Coastival puts area on the map

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MUSIC, light, lanterns and gigantic creatures from the darkest of prehistoric ages got the weekend’s Coastival arts event off to an eye-catching start.

And with top acts such as The Levellers and comedians Jon Richardson and Shappi Khorsandi, organisers were hoping to build on the success of the original event two years ago.

Festival organiser Wendy Clews said that she was impressed with the opening parade which was a “breathtaking” sight.

She said: “So many children and their families were there and The Levellers was a brilliant gig to kick things off.

“It’s the first gig they’ve done this year and they were quite nervous about it doing those songs for the first time. They were excited and a bit nervous.

“They had a great time and they said that they definitely want to come back to Scarborough on their next tour.”

Wendy added that the festival was a “bit different” and organisers had tried to develop it from lessons learned during the first one in 2009.

She said: “We’ve tried to do more. The parade was much, much, bigger. There were all the wonderful installations and exhibitions around the town. I’ve just been in Woodend and that is already busy.

“It has definitely put Scarborough on the map because a high percentage of the people that come to Coastival are from out of town. It gives them a different impression of the town.

“I met a group of young people from Leicester who came for The Levellers and they decided to stay. They had never been to Scarborough before and they loved the town.”

The second Coastival had a packed programme throughout the weekend with more than 100 events – many of them free – to celebrate the finest music, drama, performance, comedy, arts and children’s activities.

Events ranged from the comedy of Count Arthur Strong to world music, jazz and a vast array of other attractions, events and installations as well as events for children in Rollercoastival.

Visitors had the chance to see two quintessentially English traditions revived – clog and sword dancing. As well as watching breath-taking performances, people were able to try them out for themselves.

In 2009 a total of more than 9,000 people attended the 96 events that were held during the first ever Coastival – bringing an estimated £175,000 boost to the local economy at a normally quiet time of the year.