The Galtres Parklands Festival has come a long way since it started as a beer festival at The Durham Ox pub in Crayke ten years ago.
Since then, it moved from the pub to a farmer’s field on the outskirts of Easingwold, where its reputation grew as a boutique festival, incorporating music stages and fine local food with the beer festival still at its heart.
Two years ago, it outgrew those often muddy fields and migrated to the rather finer setting of Duncombe Park in Helmsley, where this year it celebrated its tenth anniversary with a magnificent festival to rival the likes of Leeds and Reading and even Glastonbury.
The lovely thing about Galtres, though, is that it has never lost what has always been at its core - fine beers and ciders and entertainment for the whole family. These days, the beer tent doubles as one of the many stages dotted around the site, so while you sample the weird and wonderfully-named beverages, you could check out some acoustic talent. Families could head to one of several arenas to see interactive theatre on the impressively constructed Galleon stage or storytelling and workshops at the Snapping Turtle.
However, what many people undoubtedly came to Galtres for was the music and they weren’t to be disappointed.
On Friday night, Bellowhead warmed the chilled bones of the crowd with fun and frolics folk-rock style with a set of traditional folk tunes and songs on the main Duke Stage, while the Levellers got everyone ‘pogoing’ along to old favourites such as There’s Only One Way Of Life.
Meanwhile, over on the rock-orientated Oxman stage, Dublin delta blues rockers The Hot Sprockets stole the show with a killer set of songs, and announcing they had travelled 14 hours in a van to get there, minus tents, they really brought true festival spirit to Galtres.
Saturday brought with it rain, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of festival goers who enjoyed another day of fine music and entertainment.
As ever at Galtres, there’s great support for musicians from Yorkshire, and there was a whole raft of talent on show, from the alternative rock of Tenfoottom and the Leprosy Crooks on the Duke stage, to acoustic charm from York’s Holly Taymar and Chris Bilton followed by Keegan Snaize in the Hard Night’s Day session in The Black Howl tent.
Sunday brought with it sunshine and plenty of great performances throughout the day. From the vintage-hued rock of York’s We Could Be Astronauts on the Oxman Stage, to the Kaminari Taiko Japanese drummers on the Duke Stage, the afternoon had something for everyone.
Chris Helme and his tight, talented band gave a polished set of old songs and new which attracted a large crowd at The Black Howl stage mid-evening, while the humour and electro beats of Public Service Broadcasting, followed by the masters of 80s electro-pop, The Human League, who had the crowds singing and dancing along to favourite hits, finished the festival on a triumphant note.
Review by Natalya Wilson