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Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival strikes a chord with major new sponsor

visitor economy 14/04/2022

From June 16-19, programme includes a glittering line-up.

Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival has won support from a major new sponsor as plans for this year's event gather pace.

McCarthy Stone, the UKs leading retirement housebuilder, has thrown its weight behind the much-loved crowd-puller in its 30th anniversary year.

The company, which is currently building new retirement living apartments off Wheelock Street, is the festival’s main sponsor as organisers plan an exciting come-back after a two-year gap due to the pandemic.

Taking place June 16-19, the programme includes a glittering line-up of star performers and a host of family attractions spread round Middlewich, including fringe festival pubs.

Headlining on the Main Stage on Market Field on the Friday will be the hugely-popular The Whole of the Moon band The Waterboys and just announced as top act on Saturday are Liverpool indie/rock favourites Cast, supported by The Boo Radleys, also with their own cult fan base.

A dedicated folk stage in the Victoria Hall, Civic Way will offer a wide-variety of performers as organisers take the festival back to its folk roots. Among them are Oysterband, massive on the folk/rock scene, and Eliza Carthy, famed for her singing and fiddle-playing genius.

Folk stage organiser Liz Rosenfield, whose connections go back to the early festival years, said: “The festival has an amazing reputation, and I am proud to bring back many past performers as well as a mix of fresh musical talent. This will be a festival to remember.”

Meanwhile enquiries are coming in thick and fast from narrowboat owners keen to display their colourful boats while selling their crafts as part of a floating market.

The festival working group, including town councillors and residents, have quite literally pushed the boat out to showcase Middlewich as a visitor town with a scenic water network to explore.

Boats will be seen along the Trent and Mersey canal below Big Lock and above Kings Lock and the Shropshire Union above Wardle.

New for 2022 are street markets where festival-goers can feast on artisan foods and browse a variety of stalls on Wheelock Street and Civic Way car-park. There will also be tasty tipples at gin, prosecco and cocktail bars located on Market Field next to the Main Stage.

Adding to the party atmosphere will be a street procession. Stepping out in style will be community groups on colourful floats, morris dancers and children’s troupes.

Fiona Brooks, Sales & Marketing Director for McCarthy Stone said: “For three decades Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival has been a much-loved event on the social calendar for people from across the country and we are delighted to be main sponsor in its special anniversary year.

“Organisers are going all out to make this one to remember and showcase Middlewich as the lovely welcoming town we know it to be.

“Our new Retirement Living development, Roman Court, located in the heart of town offers a chance for retirees to enjoy all Middlewich has to offer from its independent shops and eateries to Canalside walks and lots of community groups to join and make new friends.

“We look forward to the festival being a huge success.”

Tickets for the Main Stage and Folk Stage gigs are selling well. Organisers are also saying ‘Hello Campers’ to visitors coming to stay on Harbutts Field, famed for its Roman fort. Bookings for camping are being taken via the festival website.

Deputy Town Clerk Nicola Antoney said: We are getting pretty excited about this year’s event which is shaping up into something really special with a fantastic new sponsor onboard.

“We are very proud to attract this high-profile support from a company well-known to Middlewich.

“With so much going on – the music, market, boats, fringe venues and more – the whole town and many visitors will have a wonderful event to look forward to this June.”

For more information on the festival programme, its ticketed events and host of free attractions see social media or head to the website