Living in a small town in West Yorkshire most of my life and being a lover of music it became clear fairly quickly when growing up that if I wanted to go to a gig or festival I would need to travel to the likes of Manchester, Leeds or sometimes further afield! Decent bands just didn’t hold gigs near me and I didn’t blame them- after all, there wasn’t and still isn’t a suitable venue for a start! However one event that has held my attention and attendance throughout the years has been Bingley Music Live (or BML as we like call it).
BML is a festival that is held at Myrtle Park in Bingley each year and since it began in 2007 it has grown in many ways. When I was ten years old my parents announced one weekend that they were going to an event called ‘Music at Myrtle’ this was the event that Bingley Music Live evolved from. For several years, I would watch my Mum pack up her picnic blanket and box of wine as they headed to Myrtle Park (for free!) to watch some bands from the 60’s and 70’s such as Hot Chocolate, Boney M and Suzi Quatro to name a few.
2007 brought the festival’s new identity and along with it came better music and more structure. Since the change, BML has housed headlining acts in the last few years from bands such as The Charlatans, Happy Mondays, Doves, The Zutons, Calvin Harris, The Levellers, James, Maximo Park, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, The Coral, The Go! Team, Primal Scream, The Fratellis and many more. Each year the festival hosts dozens of diverse bands entertaining tens of thousands of local and not so local families, young people and seasoned festival goers.
This year’s festival will be held on the 4th, 5th and 6th of September again at Myrtle Park in Bingley and again with a decent line up. 2015 sees headlining acts from James (Friday), Labrinth (Saturday) and a joint headline set from Super Furry Animals and Idlewild (Sunday). I like James, not only are they from my spiritual home of Manchester but with twenty top forty singles in the UK they have plenty of back catalogue to keep the crowd interested. Other bands showcasing their talent over the weekend include Cast, Ella Eyre, Embrace, Pixel Fix, Carl Barat and The Jackals, Nothing But Thieves and my teenage loves, Ash. There will also be DJ sets from Radio One such as Scott Mills, Huw Stephens and Chris Stark. As well as the main stage at the festival there will also be a second platform called the Discovery Stage, the food arena, stalls to nosey at and lots of family-friendly entertainment too!
One of the greatest things about BML is the price. Their ethos of holding a festival with great music acts (often something for everyone) but that is affordable is great. I for one, become more and more frustrated at gig tickets now costing a small fortune and on occasion hundreds of pounds for arena tours which for me seems ridiculous for a few hours entertainment, even if it is Fleetwood Mac… I can go to Glastonbury for similar prices after all! But, BML have this issue truly covered; for just the bargain price of £49 (adult) / £34 (child) plus booking fee for a weekend ticket or from £25 for a day ticket, you can see a variety of bands and enjoy that wonderfully chilled festival vibe, enjoying the music, food and of course beers without feeling like you have been ripped off.
The event is organised by Bradford City Council and for the last eight years they have done a fantastic job of lining up some great acts, but also providing a platform for local bands from the area to play too, which is refreshing and great for the local community. I am also a huge supporter of the festival’s green initiatives which includes the use of solar power, self-stop taps and the re using/recycling signage. Lots of local volunteers will also be on hold to help keep the arena safe and clean, there really is nothing worse at a festival than litter in my opinion, hopefully this will assist and keep the site looking all sparkly and enjoyable!
Camping options can be located here but be quick as pitches will be booking fast. Alternatively if like myself, you live fairly locally there is a great train service on the Airedale Line from Leeds and Skipton to Bingley station, which is just a few minutes walk to the festival site.
Food wise, I have it on good authority that there will be an array of quality food stalls available to suit all tastes. Eclectic choices such as hotdogs, Caribbean, tapas, hog roasts and tasty pizzas to name a few! I for one, love a spot of festival street food so will be crossing my fingers for some falafel too!
You may have noticed the ‘superhero’ themed logos and posters for BML 2015, well this is down to the fancy dress theme which will be taking over the festival on Sunday. Why not join the fun and ensure Bingley is filled with an influx of capes and face paint? The best dressed heroes will be photographed and featured on the festival’s website and local media.
Families are also more than welcome at BML and with a very special family focused area at the festival you will feel right at home and be able to relax fully away from the hassle of life! Toddler-friendly foods, real ale for the parents/carers and children’s activities such as circus skills, den making, crafts, bouncy play and giant games will also be available throughout the festival to ensure everyone is catered for!
All sounding good? Want to end the festival season of 2015 on a high with some Northern magic? You can purchase tickets to the festival here and for more information on the festival, including line up, FAQS, camping/travel information and more you can visit the festival’s website or like their Facebook page or follow the official Twitter account
Hope to see you there, fingers crossed for sunshine (or just a lack of mud?!) However if you can’t make the festival look out for our review, Rich is coming as my special guest therefore expect fabulous images, he’s a very talented photographer so I am really excited about this little project- watch this space!
*Disclaimer: I am working in collaboration with the not-for-profit music festival Bingley Music Live as a blogger. Please see my disclosure policy for further information*