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Acoustic Folkstock Festival in Aldenham Country Park 'a huge success'
An acoustic festival which attracted hundreds of music lovers was hailed a "huge success" by its organiser.
People flocked to Aldenham Country Park to listen to acoustic, folk and roots music from 70 musicians at Saturday’s Folkstock Festival.
The event, which featured a large number of bands from the local area, was headlined by Lucy Ward, Kris Drever, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker, Marina Florance and Reg Meuross.
Creator and organiser, Helen Meissner of the Folkstock Arts Foundation, said she worked hard to address concerns from residents about possible noise disturbance.
She said: "From my point of view it met my objectives, which were to showcase the wonderful, mostly independent unsigned talent which is out there on our doorstep, gigging their hearts out, and to encourage people to take a punt and go to the gigs of artists they do not yet know.
"Councils, private businesses and individuals have been approaching me to book the artists for all sorts of events, which is a perfect outcome and makes all the hard work worthwhile."
There was a vast range of food and drink on offer, and local charities and community organisations had stalls in which they ran crafts and talked about what they did.
Ms Meissner said the festival itself "went like clockwork" with no incidents or accidents at all, with every act running before or on schedule.
However, she said she was disappointed the festival had not attracted the 2,000 people she had expected, adding: "The only thing missing was the crowds. Having said that, there was a good audience in front of all four stages all day, so that was important for the musicians.
"The stall holders would have benefitted from a greater footfall for which I feel sorry, but they all remarked on the warm, community spirit and supportive atmosphere so that almost made up for it."
Her personal highlight was when a resident said the festival "opened his eyes" to folk music and to the "well performed, superbly written" material available.
Other members of the public congratulated Ms Meissner on the "superb" venue, food and talent on offer.
Artist, Peter Farrier, said: "Words cannot express the level of professionalism from Helen Meissner.
"The festival was stunning, the organisation wonderful and the music magnificent. Well done and a round of applause from all those who attended."
However Ms Meissner confessed the festival had been a "huge emotional commitment" because of the hoops she had had to jump through in order to get permission from the council to go ahead.
She added: "I don't know if I would do it again, but I am glad I did it once and proved that it can be done, and done safely and without incident."
She praised her "professional and stoic" team for their support ensuring Folkstock went smoothly.
She said: "Overall, from my point of view, it was a huge success and I am thrilled it all went ahead as planned."
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