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Folkstock festival in Aldenham Country Park 'a success'
The organiser of an acoustic festival has hailed it as a “huge success” - but said it was “too early to tell” whether it would become an annual event.
Hundreds of people were treated to a mixture of acoustic, folk and roots music from 70 musicians at Saturday’s Folkstock Festival in Aldenham Country Park.
The event, which featured a large number of bands from the local area, was headlined by Lucy Ward, Kris Drever, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker, Marina Florance and Reg Meuross.
There was a vast range of food and drink on offer, and local charities and community organisations had stalls in which they ran crafts and talked about what they did.
The festival was the idea of Helen Meissner of the Folkstock Arts Foundation, who worked hard for months to assuage concerns from residents about possible noise and disturbance.
She said: “From my point of view it met my objectives, which were to showcase the wonderful, mostly independent unsigned talent which is out there on our doorstep, gigging their hearts out, and to encourage people to take a punt and go to the gigs of artists they do not yet know.
“Councils, private businesses and individuals have been approaching me to book the artists for all sorts of events, which is a perfect outcome and makes all the hard work worthwhile.
The cancer survivor added the festival itself “went like clockwork” with no incidents or accidents at all and with every act running before or on schedule.
However Ms Meissner was disappointed the festival had not attracted the 2,000 people she had expected.
She added: “The only thing missing was the crowds. Having said that, there was a good audience in front of all four stages all day, so that as important for the musicians.
“The stall holders would have benefitted from a greater footfall for which I feel sorry, but they all remarked on the warm, community spirit and supportive atmosphere so that almost made up for it.”
Her personal highlight was when a resident said the festival “opened his eyes” to folk music and to the “well performed, superbly written” material available.
Other members of the public congratulated Ms Meissner on the “superb” venue, food and talent on offer.
Elstree resident Ann Shuker said: “I just wanted to thank Helen for organising such an enjoyable festival on Saturday night. The bands were all excellent and varied and seemed to enjoying playing to us too.
“I hope it will come back again next year.”
Artist Peter Farrier added: “Words cannot express the level of professionalism from Helen Meissner.
"The festival was stunning, the organisation wonderful and the music magnificent. Well done and a round of applause from all those who attended.”
However Ms Meissner confessed the festival had been a “huge emotional commitment” because of the hoops she had had to jump through in order to get permission from the council to go ahead.
She added: “I don't know if I would do it again, but I am glad I did it once and proved that it can be done, and done safely and without incident.”
She praised her "professional and stoic" team for their support ensuring Folkstock went smoothly.
She said: “Overall, from my point of view, it was a huge success and I am thrilled it all went ahead as planned.”
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