It is with deep regret here at ALBOS that we have to inform you of some very disappointing news, which is sure to hit a bum note with music lovers.
Unfortunately, the dedicated team behind Stone’s Music and Arts Festival have made the announcement that, due to difficulties securing sufficient sponsorship, this year’s festival will no longer be taking place.
Since its inception in 2008, the West Midlands’ biggest free music festival has attracted thousands of visitors to the town for a weekend of first class live music, which has seen The High Street transformed, with two stages and various food stalls, guaranteeing fun for all ages.
Local favourites The Vanz, The Formula, and The Supersets always go down a storm, and over the past couple of years, the festival has also played host to a number of impressive tribute acts. The Jam’d, Achtung Baby, Ballroom Glitz and Roxy Magic proved immensely popular. The crowds have also enjoyed The Kaiser Monkey Killers – quite a mouthful, but a great band, Slyde (go on, guess!) and in 2012, the finale was provided courtesy of Retake That, who delighted the ladies, both young and old, in the audience with their authentic routines and faithful renditions of the born again boyband’s best known hits.
’80s chart-toppers The Christians brought last year’s two day extravaganza to a memorable close, which also featured the popular busking competition, won this time by Dylan Kennerell-Walters who wowed the crowd with his ukelele playing, and local singer-songwriter Ben Owen’s showcase brought some superb original local talent to the fore.
The festival has received generous support from a number of local businesses, organisations and individuals. However, this year, its main sponsor, Wedgwood, is unable to commit to supporting the event.
Chairman Dr. Steve Brookes said “2013 saw our fifth music festival taking place here in Stone, and we were very much looking forward to our sixth, to be held once again in July.
However, securing sponsorship is an arduous task, especially given we are all volunteers. We are very grateful to the local businesses who have enthusiastically supported us in the past, and of course, our main sponsor over the last three years, Wedgwood. To try and recover this deficit so close to July has led to this disappointing decision.”
Despite this unforeseen blow, Steve remains upbeat and optimistic about the festival’s future. “We still have the goodwill of our merry band of volunteers, and we would like to encourage more local residents and businesses to join us, with particular emphasis on activities and fundraising ideas.”
“Over the next few weeks, we’ll be announcing a public meeting, where residents and businesses can join us, with a view to helping our growing group of Friends of the Festival to pull off the immense and very difficult task of staging such a popular free event.”
“It’s Stone’s Music and Arts Festival, so let everyone in the town join us in continuing to make this an event to be proud of.”
Volunteers are being encouraged to spare whatever time they can. “It’s very rewarding,” Steve continues, “and we are building not only a good festival group, but also a group of friends who are passionate about music and the arts.”
If you would be interested in helping the society to shape and deliver an even better festival in 2015, then please make contact with the organisers via their website -