It certainly was a busy weekend with so many events going on such as Ymuno Festival and North Wales Pride, plus over in Rhyl, North Wales was the very first Sunnyfest event at the Sunnyvale Holiday Park, so we sent over John Sutton, to cover the event.
Sunnyfest in Rhyl
People had started to gather to see the opening act, The Rhyl Silver Band. Braving the elements, they were treated to half an hour of big band standards whose jolly jazz tinge helped to lift the spirits of the hardy souls gathered to watch.
After a quick turn around, second on was young singer/songwriter Seren Jones. She played a short set of acoustic numbers that was well received by the now expanding crowd. A great voice and one to watch out for in the future.
Next on, Contagious. A young three piece playing catchy original numbers and covers with high energy and a great sense of fun. Think Blink 182, Greenday and the whole American pop punk thing and you’ll only be halfway there. With both talent to spare and a consummate attitude (half the drum kit blows over in the wind, no problem!) another young prospect to keep an eye out for. Contagious? Definitely!
X-Factor Contestant Chloe at Sunnyfest
An expectant crowd watched Chloe take to the stage. The weather was showing no respect for the former X-Factor contestant as she did a short set and sang tunes made famous by Vera Lynn and ended with a great version of Hello by Adele.
Pitter patter went the rain drops as the Spitting Pips took to the stage. Enduring what was to be the worst of the weather, the four piece made short work of their hour stage time as they rocked original songs that weren’t afraid to show their nineties Mancunian roots.
The Delicate Voice of Laura at Sunnyfest
Not on the advertising poster was Laura. A young girl and her keyboard, playing and singing self-penned tunes of melancholy. I think this makes her a ‘special guest’ and so she was. A delicate voice that will only gain in prospect and confidence as she plays more in a live environment. If you can deal with your keyboard and mic stand being sandbagged in place halfway through a song, you can deal with anything!
The weather was easing off slightly, but the good music just kept on going. Dunebug is a quality three piece playing both originals and covers. If you like your tunes with a subtle hint of Glen Tilbrook, Fergal Sharkey or Elvis Costello, then these are the guys for you.
The sun broke through the clouds then the whirlwind of energy that is MavMac was upon the stage. And the tables. And in the audience. In fact, anywhere a person wasn’t a Mav or a Mac was. Rap/rock mash-ups have never sounded so good. As a sign of goodwill to the audience, the lads sat down, got the acoustic out and gave everyone a chance to get their collective breath back. Cheers fellas, you know when you’ve been MavMac’d!
One person. One guitar. One voice. One extreme talent. Joe Berry. After being there from the start (and coming to the rescue of Mav, or was it Mac, with the loan of his guitar) Joe played his part and ended the day in true singer/songwriter tradition. Finely crafted songs and great vocals brought the best of the sun out and closed proceedings on a very pleasant note.
Overall, an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable day. The genre and styles of music were varied and there really was something for everyone. Performances were of a high standard, especially in the face of the ever-changing weather. A hearty shout out should go to John and Martin of Dragon Events who provided sound and lights. They made sure everyone sounded great and dealt with all the weather threw at them in their stride. I believe sandbags may now have entered the soundman’s armoury, to complement the ever-present duct tape.
A final hurrah should go to Ross and the staff at Sunnyvale. A nicer bunch of people you couldn’t wish to meet, or have look after you at an event such as this. As a first of its kind event, I’m sure there were the odd gremlins that were getting ironed out, but from front of house, it just looked like a well-oiled machine…..Once again, a testament to Ross and his crew. There was a good show of interest and a steady flow of people, so I personally hope that this will be the first in a series of such events and the figures make it worthwhile, as young talent always needs exposure and this is a great venue to do it.
Here’s to the next one, and some decent weather!
Featured image by Aaron Scantlebury. Other images and words by John Sutton