THE inaugural Ilkley Live Garden Music Festival went off with a bang on Saturday, July 10th.

The weather smiled on the town as musicians played in gardens and at Ilkley Riverside to a large and enthusiastic audience.

There was something for everyone with acts including indie, classical, folk, rock, jazz and performers from school age to the University of the Third Age (u3a).

It was warmly received as these quotes from the people of Ilkley show: ‘This has to be an annual event on the Ilkley Calendar.’

‘…the best evening I’ve ever had in the twelve years I’ve been in Ilkley. I’ve heard choirs a Capella, flute duets, rock bands and Gecko Stick all within a square mile.’ ‘We had such a good time yesterday afternoon... so many great acts...’

Organiser Dan Hammond was delighted with the response.

He said: “The people of Ilkley always rise to the occasion and this was no exception – there was a magical atmosphere.

“Not only had the musicians missed performing through COVID, the audience had missed going to see live music so it was a wonderful match.

“The great thing about Ilkley Live is that it is truly a community initiative. I just shared the idea but it took the community to share the idea, it took all the amazing musicians to volunteer to play and it took the people to show up to support them.

“It’s exciting to think what everyone will be able to do in the future. From the feedback I heard, it will certainly be an annual event and we also hope to keep the spirit alive with pop-up gigs etc throughout the year. Watch this space!”

Acts included: The Phoenix Singers (from Cantores Olicanae), with classical, traditional, folk, modern; Alison & Angela, with a medley of flute duets; Stephandhersax, vintage jazz and soul; John & John rock; Adam & Robert, acoustic cover versions; u3a Tuesday Tappers, duo - guitars/fiddle; The Kitchen Jazz Collective ft. Maria Brophy, Jazz trio + vocals; Alex & George, pop and rock covers, Élodie Parsons, Indie/rock/pop; Hazel Davis & Simon Wood, folk/jazz covers; Charles & Maria, acoustic duo and Andy Whitehouse, singer/songwriter.