Picture Post: Music and arts festival helps banish winter blues

PIC: Ian Day
PIC: Ian Day
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On a crisp January day, as the tide ebbs away, Scarborough seafront is reflected in the still water.

With the beaches often deserted, for some the winter months are the best time to explore Yorkshire’s coastal resorts.

However, while Scarborough and resorts like it rely on the influx of summer visitors efforts have been made in recent years to ensure the seaside has a year-long round economy. It was one of the reasons why Coastival was launched. Running over a February weekend, the event was designed to bring people in Scarborough during the quiet months.

Launched in 2009 and with a focus on arts and music, Coastival quickly established its reputation, regularly attracting tens of thousands of people to the town.

Last year, the organisers, Create, suffered a bit of a blow when they were told the Arts Council had decided to remove its National Portfolio Organisation status and withdraw its annual funding from this April.

However, they have since secured investment from Grants for the Arts which means the 2016 will go ahead as planned.

“I think people thought we were a bit mad to launch a major festival in February, but it has worked,” says Michelle Watts of Create. “Coastival runs on the first weekend of the February half-term and the idea is to encourage families to come to Scarborough for the weekend or even longer.”

This year, the theme is Back in Time and will open with an exhibition and concert exploring the town’s musical connections.

“In total there will be 54 events, 50 of them free which is really important,” adds Michelle. “As part of the exhibition we appealed to people to come forward with memorabilia and the response has been incredible. As well as tickets, posters and photographs we’ve also been able to record a number of audio diaries, including one with the woman who bought the first ticket for The Beatles concert at the Futurist.”

Coastival, February 13 and 14. www.coastival.com.

Tech info : Fuji X-T1 camera, 18mm lens with an exposure of 1/50th sec @f16. ISO 100.

Picture: Ian Day

Words: Sarah Freeman