As the sun set on the final evening of Underneath the Stars Festival at Cinderhill Farm, Barnsley, the lionesses have just won the Women’s EUROs to tumultuous applause in front of a giant TV, and Suzanne Vega brought the house down as the third in a hattrick of leading female headliners, at the 2022 festival.
It’s been a packed weekend of thrills and spills for the hugely popular, family-friendly, music and arts festival. From weddings to street theatre, from glitter face-painting to the gleaming surfaces of a full brass band, and even interviews and talks with leading actors and comedians, there was something for everyone to enjoy at Underneath the Stars Festival.
The enduring beauty of Underneath the Stars festival is the equity and warm, accepting welcome of the audience. Trousdale, a brand new trio from South Carolina, were treated to rapturous applause for their angelic harmonies, heart-felt storytelling and beautiful melodies which marked the final gig of their tour. Talking of crowd-pleasing trios and judging by the number of audience members sporting multi-coloured tank-tops, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican were clearly playing to a home crowd. Bad hair and questionable knitwear aside, the comedy lyrics played second fiddle only to some top musicianship. Regular festival favourites had the crowd singing and dancing along to Lady in Greggs, Jump and Goat Yoga to name a few. And such is the popularity of Scott, Alan Doonican and Bjorn (Doonicansson) that the queue for the merch tent lasted long after the next act had finished their set.
Suzanne Vega, regarded as one of the foremost songwriters of her generation closed the Planet Stage at Underneath the Stars for 2022. Dipping into the back catalogue, a masterful storyteller who observes the world with a clinically poetic eye, Vega held the audience spellbound in the palm of her hand with much-loved classics such as Marlene on the Wall, Luka and Tom’s Diner. Soulful melodies formed work as utterly distinct and thoughtful as it was when her voice was first heard over 30 years ago left festival goers with full and satisfied bellies full of tunes, humour, and happiness. Enough to continue into next year when Underneath the Stars returns Friday 4th – Sunday 6th August 2023. Keep on Stargazing!
The festival has previously been awarded the Attitude is Everything Silver Level Charter Award for improving deaf and disabled people’s access to music and live events and is now striving towards a Gold Charter Award. The accreditation includes all pre-event information available in audio and an easy read, accessibility at an environmental level, and commitment over time to be ambassadors of best practice. All of which exceed the legal obligations of the Equality Act.