First Middlehaven Festival in tune with needs of revellers

ROCKING THE BORO: Middlehaven Festival takes place outside Middlesbrough College. The main stage with band Kosoti performing.

ROCKING THE BORO: Middlehaven Festival takes place outside Middlesbrough College. The main stage with band Kosoti performing.

ROCKING THE BORO: Middlehaven Festival takes place outside Middlesbrough College. Jake Taylor plays on the second stage.

ROCKING THE BORO: Middlehaven Festival takes place outside Middlesbrough College. Jake Taylor plays on the second stage.

ROCKING THE BORO: Middlehaven Festival takes place outside Middlesbrough College. Jake Taylor plays on the second stage.

ROCKING THE BORO: Middlehaven Festival takes place outside Middlesbrough College. Some of those who attended watching the main stage.

ROCKING THE BORO: Middlehaven Festival takes place outside Middlesbrough College. Entertainment on offer other than music.

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

THE first Middlehaven Festival proved music should have no barriers at the first day-long gig in the Tees Valley with full disabled access.

While BRIT-award nominated chart toppers The Feeling headlined the event it also showcase new musical acts and unique performance art including human slinkies.

The open-air event on Saturday at Middlesbrough's Middlehaven dock was been organised by care specialists Keiro, which runs nearby spinal injuries rehabilitation centre, The Gateway.

Determined revellers of all physical abilities could take part, features included level boardwalks and wheelchair access, specialist toilets, hoisting and changing facilities, hearing loops along with a sensory ‘chill out’ area as well as extensive medical services on site.

Keiro’s business relationship director, Alistair McDonald, said “The first ever Middlehaven Festival was a fantastic day, I was really pleased to see how the accessibility of the event meant that there were no barriers to everyone really enjoying the event.

“Middlehaven and the festival site on the dock is such a great setting for an event like this which really highlights what a great area it is becoming."

The local acts such as Lisbon, The Lake Poets, Be Quiet Shout Loud, Big Beat Bronson and Kosoti were incredible and showed what great talent we have here in the North East. Our headliner The Feeling did a fantastic job of rounding things off.”

The shindig was also supported by Middlesbrough College, the Thirteen Group, and Middlesbrough Football Club.

Its second stage included music from aspiring Teesside singer/songwriter Ellis Rayner, MC rapper Mr Ajad, Middlesbrough College band Affirmation and alternative acoustic duo Taylor Mayd.

The final performance on stage was be a nine foot tall futuristic android, Predatron. Dressed in battle armour and armed with Light- Sabre blades it unleashed weapons such as Co2 Ice Cannon onto the audience.

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