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Festival - A Dazzling Success

By H. Jackson on Tuesday, 16th July 2002.

With brilliant sunshine and top class musicians, playing to a packed audience, the Clare World Music Festival (CWMF) 2002 was a dazzling success.

Over 2,000 people crowded into the grounds of Clare Country park to hear music from Trenchtown Experience, Dr Feelgood and Boney M as well as entertainment from the cream of local musicians. They were not disappointed. The clouds of the previous days rolled away and the sun shone down on the festival grounds as the audience gathered for an afternoon of musical entertainment. Many of the audience arrived prepared for the event with picnic tables and chairs and were delighted at the warmth of the day and the festival atmosphere.

The festival is held each year to raise funds for local charities and the event is staged in the ancient grounds of Clare’s Country Park. This beautiful natural arena lies in the shadow of Clare’s Normal Castle walls. A castle that was once home to the most powerful families in the land.
Each year local and regional businesses help support the festival with sponsorship and donations. This year the event was sponsored by Speedy Hire who provided all the generators and site equipment and also by the East Anglian Daily Times who helped promote the event.
On site food and drink stalls helped sustain the crowd. Nethergate Brewery, who are based in Clare, provided all the bar facilities and even brewed a special beer called Russian Queen in honour of one of Boney-Ms most successful songs. With Thai food, a hog-roast and even an ice-cream van for the children the food vendors were kept busy throughout the day and the local kids-Klub were at full stretch entertaining the children with volley ball, slow cricket and bike-trailing.

At 12noon the music started and local bands Nermal and Chantal warmed the crowd in the early afternoon sun. The day moved on to the Reggae sounds of Trenchtown Experience. This Bob Marley tribute band soon had the audience on their feet as they played through No Woman No Cry and We’re Jamming. After two encores including Babylon and Trenchtown the band made way for Dr Feelgood recognised by many as the best R&B band in the country. Dr Feelgood gave the audience everything they expected and more with exceptional lead guitar work and driving rhythms.
Finally it was Boney M with the legendary Liz Mitchel still fronting this remarkable group. With songs like Ra Ra Rasputine and Daddy Cool it was clean that Boney-M had lost nothing of their enthusiasm or entertainment value. Soon the entire audience were singing along with each classic tune that Liz Mitchell produced and even the setting sun did not dent the crowd’s enthusiasm.
When the evening finally ended at 11pm the sights and sounds of a truly fantastic day seemed to hang in the air and the crowd were reluctant to leave such a remarkable event. Everyone who visited was impressed and many thanked the organisers for the day and the music. Some even asked if they could buy tickets for next year!

With perfect weather and a wonderful days entertainment the memory of the best ever Clare Music Festival will undoubtedly stay in the minds and hearts of the audience for many years to come.

Haverhill Weekly News

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