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Royal William Yard Festival

27th May, 2017 - 28th May, 2017

We cannot wait for the Royal William Yard’s first ever festival which promises to celebrate “peninsular living” and everything the beautiful West Country has to offer. It will bring areas of the historic Grade 1 listed ex-Naval victualling yard to life with beautiful classic cars, motor bikes and boats providing the backdrop to six stages, dotted around the yard offering an array of musical styles.

The following information was provided by the organisers of the festival, with the most recent updates listed first. For full details, please click here.

Respected local childcare group Noah’s Ark will be operating a creche within Mills Bakery. With decades of experience providing a caring, home-from-home environment for pint-sized Plymothians, they will be running hour-long slots for kids aged six months to five years. Activities and toys will be engaging and age appropriate, and the little ones are guaranteed to have a great time.

If you want a spot where the kids can run around freely, head to the Secret Garden, where the Blues & Jazz stage will be kicking out some relaxed, soulful tunes within a securely walled space complete with a large lawned area. You can grab a drink, and let the kids burn off some energy while you enjoy the music. The Secret Garden bar will be appropriately stocked with soft drinks, as well as premium offerings in the pagoda, which boasts killer views over Plymouth Sound and beyond.

Arts space Ocean Studios will open up their space for the duration of the festival, child-focused performances, face-painting, balloon-modelling and workshops throughout each day.

You can set older kids free to discover the festival for themselves, checking out vintage motors, experiencing new music and stopping in at various food stands to recharge. Kids’ wristbands will be instantly distinguishable from adults’ for added safety around bar areas. Plus, for complete peace of mind, there will be a secure ‘lost children’ procedure in place throughout the entire event.

With street performers dotted around stage areas and a spacious area up at Devil’s Point for running off excess small-person energy, you and the kids are guaranteed a weekend to remember. Hopefully in the sun!

In a bid to guarantee total safety and fun for all, festival organisers are also capping numbers at a sensible level to make sure the whole festival is completely inclusive and secure. The only restrictions in place will be within the Factory Cooperage, where the minimum age for entry will be 18.

“We want the first Royal Yard Festival to be a real weekend to remember for your family. We have tried to think of every way to make it as safe, enjoyable and relaxed as possible for all the family,” said Craig Roxburgh, Festival Creative Director.

Royal William Yard Events Manager Jim Pascoe said: “Our new festival really will celebrate everything Devon and Cornwall has to offer. From wonderful waterside living to great food, wine and musical talent. The festival will represent the best of the West Country and will have something for everyone to enjoy.

There will be a relaxed, Balearic-style sundowners bar and a main evening event in the Factory Cooperage with bands, DJs and a cabaret and cocktail bar. There will be a host of great, locally caught street food on offer, including tasty treats from the Bigbury-based Oyster Shack and wine from the award-winning Sharpham Estate near Totnes.

“Royal William Yard has become one of the the best places to work, rest and play in the West Country,” said Urban Splash Director, Emily Handslip.

The latest artist to be announced to be announced in the fantastic line up is founding member of Soul II Soul and UK music industry legend, Mr Jazzie B (OBE) who will be closing the festival with an extended two hour DJ set in the Factory Cooperage.

As a double Grammy award winner, Jazzie B has influenced a generation of music lovers and has been credited as the man who gave British black music it’s own soul. He was awarded an OBE for services to music from Her Majesty the Queen. The same year saw him decorated with the Ivor Novello Award for Inspiration.

An incredible career that has now spanned nearly four decades, including running Motown records for a spell and presenting James Brown with a Diesel U Music Lifetime Achievement Award, an accolade James Brown would not accept unless Jazzie was there in person to present it.

Supporting Jazzie B and also playing across the festival that weekend will be one of the most prolific contributors to the world renowned Hed Kandi label and mix compilations, Richard Earnshaw.

They join West Country folk singer Seth Lakeman who is set to headline the first ever Royal William Yard Festival.

Devon-born Folk star Seth Lakeman, who was nominated for a Mercury Award with his single, Kitty Jay, is celebrating the release of his eighth studio album The Ballads of the Broken Few. UK house music legends Full Intention will be closing the Factory Cooperage on the Saturday 27th. Closing The Harbour Stage will be Molotov Jukebox, whose lead singer is also Game of Thrones and Harry Potter star, Natalia Tena. Also appearing will be Meadowlark on their homecoming gig to Plymouth.

Westcountry folk singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Seth’s eighth studio album Ballads of the Broken Few is a stunning combination of his dynamic song writing and playing, produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Laura Marling) and the sublime harmony vocals of emerging young female trio Wildwood Kin.

Seth’s soaring vocals are perfectly complimented by the seamless harmonies of Wildwood Kin – two sisters (Emillie and Beth Key) and their cousin (Meghann Loney), also from Devon. When Seth met them at a local charity gig, he was immediately struck by their effortless ability to create intuitive harmonies. Continuing Seth’s unique vision for recording in inspiring locations – previous albums have been recorded in a church and a copper mine – the eleven tracks for ‘Ballads of the Broken Few’ were cut in the Great Hall of a Jacobean Manor House and they shine with the atmosphere of that setting. There is Seth’s trademark stomp, his swooping, sighing and aching fiddle and viola, and strident electric tenor guitar.

Since the Mercury Prize nominated “Kitty Jay” (recorded in his kitchen for £300), the follow-up gold selling “Freedom Fields” and his last, highly acclaimed offering, “Word of Mouth“, a deft collection of mini musical biographies of colourful West Country characters, Seth Lakeman has relentlessly pushed his musical boundaries and those of folk and roots music. With “Ballads of the Broken Few” Seth demonstrates yet again that, far from being complacent, he is constantly exploring new and bold musical paths. His new album is out now on Cooking Vinyl.

Seth will play a few select solo shows in 2017 playing songs from the new album and other live favourites from his back catalogue.

“We are thrilled to announce the first ever Royal William Yard Festival and welcome Seth and his fellow artists. We are really hoping to attract more people than ever before this year as we begin the countdown to the Mayflower 400 celebrations when we’ll be able to showcase Britain’s Ocean City to people all over the world.”


27th May, 2017
28th May, 2017
Event Category:


Royal William Yard


Royal William Yard
Admiralty Road
Plymouth, Devon PL1 3RP United Kingdom
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