Monmouth 2015 by Mutha Luvin Chimps (MLC)

Playing in an originals band trying to find an outlet and an audience for your finely honed set of self-written masterpieces, life ain’t all sunshine and lollipops!  There’s many a pub boasting that they ‘support live music’. This generally translates as ‘we support covers bands that play exactly the same songs as the covers band we had on last week’.

Ask the average pub landlord if they’ll consider putting on a band that plays (shock horror) their own songs and the reaction will be as if you’ve asked for something truly horrendous. That’s before you ask if there’s any chance of petrol money or a free drink after the event.

Then there is the support slot with bigger bands, the holy grail of ‘exposure’. Strangely, these support slots seem to depend less on musical ability or quality of your songs and more on how many mates you can march through the door at gunpoint, only stopping so they can pay for a ticket. And trendier promoters won’t even consider you unless everyone in the band has beards.

But…..(there is a but) sometimes you play an event that makes everything seem worthwhile and (yes, you’ve guessed it)…. Monmouth Music Festival is such an event. An amazing setting in the heart of South Wales with a fantastic stage, large screens (look mum, I’m on TV) and kicking out an awesome sound.

It’s a free festival which attracts a large audience who come to enjoy themselves and the music on offer. Most importantly, the organisers are incredibly welcoming, friendly and genuinely doing it to support live and grass roots music, picking bands to play on merit.  Nothing was too much trouble and …. they have a back stage area with its own free bar! (Don’t tell the drummer).

 Mutha Luvin Chimps played Main Stage, Friday 31st July and it was a true highlight of all the things we’ve done. The feedback from the crowd was brilliant, we flogged some CDs and there was a bouncy castle. What more could you want?

We’d play it again in a heartbeat and loved every single second of it.

Thanks guys.  We had a blast working with you too!
All Barred Up very generously donated the free bar.  Thanks Wayne.

Halloween Checklist

  1. Pumpkins bought                                                                                                                           
  2. Pumpkins carved                                                                                                                           
  3. Plenty of treats                                                                                                                               
  4. Costumes made and ready                                                                                                          
  5. Tickets for Fangtastic FESTIVAL Fundraising Halloween Party                      

Tickets available from The Riverside Hotel or Oliver Jeffries.  For more information head here:


AGM Update

At the AGM held on Thursday, 1st October, Mel Ralph and Ian Jones were re-elected as Co-Chairs;  Clare Webb as Treasurer and Cerys Watts as Secretary.  Ian Jones was also appointed as a Monmouth Music Festival Director.

We  would like to thank Maureen and Cliff Vandervelden for their time, support and contribution to the Festival over many years, and wish them all the best.

 AGM 2015 Chairman’s Report:

Well yet again Monmouth Festival 2015 was a success, the good news is that we are still solvent and the team spirit returned in force. We started with the usual Welsh welcome of a torrential downpour but weathered the storm and the crowds came out in their droves for the rest of the week.

The thirty-third year of the Monmouth festival seemed to encompass ever expanding parts of the community and the buzz throughout Monmouth was encouraging. This success was due to the hard work of the festival team and volunteers who were unflagging in their commitment over the year running up to the festival, giving up a lot of their valuable time. Your Co-Chairs would like to thank you all and express our gratitude to all those present and unavailable this evening for your un-abating teamwork. It was nice to see our new Festival Family additions of Mike Saunders, Steve Stretfford Kamran Khanverdi slot into the team running, picking up their roles and delivering with true enthusiasm.

Feedback from the general public was outstanding and all comments were taken on board and addressed at our mop up meeting. Finances were tight this year, 2015 being one of the most expensive to put on. We are pleased to report that all inherited debts from previous years have now been settled and going forward we start with a clean slate. This will give us a more stable foundation and flexibility to build a bigger and better festival for years to come. Complete financial details will be in the Treasurer’s report.

The aim of Monmouth Festival is to provide a community event for the people of Monmouth and its surrounding areas to enjoy. This year with the help of Ollie Jeffries we managed to expand the fringe to also include The Savoy Theatre, The Riverside and The Old Nags Head.

2015 saw our website brought up-to-date in line with current trends and we would like to thank Tom Locke and Cerys Watts for all their hard work and dedication in providing such a user friendly resource. This will now be kept current to enable our supporters both near and far to keep abreast of developments for the following year

Our dates for Monmouth Festival 2016 have now been released and you can now spread the word that Monmouth is the place to be from Friday 22nd July – Saturday 30th July

Bring on 2016!

Mel Ralph and Ian Jones


 AGM 2015 Secretary's Report:           

 The purpose of the Secretary's report is to summarise the activities of the Festival since the previous AGM.  I will try and be as brief as possible and I apologise in advance if I have omitted anything.    

Monmouth Festival 2015 was a busy year and one that saw many changes, both in the way that the Festival was run and in the staging of the event.  One of the main aims of the Committee was to create a strong team ethos and engage more with local organisations and the local community.  To this end:    

  • Jobs and responsibilities were allocated to individuals and sub-committees, and a more formal structure for reporting to Committee meetings was put in place.  This worked very well.          

  • The Committee became more transparent and accountable and new procedures were implemented and documented.  The Committee will continue in its efforts to improve the structure and procedural aspect of the way that it works.  

  • Social Media was used throughout the year, not only as a means of continued engagement with the local community but to promote other local events and organisations.  More information was shared via the website and Monmouthshire Beacon. It is anticipated that this will continue.  

  • The Fringe became more inclusive and extended its reach. Going forward the aim is to create a more diverse Fringe and grow it even further.                                                                

One of the biggest changes this year was the introduction of a "glass free" festival.  Despite our misgiving it was, for the most part embraced by everyone who attended the Festival, and was a great success.  The brochure grew from A5 to A4 to universal approval and the new website is much lighter, brighter and user friendly.      

A team needs great leadership and Mel Ralph and Ian Jones certainly led by example; Clare Webb, a very reluctant treasurer was firm but fair and Mark Williamson's assurances enabled the Committee to book bands, suppliers, etc., much earlier than would otherwise have been possible.  But a team is nothing without its members  and it cannot be overstated how important everyone's contribution has been  - committee members, Festival crew, volunteers. The Festival just wouldn't happen without your enthusiasm, dedication and generosity, and it certainly wouldn't be as much fun.              

Cerys Watts