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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Dyna-mania sweeps through Whitehaven Festival

DYNA-MANIA swept through Whitehaven as hundreds of thousands of people descended on the town for this weekend’s annual festival spectacular.

af dynamo1
That does the trick: Magician Dynamo intrigues the crowds with his close-up

Superstar magician Dynamo was by far the biggest crowd-puller of what was another hugely successful event, with hoards of fans packing the streets to get a glimpse of his jaw-dropping trickery.

Such was the demand to see Dynamo’s close-up magic that his planned walk-about around the harbour yesterday (Sunday) was scrapped on safety grounds, with fans instead invited into the main arena to gather around to watch his stunts at close quarters.

“I couldn’t go out there, I think I’d be killed!” Dynamo joked with the crowd gathered in the festival arena.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Gerard Richardson, the chief organiser of Whitehaven Diamond Jubilee Festival. “It was an absolute
circus - but in a good way. The things he did defied belief, and if I hadn‘t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn‘t have believed it.”

But Dynamo wasn’t the only success story from the annual festival that has become the highlight in West Cumbria’s calendar.

Dazzling mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins delivered a sensational opening to the festivities on Friday night - the day before she
performed before the Queen during Her Majesty’s Jubilee weekend celebrations.

It was a fun-filled night of nostalgia on Saturday, as stars from the seventies, including the Bay City Rollers, Showaddywaddy and Steve
Harley sent fans dancing down memory lane.

And the curtain was brought down on the festival by The Charlatans and The Enemy, who rocked the arena with a stunning sets crammed full of their greatest hits on Sunday.

Chefs have become synonymous with Whitehaven Festival, and this year was no different with Ainsley Harriott and friend of the town
Jean-Christophe Novelli entertaining the crowds with their culinary craft, while Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton du Beke and Coronation
Street star Michelle Collins both proved a major hit with festival-goers during their special guest appearances in town.

Among the numerous attractions were tall ships, air and jet ski displays and a continental market.

And the highlight of the weekend for many was Sunday’s spectacular show from the Red Arrows. The visit by the iconic air display team was a major coup for the organisers during Jubilee weekend, and they didn’t disappoint with an awe-inspiring demonstration on Sunday.

The skies above Whitehaven Harbour were also lit up by two dazzling firework displays, particularly on Saturday when there was a patriotic red, white and blue theme.

“The fireworks on Saturday were absolutely magnificent,” said Margaret Reid, of Kells, Whitehaven. “It was the best display they have ever
done… I never thought it would end.”

Thomas Turnbull, of Distington, added: “This is the best weekend of the year, bar none. This festival should be the envy of the rest of
the country.”

And this view was shared by the celebs themselves. Ainsley Harriott said: “I’ve loved to come back. It’s been absolutely wonderful, and
the reception from people had been amazing.”

Sean Wilson, of Coronation Street fame and now a cheese-maker demonstrating at the festival for the third year in a row, added: “I
say this every year, but this is the best festival in the world!”

Mr Richardson said: “If people of their calibre are saying things like that about our festival, then we must be doing something right.

“But I always say that if we get things 100 per cent right, then it’s time to call it a day. There are things I would change and things we
can learn from, and cancelling The Lottery Winners’ set [on Sunday afternoon due to the Dynamo re-shuffle] was one of the hardest
decisions we’ve had to make.

“But we had to change things when we saw the demand for Dynamo, and safety comes first and we couldn’t guarantee safety if he had gone out onto the harbour.

“But those with wristbands got into the arena and hundreds and hundreds were able to see his magic close-up and he showed what an
outstanding and unique performer he is.”

Have your say

having paid for overnight accommodation travelling to see the lottery winners ,i was raging to see they were not allowed to play , i was at the festival ,and was on the place where dynamo was supposed to be ,he was well late and the transition from there to the arena bit was chaotic ,the pushing and shoving , everything was gridlocked, nearly 90mins for him to appear was well out of order ,it seems everybody was on time but him, i feel they still had plenty of time to play , we paid to see them and along with loads of others that i talked to we feel badly let down, we stayed to see the enemy who are the best live that night awesome , charlatans good also , but the security when the event finished was down right rude and arrogant, not can you leave please, just pushed in the back and saying leave now , no please ,in other words we got your money now sod off ,i feel ripped off

Posted by ian ridley on 6 June 2012 at 22:02

Thank you Gerard and everyone behind the festival. This was the best one yet. I had turbot prepared by jean Christophe, cheese souffle by Sean Wilson, had a crack with Ainsley and Anton Du Beck and got to do a magic trick with Dynamo. On top of all this was Titan and the red arrows. It was all free… thank you all so much, yet another year you done us all proud. Can't wait for the next one.

Posted by Lisa. Macleod on 5 June 2012 at 00:58

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