PICTURES: Sun comes out for Usk Festival

South Wales Argus: Usk Jazz FestivalHAND IT TO HER  Blusey Susie and the Hot 3 perform on Twyn Square Stage (7892177) Usk Jazz FestivalHAND IT TO HER Blusey Susie and the Hot 3 perform on Twyn Square Stage (7892177)

THOUSANDS of people attended this year’s Usk Festival which culminated this weekend with entertainment from jazz musicians and medieval lords and ladies.

Festival organiser David Sansom told the Argus it had been “a huge success”, with sell-out performances of “Mametz” every night by the National Theatre Wales at Great Llancayo Woods, inspired by the work of Abergavenny poet Owen Sheers, to rave reviews.

The ten-day festival, which has a Christmas equivalent in the town, is now in its third year after a revival by community groups.

On Saturday, live in the square, and at the New Court Hotel from noon was Gethin Liddington and the Good Katz, Bluesey Susie and the Hot Three, the Broadway Irregulars plus two open mic sessions taking revellers into the late afternoon.

On Sunday there was live music from 11am to 4.30pm, culminating in a performance by Steve Doolan and Fraser Allibone.

At the castle there was a battle staged by the Regia medieval re-enactors who gave a demonstration of their battle skills, as well as music by the Usk and Chepstow singers and two medieval players based on real events from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Last weekend music fans and visitors joined an outdoor music festival featuring reggae, party tunes and choir performances while on Friday, July 4, around 120 toddlers enjoyed a teddy bears’ picnic at the castle.

The festival was also punctuated by a visit from the Duchess of Cornwall and the town was covered in blooming flowers.

Mr Sansom said: “We’ve had a good steady crowd on both days of the weekend....

“Last year’s festival fell on the hottest weekend of the year, today and yesterday it’s been cooler with a little bit of showery weather but not enough to put off the enthusiastic jazz fans,” he said. “It’s the first time we’ve incorporated a specific jazz weekend into the festival and it will become a regular feature.”

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