9:10am Monday 5th August 2013
By Chris Wood
THE hills around Blaenavon were alive with the sounds of music on Saturday with bands and musicians taking over the town for the day.
Blaenfest was the brainchild of youth leaders and the hundreds of youngsters that attend the Neon Club.
In all 18 local bands and artists performed in three venues throughout the day- the Queen Victoria Inn, Workmen’s Hall and Market Tavern.
Town mayor Gareth Davies said: "It’s another great event to help spread awareness of the town and also the youth club. It’s great with lots of music, art events, crafts and even people singing on the steps of different buildings."
As well as bands, such as rock act Red Necks performing on the back of a truck in the beer garden of the Queen Victoria Inn, there was busking around town, poetry, performance art and a craft market.
In the Workmen’s Hall, the sound were decidedly heavier, with metal act To the Depths performing to around 50 people.
The band has members from around Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent and we were well received.
Organiser Dan Oliver, a youth worker at the Neon Club, said the event was a big success. It cost a couple of thousand of pounds to put on, with 18 acts performing for free.
He said: "We should make that back, but it has been about spreading awareness about the town and the youngsters.
"All in all we had around 850 people come along, which is absolutely amazing. It was a massive sucess, we are all really chuffed. It was fantastic.
"We made almost £3,000 for the Neon too, it was a brilliant team effort.
"We are now hoping to make it even bigger and better next year. We are having a meeting nect week to discuss where we could improve and how to make it happen. We would love to do it again "
Among the performers were blues band Wishful Drinking, Dead Man Walking and One Bold Soul.
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