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Music in the Park festival in Stansted raising money for Bentfield County Primary School

Sounds of the 18th Music in the Park festival will fill Stansted on Saturday as revellers descend on Bentfield County Primary School for its annual event.

The family day out is a major fund-raiser for the school and organisers are hoping this year’s line-up will once again draw in the crowds.

“It is a music festival, but it’s more of a family day that is well supported by people throughout the village, not just parents,” said John Black, a member of the organising team.

Jay Williams. (13289936)
Jay Williams. (13289936)

“It’s a great event - it’s lively from the minute we open the gates at 2pm until it finishes around 8.30pm with different artists and bands performing throughout the afternoon.”

Among the seven acts set to take to the stage at the Rainsford Road school are new start-up group, Geckos, whose band members are aged 10-13 and include a former Bentfield pupil. This will be their first festival performance.

Singer-songwriter Jay Williams will be next up. He too is a former pupil who plays the pub circuit and has performed at festivals, including Bishop's Stortford's Cazfest and Stortfest.

Guitarist and singer Robyn, who made her debut at MITP last year, returns with her band and she will be followed by singer Leanne Pharaoh, accompanied by guitarist Gareth, who wowed the crowds last time with her powerful vocal performance.

High energy four-piece, Velvet Tree, will perform their up-tempo tunes while next on stage will be Goat Patrol - three guys who play classic songs from the past five decades.

And bringing the event to a conclusion is one of the country’s top cover bands, The Jarrs, who are guaranteed to get the audience rocking till the end.

Mr Black said children could enjoy bouncy castles, glitter and face-painting while a bar and barbecue would be running throughout the afternoon.

The PTA organised festival is one of the highlight's of the school calendar and this year it coincides with its 40th anniversary. Last time MITP raised £4,500 which paid for the resurfacing and marking of the playground and helped provide 15 new tablets for pupils.

"We haven't got a big project lined up for this year, but will use any money raised to continue with playground renovations - we would like to landscape and refurbish our smaller play area," said Mr Black.

"We are very lucky at our school that we have a very good PTA and a fantastic group of supportive parents."

He said local businesses, including pubs and bars who had donated barrels of beer, had been extremely supportive of this year's event.

Tickets for Music in the Park are priced £15 in advance from the school office or £18 on the gate. Under 16s go free if accompanied by an adult.

For ticket enquiries visit mitp.bentfield@btinternet.com

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