Saffron Walden’s Fete de la Musique a midsummer’s day to remember

PUBLISHED: 18:27 25 June 2018 | UPDATED: 18:27 25 June 2018

Children dancing to Maeve Halligan playing with Irish band The Hooligans in the Market Square

Children dancing to Maeve Halligan playing with Irish band The Hooligans in the Market Square

Saffron Photo 2018

It was the day the town let its hair down and danced.

Joanna Eden's Pop Up Choir sang Something Inside so Strong in memory of MP Jo CoxJoanna Eden's Pop Up Choir sang Something Inside so Strong in memory of MP Jo Cox

Saffron Walden’s Fete de la Musique, on a blazing hot Midsummer Day on Sunday, June 24 drew thousands of people into town. Visitors said the atmosphere was as good as Glastonbury.

Though the World Cup was on with England playing at 1pm, this did not deter the crowds from the free music festival. Japan might have been playing Senegal on a screen inside The Saffron Hotel but the bar was deserted while singer-songwriter Elliot Porter sang in the courtyard.

On one of the hottest of the year, the town hall was packed at 4pm for singer-songwriter Joanna Eden’s solo singing performance followed by her pop-up choir. Both the museum and castle grounds and Jubilee Gardens had families enjoying bands in the sunshine, including big bands, jazz bands, ukulele bands, dance bands.

In the afternoon, the duo Djuology played tunes beloved by Django Reinhardt, swing Gypsy jazz in the courtyard of The Cross Keys where extra benches had been laid out, while the Alleycats and Saffron Walden Town Band played their disney jazz in the museum grounds and Sorry not Sorry and Twisted Fund offered rock, punk, funk and ska at Fairycroft House.

The crowd in Jubilee Gardens listening to Latin American from the band Color SudakaThe crowd in Jubilee Gardens listening to Latin American from the band Color Sudaka

At 6pm the Market Square filled for 15-year-old singer song-writer Maeve Halligan, playing her fiddle with her family band, The Hooligans, led by her dad Liam.

Maeve’s was a virtuoso performance. Many a professional fiddle player would have admired the dizzying speed at which she sawed off those reels. Her Drowsy Maggie was anything but sleepy. The square was tapping its feet all right. Other acts got cheers at the end of the performance, Maeve got whoops and and yells after every number.

The crowd was all set to end the night on its feet to the Reavey Brothers Boogie Band and sway the night away.

The event was organised by Saffron Walden Arts Trust.

Living Latin, Color Sudaka in Jubilee GardensLiving Latin, Color Sudaka in Jubilee Gardens

Organiser Isabella Warren, who first brought the idea to Saffron Walden in 2015 after seeing it that year in Paris said: “There was a teriffic atmosphere and the standard of music was phenomenal. I want to thank all the volunteers and especially Tim Atkinson at Fairycroft House who got all the equipment to 11 venues. It was incredible. It was a day I think everyone will remember.”


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