Full steam ahead for festival

Camera Obscura.
Camera Obscura.
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IT is a pop music festival based around an old steam train line – and it promises to be just the ticket.

Indietracks will feature more than 50 bands, including headliners Camera Obscura and The Pastels, performing in the genteel surroundings of the Midland Railway Centre, Butterly, in Derbyshire.

And now, with just a few of the 1,500 tickets left, organisers say people need to be a bit express-like if they are going to choo-choo-choose to attend.

Other acts, across four stages, include Still Corners, The Wake and bis. Sheffield’s own Without Feathers, The Mini Skips, Jupiter In Jars and Pete Green will also perform.

Non-musical entertainment, meanwhile, will be plentiful with free steam train rides and access to the museum and its attractions, as well as art and craft workshops, post-bands disco and local produce food stalls

“It’s definitely a festival with a difference, “ says co-organiser Andy Hudson. “After all, you don’t get to ride a restored steam locomotive at Leeds and Reading, do you?

“This will be our seventh year and there’s always a really friendly, uplifting atmosphere.

“The performers tend to be huge fans of other bands on the bill and there’s a real DIY ethic so there’s not much separation between audience and acts. It’s just one big party, really.”

The festival – which will run July 26-28, and includes stages in a locomotive shed and an old railway workers church – was started in 2007 by Stuart Mackay, who was working restoring old locomotives. He was a big fan of indie pop and thought combining that with his work would be a good fund-raiser for the Midland Railway Trust,” explains Andy, who is based in London.

So it proved, with each year’s extravaganza going from strength to strength. Previous bands featured have included indie heavyweights The Wedding Present, The Vaccines and Los Campesinos!

“We’re putting together the final preparations now,” says Andy. “It’s always a great weekend. We can’t wait.”

Tickets £72 (weekend) and £38 (day). There are discounts for children with children under five free. See www.indietracks.co.uk

Northern Rail runs direct trains from Sheffield to nearby Alfreton every 30 minutes from £9.30. See www.northernrail.org for details.

Mercury Taxis is available for late night bookings from the festival on 0114 2662662.