PREVIEW: Lift off for Apollo Festival 2015

When: Saturday 27th June 2015  – 11.00am – 9.00pm

Where: York Sports Club, Shipton Road

Amongst the Leeds Festivals, Glastonbury, Download, Slam Dunk Festivals there has been another festival bubbling under the surface.

Now into its 3rd year, Apollo Festival in York is gradually building. Becoming bolder and bigger as time moves on, it is now citied as the No.1 family festival in York.

This year sees Inspiral Carpets headlining with the additional extra of Rick Witter and Space all topping the bill. Inspiral Carpets, returned to the music scene with the release of a new album in 2014 following a 20 year break. They seem pretty pleased to be headlining too with singer Stephen Holt saying; ‘We’re really please to be playing the Apollo Festival in York. We’re on good form, don’t miss out.’

Known for his performances as a part of Shed Seven, Rick Witter will be providing a DJ set between Space and Inspiral Carpets, as well as running his own stage for the first time at Apollo Festival. Taken from Apollo Festival’s official website Rick said; ‘I went to the festival as a punter last year and had a really good time, so I spoke to the organisers and came up with the idea of an introducing stage. As far as I’m concerned there’s an awful lot of good local talent and if it can be put together, that’s great. The biggest buzz for me will be seeing young bands playing for 20 minutes. It’s what Shed Seven went through and it was hard to find places for us to play.”

Liverpudlian band Space return to the music scene also. Celebrating their 20th anniversary throughout 2014 with a UK tour, expect to revert to the 90’s with hit singles ‘Female of the Species’ and ‘The Ballad of Tom Jones’



Apollo Festival 2014 (C) Yellow Mustang

But it isn’t all about the household names at this festival.

The festival prides itself on giving the opportunity to artists from the Yorkshire region, however not limited to this, who are starting to make an impression on the music industry.

Popular Leeds solo artist Rupert Stroud, Wakefield’s CryBabyCry, Leeds band Apollo Junction as well York’s Hello Operator and Everlate are amongst the line-up. I mean you

do have over 50 acts to choose from so there shouldn’t be any problem finding a musical taste you like.

In fact Access to Music (ATM) have their own stage dedicated to acts who have involvement with the scheme, famous for the likes of Ed Sheeran and Rita Ora in previous years. Beth McCarthy, part of Team Ricky on 2014’s ‘The Voice’ and a past student herself, will be playing the festival also.

Known for their monstrous challenges, Huckleberry’s Diner is the main sponsor this year with plenty of support from local business as well as local breweries such as Ainsty Ales and Timothy Taylors, to name but a few.

Aside from the music, there is plenty to keep the whole of the family occupied for the day. As well as a funfair there is a full day of activities pencilled in to keep the little ones happy. A full schedule of events including creating headbands, paper lanterns and playing the likes of hoopla and tic-tac-toe has been designed to include the children at the festival, making the whole experience enjoyable and safe for the entire family.

The brainchild of Stuart Kelly, perhaps what is most inspiring is the manner in which this festival has come to life. Those behind the festival are doing so voluntarily, juggling their full-time jobs or studies during the day and switching to ‘Apollo Duties’ on evenings and weekends.

In normal circumstances it’s a full-on experience being the Festival Director. However this year has been a particular testing time for Stu. Having recently undergoing shoulder surgery with an extensive recovery time and just welcomed the birth of his 2nd child it’s been even more of an experience this year.

With the summer weather finally breaking through, who needs Glastonbury when you can treat the family to a jam-packed music extravaganza of over 50 artists?

Full line up available on

Tickets start from £5.00 available on