Morrisons’ offer: Date with rock stars at Harewood

A bit of a do... the gardens at Harewood House
A bit of a do... the gardens at Harewood House
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Thirty years ago, supermarkets were solely places to go to stock up on tins of soup, bottles of ketchup and laundry detergent.

But then came the influx of deals from these retail giants on clothes, electrical goods, eye tests and insurance and credit cards that helped turn supermarkets into a dominant force in many communities.

Now one large supermarket chain is going further, by breaking into the live music scene.

At Harewood House this summer, Morrisons will launch its own music festival, featuring acts such as Texas and Bob Geldof.

Yorkshire bands Human League and Heaven 17, both from Sheffield, will also be performing at the event, named MFEST.

The festival will take place on July 7 and 8 and will feature comedy, children’s entertainment and sport as well as music.

But the Sheffield artists are likely to be one of the biggest draws for the new festival.

New Wave act Human League formed in 1977 and the band has sold more than 20 million records. Their 1981 hit Don’t You Want Me was Christmas number one and sold more than 1.4 million copies. They returned with a new album last summer – Credo – after a decade away from making music. Heaven 17 is a synthpop band formed in the early 1980s.

The overall line up includes current chart acts, breakthrough artists and heritage bands, comedy acts, sporting legends and children’s entertainers to give the festival a wide appeal and help it to attract both young people and parents.

But more than the crowd’s ears will be filled, since food will be at the heart of MFEST with an array of food and drink stalls.

Revellers will be able to watch live demonstrations from UK chefs, such as Aldo Zilli, Nigel Haworth, Atul Kochhar, Pierre Koffmann and Bryn Williams and children and adults can get involved themselves by making treats from scratch.

Special play and entertainment zones will be available and will cater specifically to each age group. Young gardeners can get digging, with garden designer and BBC presenter Diarmuid Gavin holding green-fingered events at the Morrisons Let’s Grow Patch.

Richard Hodgson, Morrisons Group Commercial Director, said: “MFEST will be a unique addition to the festival market with not only a glittering array of entertainment for all ages, but a brand new, reinterpretation of festival food.

“From fantastic gourmet meals, to on-the-go treats, to live demos and interactive stalls for everyone to get involved and get creative.

“We are incredibly excited to be the lead sponsor with such an incredible line up planned and thrilled that our food will be keeping the crowds going at the inaugural MFEST experience.”

With a capacity of 15,000 on each day, MFEST gates will open at 11am, with the first act taking to the stage at 1pm.

A spokesman for Harewood House said: ‘We are delighted that Harewood has been chosen as the venue this year’s large family music and food event, MFEST, which will be taking place on Saturday July 7 and Sunday July 8 2012. “

“There will be some fantastic bands performing including Texas, Sir Bob Geldof, Matt Cardle, Cher Lloyd, The Human League and Heaven 17 to name but a few, along with comedians and sporting personalities.’”

Adult tickets will cost £49.50; 11-16 year olds will pay £25.00 and those 10 and under will be allowed in for free (one child under 10 free per paying adult). And £5 from every ticket sale will go to Morrisons Raise a Smile charity for Save the Children.

The Bradford-based supermarket hopes the event will help it reach a target of £500,000 for the children’s charity, with which Morrisons is working on the Save the Children’s Families and Schools Together programme designed to enable parents to better support their children’s education, take a more active role in their child’s school and play a greater role in their local community.

The full line-up for MFEST so far includes: Texas, The Human League, Bob Geldof, Matt Cardle, Beverley Knight, From the Jam, The Low Suns, The Blockheads, Cher Lloyd, Clement Marfo and the Frontline, Paul Heaton performing the 8th, Glen Matlock, Secret Affair, Missing Andy, The Levellers, Inspiral Carpets, Paul Heaton, Heaven 17, The Farm, Scouting For Girls and Soul 11 Soul.

Tickets will be available from www.themfest.com, ticketline.co.uk, or by calling 0844 888 9991.