ORGANISERS behind a Newstead music festival, which has been gaining in popularity since it began two years ago, have announced that it will not go ahead this year as the drive to finish Annesley and Newstead Country Park’s visitor centre is stepped up.
Headstock, which began as a one-day festival in September 2010 and became a two-day event last year, is run by the charity Newstead Enterprise. which was set up as a way of regenerating the former mining village.
Newstead Enterprise received £433,140 from the Big Lottery Fund in 2010 and residents from the village appeared on BBC television programme Village SOS, which was fronted by presenter Sarah Beeny and broadcast in September last year.
Alongside the festival, Newstead Enterprise is creating the 230 acre-Newstead and Annesley Country Park on the former pit site and the plans include an eco-friendly ‘earthship’ education and visitor centre with walls created from 1,500 donated vehicle tyres as well as angling lakes.
The angling lakes will be used by a number of groups, including the CAST angling project which gives young people the chance to engage with the sport.
But while work on the visitor centre was started last year, it has not yet been completed.
Now officials behind the project say they want to make this their focus in the coming year.
In a statement, Julia Thistleton-Smith, from Newstead Enterprise, said: “We have a huge amount of work still to do to complete our sustainable business including finishing the park’s eco-build visitor centre and opening our angling lakes.
“As a group we’ve decided that regretfully we can’t give Headstock the focus it needs this year.
“We want to thank all our supporters for helping us put on Headstock, for attending and making it so special.
“Please watch this space for details of next year’s festival.”
Last year’s Headstocks attracted thousands of music fans from Newstead, the county and further afield and the crowds enjoyed music from headline acts Echo and the Bunnymen and the Lightning Seeds, along with a host of local acts, such as Newstead Brass.
The event also included workshops, activities for children, food and drink and other attractions.
The festival was nominated for Best New Festival at the UK Festival Awards in its first year.