Stepping Stones Festival 2014

Stepping Stones Festival 2014

It is well over a decade since Steeleye Span last performed in Cumbria, but this year the band makes a welcome return to the county when it performs at the Stepping Stones Festival.

Stepping Stones Festival - Steeleye Span Steeleye Span Olly Alcock Band Balkan Bandits Red Ruff Charlie Dore The Hefted Katie Ritson and many more

The Festival promises to be a glorious mixture of local and national music and has a change of venue this year to the romantic ruins of Kirklinton Hall. Maddy Prior, lead singer with Steeleye Span, which shot to fame in the early 1970s with hit singles such as Gaudete and All Around My Hat, is the impetus behind Stepping Stones from her home near Bewcastle.

Kirklinton Hall offers the Festival a highly atmospheric setting. There are plans for food stalls and a communal bonfire, and whilst Kirklinton’s main performance area is roofed, because the Hall is a ruin the music will be audible to people wandering around in the grounds as well as to those sitting or standing under cover.

Kirklinton hall - Stepping Stones Festival - Maddy Prior - Steeleye Span

This year’s Stepping Stones Festival takes place on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th June. The Friday evening concert is an additional bonus event for those with weekend tickets. Details to follow.

The traditional ‘open mic’ event will be held on the Saturday during the day in addition to an afternoon concert, with Steeleye Span heading the line-up on the Saturday evening. Other bands include the Olly Alcocks Band – which rarely plays as a full band but will do so at Stepping Stones – and the Hefted Band featuring Maddy and friends, which will play Cumberland-based songs including The Brampton to Roadhead Blues.

Other acts to look out for include Red Ruff (‘big boots, red hair and three-part harmonies’, which proved very popular at last year’s Festival), Charlie Dore (Pilot of the Airwaves) and The Balkan Bandits – who include Celtic music among their repertoire as well as their own Balkan music. John Spiers of Spiers and Boden and Bellowhead will be making an unusual solo performance

Basic camping will be available at Kirklinton but for those who want something with a few more facilities, Irthing Vale Caravan and Camping Park at Brampton is only about 15 minutes’ drive away and there is a list of B&Bs on the website.

Ticket prices are £35 for the whole festival (Under-12s free; under-16s half price) or £27 for just the Saturday evening concert. Full details of the accommodation options, the concert line-up and where to buy tickets will be published shortly.

Authored by Sarah Briggs in