The organisers of Ripon’s very first annual Lodgefest music festival proudly honoured the city’s very own 21 Engineer Regiment on stage as part of their fundraising for Help for Heroes.
With a packed line-up of eight bands at South Lodge from 12pm to 11pm on Saturday, August 5, co-organiser Mitch Kirk said it was a perfect fit to have The Lost Keys performing at the festival, with all band members serving in the local regiment.
Mitch, who introduced The Lost Keys and managed the bands, stage, sound and lighting on the day, said: “We were really pleased to have the lads from the armed forces there. Raising money for Help for Heroes, it was perfect to have serving heroes on stage.
“I think it was a fabulous success in our first year, with a fantastic turnout and great support. I think there was a very overwhelming consensus that it is a great thing to do for the charities, and people were pleased that we were doing something like that.”
The festival also raised money for the UK Solidarity Fund, which supports people affected by terror attacks.
For the charities, Lodgefest not only helped to raise vital funds of over £3,000, it also drummed up vital awareness.
Volunteer county coordinator for Help for Heroes, Antony Went, said: “It is very important to have this festival, especially around Ripon in a military environment where Help for Heroes is a cause that will be close to the hearts of many Ripon residents.
“Events like this are always well attended, and they really succeed in getting people together to enjoy themselves, and support the causes and the bands.”
In what was a very busy weekend for Ripon, a number of residents who had been on a float in the St Wilfrid’s Procession moved on to Lodgefest to support the causes and enjoy the bands.
Mitch said: “I saw all these people going past South Lodge in costume on their way to the procession, and some of them in cars beeped their horns to show their support. It was great to see some of them there afterwards.
“What stood out for me was being on stage to make the whole thing run smoothly. The highlight for me was being able to successfully put on a show with eight bands.
“I think Ripon was really put on the map this weekend.”
Organising Lodgefest alongside Mitch was Adelle, Lennie and Hilary Holmes, who are all managers for Inglenook Inns and Taverns, which South Lodge is part of. Already they are planning on making next year’s festival “even bigger and better.”
Adelle said: “It took my breath away how amazing it was, it was a fantastic day.”
The festival was headlined by Also Known As, and the line-up also included Citizen Smith, Sugartown, Replay, Jack Critchlow, Reverend & the Sinners, Chequered Past and The Lost Keys. Other attractions included face painting, a raffle, and stalls.
What was your highlight of this big weekend for Ripon? Did you go to the St Wilfrid’s Procession or Lodgefest? Email firstname.lastname@example.org