The Northumberland Festival will return in 2022 after a two-year absence

A Northumberland music festival returns this summer after a two-year absence.

The Glendale Free Music Festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to coronavirus, but is said to be “coming back with a vengeance” in 2022.

In addition to family and entertainment at the Wooler Mart, there are plans to hold a Farmer’s Market in the town’s bus station selling crafts and produce from the region.

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This year’s acts include King Size Voodoo Traveller, who have performed at the festival before; Antic Hay, an acoustic trio that spans many genres with their own songs; and half a robot.

Family entertainment planned so far includes stalls, sports club activities, a children’s funfair and a ceilidh orchestra.

Alison Lloyd-Harris, President of the Glendale Free Music Festival, said: “The festival has been around for 22 years and we felt it needed a bit of a revamp for its comeback.

“That way, visitors can enjoy the market side of the festival at the bus station, have lunch there, and then head to the Wooler Mart for an afternoon of entertainment and live music.

Folk artists at a previous Glendale Free Music Festival

“Moving the afternoon venue to the market means there will be more space to provide entertainment for children as well as stalls and community activities.

“It also solves access problems, caused by the closure of the High Street, and road safety concerns about people congregating at the entrance to the bus station to listen to the music in the evening.”

Access issues could be a thing of the past for future festivals – as a six-figure investment has been announced to help the city cope with the surge in visitor numbers that have surged during the pandemic.

Part of the £650,000 investment will see a new ‘overflow’ car park near the town centre, as well as a car park next to Ad Gefrin, listed earlier this year as one of the openings of Smithsonian Magazine’s Most Anticipated Museums of 2022.

Jenny Pollock of the Glendale Committee added: “Visitors would do well to come this year as the new Ad Gefrin Visitor Center and Distillery will open in the fall and this should attract thousands more tourists to the area, so Wooler is likely to be much busier next year!”

Known as a gateway to Cheviots, there is also plenty to do in Wooler besides the festival and new visitor centre.

Jenny continued: “Generally speaking, Wooler is ideal for walking with short and long routes from town or just outside.

“There are local history trails around and near the town. It’s also a great place to explore Northumberland as it’s central to many of the area’s tourist attractions.”

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