The Worldfest Festival has been hailed a great success by Festival organisers, Tees Valley Arts and audiences.
The Festival culminated on Saturday night with a performance by Reggae superstar Gregory Isaacs to an enthusiastic and diverse audience at Middlesbrough Town Hall.
The Festival, now its third year, had an Afro-pop spectacular at the Arc, Stockton with John Peel’s favourite act, Congolese soukous king Kanda Bongo Man and was followed by a youth event featuring some of the Tees Valley’s finest indie rock bands, Grandma’s House and Heroes Fall First and young dancers from Tees Valley’s Zimbabwean Community, The Hotsteppers and finally concluded with a Reggae Gala Night featuring Jamaican reggae star Gregory Isaacs and Beta Simon, from the Ivory Coast.
WorldFest is organised by Tees Valley Arts in partnership with Middlesbrough Council and African Arts, and built on the previous WinterFests of 2007 and 2006 with increased audience numbers for a third consecutive year.
Rowena Sommerville, director of programmes at Tees Valley Arts, said: “WorldFest is a celebration of diversity and we’ve been able to put together an eclectic mix of performers for the shows. We were very lucky that our headline act, Gregory Isaacs was able to perform as he had to cancel shows in Dublin and Edinburgh earlier in the week due to illness. The crowds were all extremely enthusiastic and, indeed, one girl, Unity, even joined Kanda Bongo Man on stage at the Arc and really impressed his Soukous dancers with her rhythmic dancing. We hope that 2009 will be even bigger and better!”
WorldFest is also collaborating with Middlesbrough Music Live this year and there will be a WorldFest stage upstairs at The Central pub at the event on Sunday 1st June.