And what a grand ending to the 30th annual Monmouth Festival. I have to say that backstage was a nervous place to be, we had a strict time table for this final show and on top of this I had a huge list of thank you’s and messages that had to be announced from upon the stage, however to let this distract from the main entertainment was something I wasn’t going to do. The last night of the festival is traditionally the busiest and we were prepared for a festival ending like no other.
Kicking off the fun was Poco Latino, a Latin music outfit who had a whole load of kit to plug in and sound check. I was also pleased to see some old friends in the crowd, friends that always turn out for the Latin night. Spanish dancing was on the audience’s to-do list, plus a whole load of swaying and rocking as we all got into the groove of the night.
It was time to make the announcements and Chairman Les took the stage to say his thank you’s. It’s the first time Les has chaired the committee and he’s done a great job, keeping us all in line and leading the way to a smooth running throughout.
By the time our headline act came on, Blestium Street car park was over flowing into the road and there were queues of people lining up at the bar. If you were around in the ’60s you would have relived some great moments as New Amen Corner rocked the stage. If you weren’t around it shouldn’t have made much difference as they played a well known set list of classic hits and rocking numbers that even the youngest of the crowd could sing along to.
But then, as we finished up with a big screen presentation and the awesome fireworks, a hint of sadness came over me, it was over for another year and I was gutted to have to say goodbye to Monmouth once again.
A huge thank you to everyone who donated to our buckets, as I said on the night it costs approximately 40k to put on the festival each year, all the staff work for free and purely for the love of the UK’s best free festival. A massive thank you to Jeff Harris for coming to the stage with me at the end of the night, but mainly a massive thank you to the people of Monmouth for making me feel so welcome, it was like I still lived in town and seeing all my friends ensured that I had my best festival yet. Big up festival goers, we’ll see you next year.
With thanks for the photos to: Steve Mitchell of Stephen Mitchell Photography