Chase Park Festival 2016!!!

Chase Park Festival 2016


I am a big music fan, like and love many different sorts. These days I listen to a lot of classical; always what I call diverse electronica’; Oldskool makes me smile; Jungle is a weekly passion too; Motown; Jazz occasionally and certain ‘guitar’ and folk based groups...

So the opportunity for me to attend Chase Park festival AGAIN, based in the North East with international and local headliners supported by the music-loving disabled community, I of course had to go - AND GO I DID!

I have been to other festival style events across the UK, but recently’ish none other than the ground-breaking Chase Park Festival, and here’s why!: I was formally diagnosed with MS age 23 in 2001, before then I had seen a good few bands and groups at organised events and the likes elsewhere that were mostly fine, then certain things started to err, change a bit on occasion shall we say. A bit!

Newcastle & Gateshead MS Stand at the festivalMS has affected my music event enjoyment. I now strategize before and during them, to try to manage my fatigue levels and other bodily functions too! I mean I have to have an extra level of care – age as well, that we all encounter! Brilliant having a successful MS Newcastle & Gateshead Stall there once again, which we as a branch of the national society enjoy!

This year’s Chase Park Festival was blessed once again with brilliant weather, which does add a good mood straight away enlightening the live music background! This ‘mood’ was absolutely fantastic! Superb musical performances never ceased from the start!

Twelve-year-old Tom 'Mouse' Smith, stood in as a last minute replacement for Stranger Stranger, was fabulous with his mixture of his favourite covers as well as his own songs, such as "I've Got Scars", shown below as performed below at The Cluny aged 11:

I thought he was absolutely outstanding given the/his situation (of the last minute stand-in!). Top points for him! Everybody listened and loved! Fantastic stuff Tom!

After Tom, the four-part harmony group, The Cornshed Sisters, dropped a beautiful set of ‘folky pop’ which added to the lovely laid back atmosphere of the day. The Paul Belk band and Percy Hedley’s The Soundbeam Band proved once again that top-notch they and others can provide excellent live music irrespective of some disability barriers. Awesome!

Music stand!I did not see the headliners due to being pretty tired during the day and becoming more-so throughout, so I did leave before 6! Regrets? Yes of course, but now knowing when to not ignore the signs of creeping fatigue, I left in fine spirits! So I can’t add any personal Reverend and the Makers thoughts I’m afraid, yet have had only sterling reports about them, Ben Ottewell and Stornoway!

The atmosphere at the festival is without doubt very positively unique! Everybody who is there is there by choice - yes a few 'passers-by' walking in the open park area literally walked past, not knowing of the festival, stopping with a smile and a listen! (or there for a freebie? Grrrr if so!) Family friendly atmosphere shines through adding to the great vibe Chase Park Festival creates and owns!

  • Utterly fantastic vibes across the whole park and festival area; I repeat! Very relaxed and happy throughout!
  • Great music – Amazing that a deal of this is done by young people, some with their own neurological issues; other half of the performers without said conditions!
  • I was interviewed by ITV; and did get on it later that day all be it briefly on the news! TV-duck broken!

In the run-up to the festival, I was contacted by a guy called Matt Bee, a regular contributor to Community Care and Professional Social Worker, and you can read him in the Guardian, too. 

Matt is very keen on sounding out existing problems with festivals accessibility problems and I am honoured to have met Matt at Chase Park after our communications! A fantastic writer and blogger, I look forward to working with Matt I the future!

Loved being there with my another (ex) at her first Chase Park and she wasn't disappointed! I met her friends, she met many of mine!

Friendly cuddle with another revellerer

10/10 day! Really looking forward once again, to the next

Chase Park Festival!

See you there!


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