Local Hereford alternative rock and indie music promoter Kirsty Morris is off on an epic journey this year to the Great Wall of China for a fundraising event of a lifetime to support local charity St. Michael’s Hospice.
She has received support from local businesses in Hereford and tickets donations from well-loved summer music festivals around the country to auction off and sell towards raising donations at her next fundraising event taking place at the Booth Hall on East Street this weekend. Kirsty has also received donations from some pretty famous bands around the country. She has been hard at work!
Hereford City Centric wanted to know more about this great trek being taken on by such an admirable woman and how close she is to her fundraising goals.
Political aspects are not something I really think of when I travel, as long as the areas I travel to are deemed as safe, then I really tend not to worry about such things.
Hereford City Centric: HelloKirsty, you are actively involved in music promoting in Hereford with your promotion group Hey Little Monster, can you tell us a bit about the music you put on and what drives this interest?
Another weekend full of festivities is upon us. The Hereford River Carnival has arrived and we are elated to share this roundup of music events for your convenience. There is a real festival vibe for all the family to enjoy, as well as, pubs hosting live music gigs adding to the energy the city emanates through channels of live music. Some of the county’s best local musicians volunteer to perform and there is no shortage of talent.
You won’t be able to avoid the buskers, music stages, venues hosting music events and all the other colourful festivities on offer. This is a carnival I look forward to every year with great anticipation, unless the weather disappoints, but even then the weather stops us not.
RIVER CARNIVAL WEEKEND, SATURDAY APRIL 29TH
RIVER CARNIVAL INFOGRAPH
This infographic is one of the most useful bits of kit you will need to get you around the different events and music stages the Hereford River Carnival has on offer.
Starting Good Friday through to the following Monday after Easter Sunday, Hereford city centre will be buzzing with live music spread throughout Hereford’s different city quarters each night of the Easter Bank Holiday. Gather up your friends, partners or have a wander on your own and make new friends – they say there is no place like home.
Happy Easter from Hereford City Centric!
Good Friday, April 14
DJ Ally and Dr Nico Demus Puffalot will take you to warmer shores with their selection of Funky Latin Jazz and Calypso. The Fireflyhas a cosmopolitan atmosphere and a grand selection of craft ales, beers and ciders, as well as, refreshing cocktails. I say a spiced rum is in tall order.
Alternative, Indie and rock promoter Hey Little Monsterand Hereford’s 3-piece Psychedelic Blues band Raptor bring us a super-charged night of Psychedelic Blues and Rock in Hereford’s popular live music venue The Booth Hallon East Street. Three amazing bands for £4 only!
A solo show by accomplished singer-songwriter Chris Quinn who has been garnering highly favourable reviews for his debut solo album, across the divide and much radio airplay including from Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe.
His music is a fusion of Celtic, Folk, Bluegrass and Delta Blues. This event is hosted by The Wild Hare Clubat the extremely poetic De Koffie Pot. £10 entry.
This event can only be described as a music experience. The HCA inSTALL8 Fine Art students bring you a fusion of psychedelic jazz and folk bands for an avant-garde evening on the water. The money raised will go towards raising funds for their dream exhibition in London.
The Speakeasy is located in the Left Bank which is also set on the beautiful River Wye. £5 entry.
Mr Morris and The Low End will be spinning dapjam hip hop, funk and rare grooves. It’s all about the jams. Join them and bring friends to the Firefly on King Street. Free Entry.
Easter Sunday, April 16th
After you take the kids on their Easter egg hunts and have had your enormously indulgent meal, you will want to get some fresh air and be thankful it’s all over (please leave the dishes for another day).
DJ jus’jay & Rich will be playing family friendly music from their seasonal vinyl collection. Enjoy a pint and take in the river at De Koffie potfrom 2pm Easter Sunday.
For the more daring and adventurous souls who have now left Easter behind and care only for the free time off of work and university, The Underground Revolution host local punk band Teddy’s Leg’s hometown tour gig at The Booth Hall. They bring with them 2 similar lively bands.
Right about 8pm when doors open you will be thankful the dysfunctional family dinner is over. Just don’t blame them if you wake up hugging the chocolate Easter egg your nan gave you. £4 entry.
The Hereford Horror Bulls are hosting a Christmas roller derby double-header on Sunday 10th of December, at their home venue, The Hereford Academy.
There will be stalls available on the day, including Hereford’s Regwina Skate Shop, plus a Half-Time Tombola. The Hereford Academy is situated off Marlbrook Road, Hereford. Doors open at 11:30 am and the first whistle will be at at 12:30 pm. Spectator tickets are £8 on the door, with children under 12 admitted for free.
Hereford’s Roller Derby Girls are a force to be reckoned with, cute but unstoppable, in true female style. They work hard all year and this is a chance for you to support their efforts by cheering on their first game to showcase local Junior Roller Derby talent and hometown game.
For the first time ever, Hereford will be sending its Junior team out as a team in their own right. Very few Junior Roller Derby teams boast enough players to send out a full team, usually playing in hybrid teams. For this game, Hereford Poison Berries (Playing as the festive ‘Holly Berries’) will pit their wit and skills against the hybrid team of DASH (Devon All Star Hitters), and Sheffield Steel Junior Rollers – who will be playing together as ‘Poison Ivy’.
The game is set to be a close one as both teams have similar levels of experience under their belts – with Hereford fielding 2 debutantes alongside its more experienced players.
All three of the junior teams involved in this event also met in North Devon earlier this year to take part and play in the national fundraiser ‘ Bout Against Cancer’ which helped to raise over £3200 for cancer charities. The second game sees the Horror Bullstake on Grin ‘n’ Barum from Barnstaple. They last played at home back in October, when they invited Bristol Roller Derby’s Bees for an exciting and very close-matched game, which saw the Bulls take the win with 206-188. Their next encounter was away in Swindon in November against Wiltshire Roller Derby, where another close game saw them narrowly miss out on the win with a score of 173-198 in Wiltshire’s favour.
League coach and club founder, Zoe Butler said “Following our year out from British Championships, we are all set to take part in the tournament in 2017. We’ve built a strong, solid team over the past year and are looking forward to competing once again. Our Christmas game will be the perfect way to sign off an extremely positive year!”
Their opponents, GRIN ‘N’ BARUM Roller Derby are a women’s, coed and junior roller Derby team based in Barnstaple, North Devon. They have climbed the European Flat Track Stats 100 places this year after a successful British Championships tournament.
Hereford Roller Derby is still looking to build on it’s team of officials and volunteers, from skating referees to non-skating officials and general support for the club.
For more information on joining Hereford Roller Derby, please contact the club either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by Facebook (facebook.com/herefordrollergirls) where you can also keep up to date with all the upcoming events.
Horror Bulls team photo – Credit to Frances Williams
Horror Bulls action shot – Credit to John Hesse
Junior teams photo – Credit to John Hesse
Hereford Paralympian hero Sascha Kindred OBE was treated to a warm homecoming celebration along the picturesque River Wye which flows through the middle of the Hereford City Centre
I popped over to the Left Bank on Saturday (albeit a bit late) expecting the party to be over. The honour guard from Hereford Swimming Clubhad been and gone, the speeches had finished and all the carnival crafts from the Hereford River Carnivalorganisers had been crafted and put away. But what I found was a busy and vibrant courtyard outside De Koffie Pot with wonderful live music emanating from the Bandstand Stage courtesy of Sam Hufferand a plethora of happy children having a good jig thanks to the ever impressive organising efforts of John Steven Hales.
Herefordshire Pride Saturday 30 July 2016 @ The Booth Hallfrom 2pm, The Booth Hall, 3 East Street, HR1 2LW Hereford, Herefordshire http://theboothhall.co.uk/
The event is free throughout the day, but there will be a cost of £4 entry to the entertainment area for the evening acts, which includes free admission to The Venue.
If you have visited Hereford City Centre recently, you might have noticed the oval shaped Hereford Pride signs donated by the Mayor of Hereford and Herefordshire Council proudly beaming around every corner of the city. This is Hereford’s first LGBT Pride event and the numbers are building up with anticipation.
With a new breed of forward thinking entrepreneurs and an atmosphere of tolerance brewing in Hereford, compassionate locals are finding their voice and standing up against the antiquated and xenophobic veil that plagued the city for far too long. The influx of new cultures, new ideas and businesses is weaving a richer tapestry and perhaps …finally …Hereford has stepped into the 21st century. It’s time to welcome LGBT Pride to the city with open arms.
After an enormous amount of work and dedication, a group of very admirable volunteers and supporters have made the first annual Herefordshire Pride happen. Congratulations! Herefordshire Pride will be kicking off this Saturday at The Booth Hall from 2pm. We spoke to one of the pioneers of this event, Rebecca Ashton, to talk PRIDE.
There have been various LGBT+ friendly venues and events in Hereford over the years, but as with any scene, organisers and venues come and go and there isn’t always someone to take the baton immediately when a gap appears-but of course, that doesn’t mean it is not wanted or needed.
Hereford City Centric: Hello Rebecca, thanks for talking to Hereford City Centricabout Herefordshire Pride. We want to lend us much support as we can to this and future local Pride events.
As the organiser of Hereford Pride, can you tell me a bit about what prompted you to set this up and what it means to you? Are you doing this on your own?
Rebecca Ashton: This year’s Pride celebration was organised by the FACE Values board. The Herefordshire FACE Values Board was founded by Neville Meredith (Community Cohesion officer for Herefordshire Council) and his Police colleague, Inspector Nick Semper and launched in October 2014. The FACE Values Board aims to mirror the Home Office’s objective – to create a ‘Safe, Just and Tolerant Society’ The Board identifies and champions ‘FACE’ values; Fairness, Acceptance, Community and Equality and amongst other things, serves to challenge hate crime/hate incidents and support victims. The board has worked with many diverse and sometimes ‘hard to reach’ sections of the community, such as theMalayaleecommunity, Herefordshire Polish community, the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, Hereford Taxi drivers and the Herefordshire Interfaith group.
The FACE Values Board have addressed some LGBT+ issues already, and instead of mainly focusing on hate crime, have conversely provided a much needed and previously missing social outlet for the LGBT+ community in Herefordshire. This has resulted in the vibrant and commercially successful #proudnight. This is an LGBT+ friendly night arranged and organised by the FACE Values Board, hosted at the Venue nightclub on the last Friday of each month, and through its continuing success has confirmed that there was/is an unmet need for a bespoke LGBT+ social scene. Hence the market for a Pride event was established.
HCC:It is nice to hear these other minority communities and the LGBT community are being supported, which certainly restores some faith in Hereford’s openness to diversity. The Booth Hall and the Venue, who are two of Hereford’s most important music venues, are pioneers in what they do and it makes me proud to know they are supporting the LGBT community. I will have to get down to one of those #proudnights at the Venue.
Is this the first Pride that has been organised in Hereford? I know it isn’t an easy task and I hope there are many more.
RA: This is the first ‘full scale’ Pride to take place in Herefordshire. There were some Pride events organised previously by Herefordshire Pride(the group), but unfortunately in an interview with Lydia Johnson of Newsquest Media in October 2013, it was stated that the group would be unable to continue due to a drop in support and lack of funding.
HCC: Have you had support from any other relevant entities who are influencers?
RA: We’ve had fantastic support from a variety of local organisations, businesses, services and of course, individuals. The Vice-Chair of the FACE Values Board is an employee of Herefordshire Council and they have been very supportive and given fantastic practical support, we’ve also received support from the Mayor and Hereford City Council who funded the official signs that you will have seen appearing around the city (hang on to them for next year folks!) and the t shirts that will be given away for free on the day. There will also be several organisations and services with a presence on the day who will be there to offer information and support.
It’s a pretty chilled vibe during the day with juggling, acrobats, circus performances, dance performances, acoustic music-maybe even a little bit of music from the army who will be in attendance with ten of their LGBT soldiers and the Hereford Roller Girls will also be there doing their thing.
HCC: I saw those signs and thought they were fantastic. Good job, and Jim Kenyon is one great Mayor. Having always resided in multi-cultural meccas and hubs that accept the LGBT community with open arms, it concerned me greatly when I moved to Hereford and noticed a lack of gay bars, clubs and just general establishments where the community could gather safely and freely until you mentioned #proudnight. Is there a reason for this? It doesn’t seem fair, unless I have missed something?
RA: There have been various LGBT+ friendly venues and events in Hereford over the years, but as with any scene, organisers and venues come and go and there isn’t always someone to take the baton immediately when a gap appears-but of course, that doesn’t mean it is not wanted or needed. We’ve had a really positive reception with #proudnight, and I’ve reconnected with a few familiar faces from back in the day which has been lovely and it’s also been fantastic to have received emails from people who are fairly new to the area and didn’t know how to connect with the LGBT+ community here, we’re looking forward to welcoming them.
HCC: Ah Yes…I do understand the nature of the business. I really believe you can start a movement here and this could have a positive Butterfly Effect that will encourage the diversity of LGBT life, including art, culture and sport in Herefordshire. Perhaps this will bring the LGBT community closer together and bring others from surrounding communities, counties and even Wales to Hereford Pride every year. What do you hope Herefordshire Pride will bring to to the local LGBT community?
RA: I agree with you and hope that bigger and better things will come from this and since this is our first attempt, I’m sure it can and will flourish-it is already much bigger than we anticipated it would be this year-we have people coming from all over the UK!-the response has been phenomenal and I’m not only deeply grateful to our contributors and supporters but I’m really proud of our city for getting behind it with such enthusiasm. The event serves to educate and inform those who are prejudiced against the LGBT+ community, whilst promoting inclusivity that addresses the esteem needs of those who feel marginalised-the benefits of this are manifold but we certainly would like to see the community as a whole coming together and working with us to make a better future for everyone.
We have an event survey that will be available-QR codes linking to it will be on posters around the event and Herefordshire Livewill be on hand with their ipods to go through it with people (although it is very simple). It will also be a pinned post on our FB account afterwards. We really want to hear people’s thoughts and opinions in order to be able to shape future LGBT+ events into what they want and need them to be. There is also space at the end for people to leave their contact details if they’d like to get involved with future planning, fundraising and organisation.”
HCC: Education is a powerful tool for breaking barriers and bringing communities together. So tell me what we have to look forward to at Herefordshire Pride at the Booth Hall?
RA: We’ve got all kinds lined up! It’s a pretty chilled vibe during the day with juggling, acrobats, circus performances, dance performances, acoustic music-maybe even a little bit of music from the army who will be in attendance with ten of their LGBT soldiers and the Hereford Roller Girls will also be there doing their thing. There will be face painting, an awesome retro ice cream truck, a gourmet hot dog cart, a photo booth and information stands with freebies-not forgetting the free Pride t shirts and wristbands.
Moving into the evening we’ll have stand-up comedy, live bands, aerial acrobatics, and of course our MTV star, Rogan and our headliner, the fabulousLou Safire and after all that, we’ve still got dancing and a spot of late night karaoke for those that fancy it, followed by a meet and greet with our headliner over at the Venue nightclub on Gaol St (It’s 18+ only after 5.15pm and there is a £4 charge to access the entertainment area for those that wish to, but that also includes free entry to the Venue nightclub).
HCC: That sounds like one fun-packed affair! Are there any supporters you want to credit through the no doubt overwhelming journey of putting Herefordshire Pride together?
7. There are lots of supporters that we’d like to credit (deepest apologies if I miss anyone!) The mayor and Hereford City Council for their kind donation and support,Newton FarmCommunity Associationhave supported this and provided practical help from the get-go, Arran and Willow at The Booth Hall have been tremendous, Ashton Creativefor providing us with such fabulous logo and poster designs, Sgt. Alan Cartwright of Suvla Barracks, West Mercia Police, Victim Support, HHL Male Domestic Abuse Service, West Mercia Women’s Aid, Integrated Sexual Health Services, Recruit1st, Let’s Talk, Addaction, The Independent Advisory Group, P.R Ellis – local author, Swinton Insurance, the lovely Valencia of the Kupcake Kitchen, PURE Dance Studios, KelPaul Brew Co, The Balloon Display Company, Helen Astley, Hereford Roller Girls, CJ Copner, Stephen Dodd, Sophie at Pink Elephant, Andie Jordan, all of our wonderful musicians, Rogan O’Connor, Lou Safire, Jess at Hereford Times, Nicola at BBC Hereford & Worcs, Printsome, Sunshine Radio, Free Radio, Steve Harrison at the Venue and everybody who has displayed one of our posters/signs-thank you to each and every one of you!!! I’d also like to credit the FACE Values Board; Insp. Nick Semper, Neville Meredith, Penny Ellis, Edward Hickie, Chris Hodson, Char Carter, Elysia Young, Hannah Young, Jayce Young, Gwyneth Gill, Jude Perks, Natalie Price, Stuart Blake, Rose Hunt, and Adrian Symonds.
That is one impressive group of supporters. Hereford City Centric wishes the LGBT community a happy Pride celebration and we look forward to next years celebrations as well. Thank you so much Rebecca and hats off to you and everyone involved for putting this together.
There was simply a plethora of food and drink to sample and purchase. With the emphasis on local produce it makes one think Ledbury and its outlying districts could easily be self-sufficient in what arrives at the dinner table.
Poets and musicians took to the stage in a display of cool local talent.
Ledbury Food Group, appreciative of the production processes and the gratifying experience eating is, organise the event annually to tie in with the closing of the Poetry festival.
Quality rather than quantity was the hallmark of this year’s celebration and for all the foodies who attended it was a bounteous day.
Review/Photography by Ed Mustafic, Magnetic Records and Freelance Photographer
Each yearLedbury’s BookArt group holds an exhibit during the Ledbury Poetry Festivalfeaturing a collective of works crafted over the span of a year applying various mediums and poetry to create hand-crafted, and at times, printed books. The authors’ works come to life through the use of paints, photography, eco dying, ancient felt making, upcycling and ceramics.
I have attended the Book Art exhibition for the past 3 years as part of the poetry festival experience I look forward to with anticipation. Each exhibit showcases a variety of talent which differs from artist to artist, each as engaging as the last. I find myself consumed by the pages of each book, and there is nothing more intimate than flipping through the pages of what feels like a personal journey guided by each artist.
It is never possible to cover each artist’s work at these exhibits but there were various special pieces I felt drawn to.
As a child growing up in Pasadena, California I attended the annual Rose Parade New Year’s Daycelebrations without falter. It began as a child and carried on until my later years when I was able to camp out on the street during New Year’s Eve so that I could have the best view of the parade in the morning, and party like a rock star all night long whilst nearly freezing during my mere 2 hours of sleep. Nonetheless, I was able to watch the parade in all its majestic glory, even if it was with one eye open and one eye shut. People generally wake up in a tent full of friends they don’t recognise, yet partied with the night before…it is just how it is. I have never forgotten this grand event that as a Pasadena native I am extremely proud of and support any time I am there.
The tradition carries on with my oldest daughter, and so and so forth. Here’s to hoping that Hereford adapts this same enthusiasm for our unique local carnival that kicks off the Wye Valley River Festivaland is buzzing with entertainment for our children and adults alike. Certainly a family affair in a gem of a location. There are puppet foot processions, float competitions on the river that people genuinely pour their heart and souls into to create, a children’s carnival section, lots of live music, stalls selling food and crafts…and the usual Carnival festivities.
I took my daughter along and asked her what she thought. Here is what she said:
“I enjoyed it…it was fun, I would like to go again. The Fun house was my favourite and the floats were my second favourite. I would like to be a cheerleader in the parade next year”
And there you have it. As simple and straightforward as they come.
Last Saturday resulted in hanging around and taking in the acts playing the acoustic stage at the Left Bank’s Hereford Rocks event put on by John Steven Hales, Founder of Porkbelly Promotionsand Clare Foster who is one of the founders of Clear Cut Promotions.
The weather showed little mercy as onlookers sat around the fire pits lit up in the vast beer garden between The Left Bank and De Koffie Pot where the acts were playing. Yet everyone seemed happy to be there, as if the sun were shining, and it most certainly warmed up my mood when I met up with the Raptor boys for a bit of banter inside De Koffie Pot before they played the Hereford Rocks Stage.
It was Adam Fletcher’s birthday – Let’s just say his wit was certainly in good form. Why not? It was his special day and his brother Kurt, Front man of the band, was up from Bristol where he is a student at Bristol Institute of Modern Music, and his band was playing a really cool gig with a pretty cool line up that included head liners, Mick Ralphs Blues Band. Hope it ended well Adam, and I do hope shenanigans ensued.