Family-friendly festival finds new base at stately home

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A STATELY home will provide the backdrop to this year’s Galtres Festival.

Sites in York and Huby, near Easingwold, had also been under consideration for the annual August Bank Holiday event, but organisers have opted for the stately home venue of Duncombe Park, on the edge of the North York Moors at Helmsley.

James Houston, festival organiser said: “It’s a truly fabulous and spectacular location, and perfect for our festival. There is spacious grassy parkland, woodland, beautiful riverside camping, the fabulous backdrop of a stately home, and fantastic access roads all around the estate.

“What we also deeply value is the warm welcome we have received from people here – the estate owners, the local traders, the town council – everyone.

“It’s clear they appreciate the quality of our event, and the value of the benefits it will bring to Helmsley and to the region.”

Last year the family-friendly festival, which prides itself on its green credentials, was held at Crayke, near Easingwold, and attracted 5,000 visitors and a number of bands including Ocean Colour Scene and eighties icon Adam Ant.

It will be the sixth time the event has moved in nine years as it has grown in size. Organisers had previously said they wanted to find a new venue because of the festival’s growing popularity.

Yesterday, hotelier Chris Parker, a town councillor and member of trade association Helmsley In Business, said “We welcome the festival coming to Helmsley in 2013. It has been proved with other events that Helmsley has the capacity and ability to add to the visitor experience and it is hoped that Galtres Festival goers will visit the town where a unique shopping experience is guaranteed.”

Duncombe Park also hosts an annual motorcyle rally, a steam fair, a country game fair, horse racing and craft events.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, the regional tourism agency, added: “We have supported Galtres Festival for some years and are sure this move will be a great boost to the festival and the local area. The reputation of the event goes from strength to strength bringing great music to a spectacular location.”

The festival began in 2005 at the Durham Ox, Crayke and was hosted at Sutton Park in 2006, a move that helped audience numbers nearly double.

Sites at Rawcliffe Country Park in York and at Folly Wood in Huby were also in the running to host the event.