Tuesday, September 5, 2023

News: This year's Wentworth Festival set to be last at the big house


Wentworth Festival, the annual celebration of music, comedy and family fun is set to run for the final time later this month at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham.

The grade I listed mansion has hosted the high profile event since it was dreamt up by radio and music pals, Toby Foster and Steve White in 2017.

British soul singer Lemar, who played at the first ever festival, has been brought back along with acts like Sleeper, Toploader, Livin’ Joy and eighties hit machine Kim Wilde to wave the festival off in style on September 16.

After seven years this will be the last of the festivals, organised by the local promoters to be held in the village of Wentworth, though they say that the story is far from over.

Toby Foster said that he was "beyond upset" that the festival would no longer be at Wentworth Woodhouse but explained: “The festival has been such a success that we have decided we need to keep it running on an annual basis and that means tidying up a few loose ends and looking at the costs that running such a massive show entails. No one else is putting on a gig of this size anywhere in Rotherham, and we need to keep the quality up.

"Wentworth Woodhouse is a stunning venue but as you’d expect, they have substantial costs to cover and we have been unable to mitigate those in any way, so we need to move the festival to somewhere that is more sustainable in the long run.”

The event, sponsored by Barnsley College for the last two years, also runs a new music stage, kid’s entertainment tent and a six hour long comedy club courtesy of Sheffield’s Last Laugh Club, as well as House and Northern Soul disco tents.

Steve White, added: "We are looking at two other sites, both within ten minutes of Wentworth, so people who have been to all our festivals so far shouldn’t have too far to go. In fact, for most people, we may well be nearer.”

Whilst the future is undoubtedly bright, focus is very much on this year. As Foster adds: “The entire team is gutted to be leaving Wentworth, we feel like we’ve grown up here. To have the festival half a mile from home has been amazing, so we are just going to enjoy 2023, which is already our best selling festival ever, and have an amazing finale."

Taken on by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT) in 2017, a major £150m regeneration programme is well underway with phases in the near future to focus on events and conferencing. This year, the mansion has hosted art exhibitions, tribute acts and outdoor theatre and cinema screenings.

Wentworth Festival website

Images: Wentworth Festival / Facebook


Anonymous,  September 6, 2023 at 9:43 AM  

If he's talking about nearby sites 10 minutes away, wonder if he has Elsecar in mind? With it having a railway station, it might be a little easier to access too.

Anonymous,  September 6, 2023 at 12:41 PM  

Probably...another loss for Rotherham., probably better from there point of view to drop Rotherham and instead have it as a Barnslee event 😏

Anonymous,  September 6, 2023 at 12:44 PM  

Why not Clifton park,that would be a huge boost for town centre.Come on RMBC get your finger out!

Anonymous,  September 6, 2023 at 12:44 PM  

Elsecar no where near big enough

Jez September 12, 2023 at 9:29 AM  

Perhaps at a disused whippet farm.

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