Events

Harfest is back! Here’s everything you need to know as the music festival returns to Altrincham this weekend

By David Prior at

The annual Harfest music festival returns to Altrincham this weekend.

The event, which is paid for and organised by Altrincham Market, festival production company Ground Control and The Music Place, had enjoyed a hugely successful first couple of years.

But this year’s festival – which is free to attend and raises thousands of pounds each year for the Reverse Rett charity – was under threat after the Everyman Cinema objected to the location of the main stage in its usual place in New Market Square.

Live favourites Baked-a-la-Ska performing at Harfest last year

After an agreement couldn’t be reached, the main stage has now been forced to relocate to the top of Shaw’s Road, next to Market House.

The third Harfest is now confirmed for this weekend, with an array of live music acts spanning everything from bhangra, ska and salsa to soul, folk and funk.

Here’s the full line-up:

Firm live favourites Baked-a-la-Ska will be headlining Saturday’s stage with Frisco Crabbe and the Atlantic Frantics appearing on Sunday.

Other acts include The Bethlehem Casuals, Bhangracise, The Retrosettes and Mojito.

Returning once again will be community choirs including the Music Place Choir, Little Belters, Teen Belters and Absolute Belters, some of who have been rehearsing for this performance since last Christmas.

This year, The Music Place Choir will take a trip down memory lane with a ‘Back To The Eighties’ performance on the main stage at 4pm on Sunday.

With 100 voices, a nine-piece band and three soloists, this year is set to be the choir’s biggest yet.

Happy Mondays star Bez gave a memorable performance at last year’s Harfest:

The Cheshire Youth Music for Life Orchestra have teamed up with the RNCM Singers with a set specifically commissioned for the event.

There will also be a second stage – the “world famous Stage o‘Straw” – which this year will move to the Shaw‘s Road end of New Market Square.

Acts appearing on that stage will include Kirk McElhinney, Carl North, Harriet Dagnall, Hannah Ashcroft and Danny Addison.

Crowds pack New Market Square for last year’s Harfest

Co-organisers Altrincham Market said: “There are literally hundreds of people who have been involved in 2019 who have put loads of time and effort into making it really special again this year. We take our hats off to you all and offer out utmost thanks and complete appreciation.

“The people behind Harfest are committed to putting on a celebration of community, in the community for the community for free, binding us together and raising a few quid for our chosen charity and all those lovely girls struck down by the debilitating neurological condition Rett Syndrome.”