LAST TRAIN HOME Music and Comedy festival took place on Saturday 22 September 2018 in Darlington. I’d bought my ticket a few weeks back at the Pennyweight priced £15 in advance and collected my wristband and a beautifully designed and easy to use programme from the Hullabaloo around 1.30pm. Tickets were also available at £20 on the day, and with Tracks eye to detail,  brilliant support from all the venues and from Darlington Cultural Volunteers, the festival was easy to engage with.  BARGAIN I now reflect, given the variety and quality of programme.  I enjoyed great performers and bands from early afternoon right through to Pins bringing the festival to a close at 10.30pm.  I heard some brilliant music at five fantastic friendly venues, with clear promotion, a strong brand, smiling faces and dynamic performances aplenty and a real buzz around the Town.   All of the venues which hosted the LAST TRAIN FESTIVAL are located in close proximity to Darlington’s Bank Top station and it was a pleasure to be able to stroll from one to another.  A clear programme and the impactful brand and banners for LAST TRAIN HOME helped me explore the breadth of choice available.

Darlington based Tracks curated programmes at Hogan’s, The Hullabaloo and St John’s church, Legitimate Anarchy curated the programme a Legacy Skate store (with a fantastic crowd enjoying great live performances in the backyard of the store and from the adjoining alley), Narc. magazine curated the programme at Banktop and Hilarity Bites curated comedy at The Greyhound.  There were some brilliant performers and bands.  Things which stood out for me were what a treat it was to sample fabulous and original music of many types in different venues,  how brilliant Peg Powler’s music sounded with the acoustics at St John’s,  the warm welcome shown at all the venues for LAST TRAIN HOME and how right the festival felt in Darlington.

I enjoyed Peg Powler at St John’s, Oilbirds at Hogan’s, Endem and Leum at Legacy Skate, Eve Conway at Banktop, Vulgarians then The Lovely Eggs at Hogan’s and Pins at The Hullabaloo, they were all brilliant and it felt like an effortless adventure.    How easy it felt and how much fun it was also stood out for me, but I do recognise how much effort, expertise, marketing and promotion, expert curation and thorough planning and energy has gone in.  I hope those involved either got to enjoy the Afterparty or can reflect in the cold light of day on a creating a brilliant music and comedy festival here in Darlington.  There were photographers and phones recording things aplenty, and the dancing, smiles, conversation and energy of the audiences showed the appetite for the festival.  All of the performances I saw had good audiences, particularly as the evening drew in.

Many thanks to Tracks for bringing LAST TRAIN HOME and other activity here.   Looking forward to seeing what’s coming next.