Wantage is getting set to ring in a new season of its popular Music in the Marketplace series.

St Denys’ Handbell Ringers will be the first performers in the 2015 Wantage presents… season, which will see locally-based bands, groups and singers perform live in the town’s market place on Saturday mornings outside The Bear from May to September.

Eloise Rees (booked for June 6th 2015)

Eloise Rees (booked for June 6th 2015)

Wantage’s Town Team are building on the success of the 2013 and 2014 series, put together by volunteer co-ordinator Howard Hill, with a new line up of acts. It includes young performers who are students or recent graduates of King Alfred’s Academy, a number of bands and groups who played their part in the 2014 series, and some who’ll be playing for Wantage presents… for the first time.

Local rising star, Eloise Rees, is among the line-up and will be using her slot as a performance opportunity for young musicians to join her from the Soundbox Sessions at Sweatbox Youth Centre, where she is working. Eloise was one of only three acts picked by BBC Introducing to represent the UK in Nashville at the Americana Festival and has since signed a record deal. She says: “I always love performing in my home town and it’s extra special being able to showcase some of our young talent to the local community.

From their 2014 performances Dave Oakes and Christopher Malowany (booked for June 20th 2015).  Photography by Lynn Christer

From their 2014 performances Dave Oakes and Christopher Malowany (booked for June 20th 2015).
Photography by Lynn Christer

Wantage presents… is in Wantage Marketplace on Saturdays, from 10.30 in the morning and running for an hour or more, unless the weather is poor. The 18-week series starts on Saturday May 9th with St Denys’ Handbell Ringers.

You can keep up to date with who’s playing via the “Wantage presents…” Facebook page and at www.wantage.com/busking

Wantage Town Team Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell, says: “There was fantastic feedback about last year’s performances and many charities have benefited from the generosity of people contributing to their collections. Once again we have a real range of music styles, something for everyone, and it’s great how many performers are up for taking part this year. A big thank you to Howard Hill for setting the wheels in motion of something we hope continues as an annual feature for the town. You can catch Howard performing this year too, on various dates in various outfits!

Pandemonium Wantage

Pandemonium (booked for August 1st 2015) after playing at The Wantage Health and Wellbeing Centre, Wantage.
Photography by Annie Hill

Local musicians or performers keen to join the line up for Wantage presents… should email mims@talktalk.net

Wantage’s town team is part of a town vitality initiative being delivered by the Vale of White Horse District Council, Wantage Town Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce through the Wantage Joint Economic Forum (JEF), and town team co-ordinators Mim Norvell and Iain Nicholson.