Whitehaven Alive, the town’s first festival in years, has been hailed a huge success as preparations for 2023 are already underway.
Thousands descended on Whitehaven over Friday September 9 and Saturday 10, to enjoy the new festival that had Scouting for Girls and Chris Moyles make their debuts in Copeland.
This was the first collective music and food festival held in the town in years and was organised by Platinum Live – making its owner, 18-year-old Oliver Hodgson one of the youngest people in the county to organise a large two-day festival.
Despite the death of Her Majesty The Queen just a day prior the festival did go ahead on the Friday, but in a respectful manner with no ribbon cutting to launch.
Over the course of the two days there were dozens of food and craft stalls along the harbour, along with a Porsche car display and an animal encounter tent. There were also several rides for children to enjoy.
The festival continued up at Copeland Stadium with the concerts – that were organised with the help of the Mighty Boof team.
Chris Moyles headlined the Friday night, with support from Felix, treating event goers to throwback songs with his 90s Hangover show.
However, more respect was paid to the late Queen Elizabeth II and the new King Charles III as the concert was delayed to show the King’s speech live.
On festival attendee, Hannah Lewis, said: “It was lovely they stopped to show the King’s speech. Like a really nice touch.” She also added she’d been to the fair on the harbour and enjoyed the stalls available.
Another attendee also added the adding the King’s speech to the evening felt ‘right’ as did the weekend going ahead.
Saturday was much livelier as thousands flocked to the harbour in the day time and were treated to not only the food and craft stalls, but a flash mob and an appearance from cast of the upcoming production of The Adams Family, at Rosehill Theatre.
Up at the stadium the music was kicked off by the group Solomon who, led by Lee Adams, played an array of covers.
The four-piece band Flynt were up next, playing their first gig in Whitehaven in months. Lead guitarist Brad Kavanagh said: “Its great to be playing our first stadium gig in our home town.
“Every festival we’ve played this year has been so different and we are so happy to be here.”
Another band local to Whitehaven, The Northern Threads, were up next and really gathered the crowds in before Hardwicke Circus took to the stage.
The Herdwick spoke to the Hardwicke lads who were ‘really excited’ to be making their Whitehaven stadium debut.
Lead singer and guitarist Jonny said: “This is great, everything they’ve done here and we’re really excited to play more gigs in West Cumbria.”
The punk band played a multitude of songs from their latest album, which they’d previously made touring prisons in the UK.
Scouting For Girls rounded off the weekend playing their debut gig in Whitehaven – which was met with a ‘boo’ when they explained they’d previously played at Barrow.
The band played some of their biggest hits including ‘She’s So Lovely’, ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead, ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’ and even a b-side with ‘Michaela Strachan’ – a name known to many west Cumbrians as she once came and won the women’s Gurning at the Crab Fair.
The band said: “It’s amazing to be here and we’re so grateful everyone came out to see us.”
The weekend could only be ruled a huge success and Oliver has confirmed it’ll be back next year, via a post on social media.
A larger range of images from the weekend can be viewed HERE.