Hardwick Hall Hotel Sedgefield, Co, Durham
A Festival that everyone in the North of England would want to be a part of, appealing to The whole family, something for everyone, a melting pot of Live music over 2 stages with star studding acts from around the globe, Dance arenas where you will get lost in music, Children’s area within the woods full of great entertainment, face painting, magic shows, Ventriloquist shows, Punch & Judy & children’s workshops. Vintage fairground attractions.
Nothing beats the northern grit, and after a hard 18 months, no heavy rain was going to stop Hardwick's crowd from enjoying themselves.
Set in the idyllic ground of Hardwick Hall Hotel, you enter the site and walk down the hill with a variety of stages set out to the left and right of the site with the main stage sitting straight centre at the bottom. It's clear to see that the organisers have a passion for music. If you can gain excess to the hotel, within the first floor corridor a set of images run along the wall, hung in pride showing off previous years acts.
Originally starting out life as Hardwick Live in 2013, with Texas headling, the festival has grown year on year, running a mixture for one or two days over those years.
Hardwick Festival 2021 was a great two days delivering a mix of the established and the up and coming acts. All performers delivered crowd pleasing sets, including the likes of Nile Rodgers & Chic, Rebecca Ferguson, Rag n Bone man, Razorlight, Embrace, and Elvana. For me the standout acts for the weekend were The K's, Andrew Cushin, Imelda May, and Maximo Park.
The Festival started off Saturday with a mixture of rain and shine, with Imelda May taking the brunt of a heavy downpour. Imelda took up the mantel and after delivering on stage, got in with the crowd, becoming an immediate fan favourite. Speaking with photographers in the pit the following day, we were all in agreement that Imelda was our stand out act of the weekend.
Some of the earlier acts didn't have the crowds they richly deserved, possibly this was festival goers holding off due to the weather, or just turning up later for what they saw as the main acts. And did those festival goers miss out.
Andrew Cushin is a brilliant songwriter, and delivered a fantastic and at times moving set, singing with a heart full of emotion. I'd never heard any of Andrews songs until the day, and will certainly be following his career, patiently awaiting his album, and making sure I catch one of his future gigs.
The K's arrived on the sunnier Sunday, after having a bit of a nightmare with travelling to and from Denmark the day before. They seem to take their frustrations out on the stage delivering a high pace rock show, which all enjoyed. They certainly set the crowd up for the rest of the day, and left them wanting more.
Along with it's main stage, the festival has a well balanced mixture for all, with an introducing stage hosting regional talent. The Treehouse Arena with the likes of Graeme Park, Brandon Block, The Shapeshifters, Alex P and many other DJs spinning the decks to a packed out crowd determine to rave all day and night, and a Soul Tent, with various acts busting out funk and soul tunes.
Food and drink wise, it has a token based bar system, so on arrival there's long queues as people wait to change their cash to tokens. I feel the festival would be better focusing on going contactless, to avoid this frustration for the festival goers. Nothing to get excited about food wise, it has a typical festival selection which consists of pizza, hog roast, noddles, fish and chips, and greek food.
If you fancy stepping up a level you can treat yourself to one of their VIP options, with your own viewing platform, and access to a bar and food from the hotel, this might be a worthwhile treat to set yourself up for the two days of entertainment.
To find out more about Hardwick visit https://hardwickfestival.co.uk
#nilerodgers #chic #embrace #razorlight #hardwickfestival #hardwick #festivals #concertphotography #concert #livemusic #music #theks #andrewcushin #rebeccaferguson #maximopark #imeldamay #hardwicklive