Newark Festival 2014: Union J, The Human League and family fun in an enjoyable event
7:00am Thu Jun 26, 2014
The Human League headlined the second night of the Newark Festival
The Human League headlined the second night of the Newark Festival
Thousands of Newark residents and visitors have enjoyed two days and three evenings of events that showcased the town as a terrific tourist destination.
Newark Festival 2014 started on Friday night with a concert for a young audience at Riverside Park, where the headline act was boy band Union J, who found fame on ITV’s X Factor. Other acts included Rough Copy and Luke Friend.

Saturday daytime boasted a food market on Bridge Street and Stodman Street, and in St Mark’s precinct, which complemented the regular Saturday market. A helter-skelter, other fairground rounds and street entertainers added to the festival atmosphere in a packed town centre.

On Saturday night the attraction was the 80s revival gig at the park, headlined by The Human League and supported by Heaven 17 and Marc Almond.

The following day saw the biggest crowd yet for the free family fun day at the park. The entertainment included Postman Pat and Friends.

Hundreds of people took part in Newark Carnival or lined the streets of the town centre to cheer as the colourful floats and parade passed.

Proms in the Park was headlined by classical singer Camilla Kerslake, who is signed to Gary Barlow’s record label.

The festival, which was organised by Newark Town Council and Liz Hobbs Group, closed with a fireworks display.

The leader of the town council, Mrs Gill Dawn, said: “We did what we set out to achieve.

“We made Newark a busy town throughout the festival weekend and brought in the tourists.

“A lot of people I spoke to came because they were here last year, which shows we are building on something good and making it more popular.

“It was great to see so many local people sat out on Sunday, completely relaxed and enyoying free, high-quality entertainment.”

Mrs Dawn said her highlights were Sunday and The Human League-led concert.

She said if there was one downside, it was the relatively low attendance at Friday’s concert.

Mrs Dawn said parents were put off by the £25 price of tickets and because under 16s had to be accompanied.

“The cost of parents attending or the age at which children have to be accompanied is something we will have to look at,” she said.

“Having to pay double because your teenage son or daughter wants to go to a gig is unfair and is probably responsible for putting a number of people off.

“Those parents that did go on Friday night might have sooner spent their money going to The Human League but didn’t want to let their children down.

“But nothing should detract from the overall perspective that in its totality, Newark Festival 2014 was a successful event.”

Liz Hobbs MBE, whose group help promote and produce the festival, said: "Liz Hobbs Group loves producing the Festival in association with Newark Town Council. This year's Festival was a success and I am looking forward to developing the event to make it even bigger and better for everyone in 2015."

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