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A MUSIC festival, staged in the heart of Nuneaton, has been hailed a scorching success.

Thousands of people flocked to Riversley Park to enjoy 11 hours of entertainment, in aid of a local Urban Arts project.

The RivFest event - the first of its kind to be held in the town for 30 years - was organised by schoolteacher James Bennett and DJ Andy Massive, with the aim of inspiring youngsters to get involved with all forms of performance-art.

Making up a wide-variety bill were bands, solo singers, street dancers, karate exponents, buskers, poets and top DJs, while crowds of onlookers soaked up the sun and food stalls and an outside bar did a roaring trade.

"We could not have had a better day," said Mr Bennett. "The weather was brilliant, which certainly made all the hard work pay off. There have been months of planning involved and I was really panicking about what would happen if it poured down. But, in the end, everything went off really well.

"We've had a fantastic feedback from all quarters, which makes me quite proud. It was important to have it properly marshalled and we made sure that the site was cleared up and left as we found it.

"There was a 3,000 maximum capacity at any one time and I reckon a total of around 5,000 people came through the gates during the day. Providing everything is okay with the council, we are hoping to do the same next year - and perhaps make it an annual event."

The festival received sponsorship from Comic Relief and Tesco's and profits will go towards buying equipment to be used in an Urban Arts Clinic and at after-school clubs around Nuneaton.

"By showcasing various artists, we hope that kids will explore their own passions and gain the confidence to show off their talents in public," said Mr Bennett.

"The ethos is that by putting something like this on, young people will aspire to one day be up there on the stages performing themselves." One of the biggest attractions was the appearance of homegrown international DJ Lisa Lashes, who, literally, had the marquee stage jumping as she went through a non-stop one-hour set, accompanied by a neon-lit giant dancing figure and two mist-shooting storm-trooper girls.

Among the acts taking the honours on the main stage were The 2 Aces, Funk'd, The Sheratones, Skawaddy and The Tonics, before the night was rounded off by DJs Luck, MC Neat, Massive, GI and Snyppa Riley.


A BIG HIT: Youngsters from Kelly's School of Dance in front of the Riversley Park bandstand Left, queues to get into the festival in Riversley Park
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 26, 2013
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