Party in the Park marks return of music festivals in Shropshire

Music festivals have been sorely missed by music fans in Shropshire this year, but Bishop's Castle's Party in the Park returned with a bang this weekend.

Having fun at Bishop's Castle's Party in the Park
Having fun at Bishop's Castle's Party in the Park

The south Shropshire town is usually abuzz with events during the whole year, and especially the summer, but due to Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, many were cancelled.

However, organisers at Centre Stage, who manage Party in the Park, persevered with plans to put on a show and were able to now that full restrictions were lifted earlier this month.

Hayley Brewer, secretary at Centre Stage, said that the town was full of life on Saturday, and that at 4pm they were on their last bag of tickets and nearing the 1,400 full capacity.

Without Warning perform
Organisers Ollie Franklin, Abby Matthews and Hayley Brewer
Charlotte Augallo with Harvey Woodhouse, 9, Jacob Fox, 8, and Joshua Fox, 6

"The weather has held out for us and all the volunteers turned up," Hayley said.

"The atmosphere is amazing it's really ecstatic. Seeing the kids running round and all the families catching up with each other is so nice.

Vikki Robson, Nige Moore, Tommy Thomas, 2, and Poppy Moore
Without Warning perform
Having fun at Bishop's Castle's Party in the Park

"Some families haven't seen each other for the whole 18 months and the fact they chose us as a place to catch up is a privilege really. The moment when you see two people spot each other, and they haven't seen each other for a while, it's so lovely. I get goosebumps.

"The musicians have all be super appreciative to even be playing. There are a few who are locals, and some who have come from a bit further afield, but everybody has seemed to enjoy every single band - every single band has had people jumping up to dance."

Having fun at Bishop's Castle's Party in the Park
Facepaint fun for Sienna Derhe, 6, and Kerry Derhe
Bronwyn Shepherd, 6, and Damian Shepherd, 3

Hayley said live performers, musicians and the arts sector in general has really suffered over the past 18 months, and this is just what they needed.

"I am just grateful to the crowd and the volunteers that they have shown the musicians that they are happy to be here and happy to be listening to them play after so long," she said. "I can't imagine how they are feeling. But the first strum of the guitar and seeing people jump down to the front of the stage, I am sure all the band's worries go away.

On the Long Mynd cider and all the way from Bromsgrove is Simon Cummins
Sound engineer Jake Putterill-Evans
Man's best friend came along too

"Unfortunately, we are the only mini festival event to go ahead in Bishop's Castle this year. But I do think it's an important one to keep going, as I do believe the arts sector has really needed events like this.

"I am so proud of all of the team for pulling this off."

Bishop's Castle's Party in the Park
Without Warning perform
Capturing the moment

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