revered, veteran song and dance trio from South Africa, Kathryn Tickell & The Side the highly regarded Northumbrian piper and her band, poet, broadcaster & Chancellor of Manchester University Lemn Sissay, Sarah Jane Morris (of The Communards, & more, fame) and DJ Don Letts of Big Audio Dynamite and 6Music. Other Saturday acts include Jackson Reed (South Africa) fine blues/acoustic singer/songwriter Sean Taylor, the eclectic genius Rory McLeod and the Familiar Strangers & Michael Messer’s Mitra a unique fusion of blues slide guitar, Hindustani classical slide guitar and tabla rhythms. Whitby pianist Jess Wright will be joining forces with percussionist & Young Musician of the Year finalist Delia Stevens to take the audience on an instrumental world tour.

Sunday headliners include Lynched the Dublin band nominated for three Radio 2 Folk awards in 2016 including best live act, Soupsongs Live led by trombone legend Annie Whitehead performing the songs of Robert Wyatt, John Smith the Devonian guitar maestro/singer & acapella folk trio and Coope Boyes & Simpson on their final tour and with their final album being released on the festival weekend. Other Sunday acts include fine bluegrass band Ragged Union(USA), rising English folk star Maz O’Connor, extraordinary young flautist Maïa Barouh (Japan/France) with her band, Icelandic folk band Árstíðir and acclaimed Tango singer Martin Alvarado (Argentina). Young Swedish multicultural 16-piece band Världens who brilliantly headlined last year’s festival will also put in an appearance on the Sunday we believe.

Throughout the festival there will be demonstrations of cookery from different artists’ cultures hosted by celebrity chef, comedian and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli and various workshops for children and adults. Outside the main venue will be Bob’s Blundabus the comedy/fringe venue that proved such a popular addition in 2015. Spoken word events include a book reading and Q & A from Miles Hunt of The Wonder Stuff & a round table discussion of music & politics led by Daniel Rachel whose book Walls Come Tumbling Down will have been recently published.

The indoor café area will become The Hub for the weekend hosting various local & nationally known DJs including regulars The Flying Chilli Beats from London & Scarborough’s Mr Tooley. Outside food vans will enhance the catering provision of the venue with food from several cultures and around the main hall there is a festival market/bazaar which helps create the feel and vibe of an outdoor festival but thankfully without the mud. For those wanting an outdoor experience there will be a Sunday morning sea dip accompanied by the excellent young drumming band Runaway Samba from County Durham.

The festival even offers indoor camping in The Brunswick Centre a converted church in the centre of Whitby although this needs to be booked early to guarantee one’s space.

A completely new addition to the festival will be Musicport Goes On Tour – on Monday 24th & Tuesday 25th October as the festival takes several acts on tour to small venues on the moors and nearby coast as a half term treat. (detail t.b.c but already Lynched (Eire). Arstidir (Iceland) Världens Band (Sweden) & Maz O’Connor look set to be heading out to the moors and along the coast)

Tickets are currently £99 for full weekend (11-18s half price & under 11’s free) and single day tickets will be on sale in August. Tel 01947 603475 or visit for more info