Live music, comedy and culture expected at Wath Festival this weekend

Folk band Show Of Hands.
Folk band Show Of Hands.
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Music, comedy, culture and local traditions are set to bring a burst of fun to Wath-upon-Dearne when the annual town festival returns this weekend.

More than 5000 visitors are expected to line the streets and pile into venues to watch dozens of bands, dancers and street entertainers across the May Day Bank Holiday.

The four day music festival, running from Friday, April 29, to Monday, May 2, will feature dozens of performers across several different venues.

One of folk music’s most well respected acts Show of Hands, who have previously performed at Glastonbury, will appear as one of the main festival headliners at Montgomery Hall on Sunday.

Dave Adnitt, chair of the Wath Festival Organising Team, said: “The band are in great demand, performing to sell out audiences in the UK and abroad.

“They have built up a huge following which has seen them sell out the Royal Albert Hall three times, played major festivals from Glastonbury to WOMAD and playing all over the world, from Europe to America, Australia and India.

“Voted Best Live Act by the public at the 2004 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, the jury is still out on just what kind of music they play. A genre defying mix of rock, roots, blues, country and trad, and often influenced by the music of other countries, it is played out on an array of instruments from slide guitar to fiddle, mandolin to South American cuatro.”

Other acts taking to the stage include Jez Lowe, Rob Heron and the Teapad Orchestra, Billy Mitchell, Edward II, the Tom McConville Band, Jessica Simpson and The Willows across several different venues.

Probably the busiest day of the festival will be Saturday, where there will be street dancing, comedy routines and a maypole dance in Montgomery Square from 9.15am.

Crowds can expect to see appearances from school children, Wath Morris, Harthill Morris, Barnsley Samba Band and Karen Murillo-Norman’s maypole dancers.

The crowds are also sure to be wowed by this year’s special guests Son de America, who will present a colourful and exciting performance of live music and dance from Central and South America.

A procession will follow to All Saints’ Parish Church for the popular throwing of the bread buns from the church tower around noon.

The tradition was started in 1810 by Thomas Tuke, who left a will demanding 40 dozen penny buns be thrown from Wath Parish Church tower every year on Christmas Day forever. His bequest was made part of the town’s May Day celebrations and the annual Wath festival.

There will be live music on Saturday afternoon in the marquee on the former Wath Town Hall green with performances by Mark Hearne, Georgia Oliver, Son de America and Salutation. There will also be a photographic exhibition in the former town hall.

Details of the full line-up and tickets can be found at www.wathfestival.org.uk

*Email you pictures of the event to copydesk.southyorks@jpress.co.uk