Free music festival promises an eclectic Musical Mystery Tour around Hertford this August Bank Holiday Sunday

The Real McKoys playing the McMullen's Brewery Yard earlier this year.

The Real McKoys playing the McMullen's Brewery Yard earlier this year. - Credit: Charles Hoggarth

August Bank Holiday Sunday sees the long-awaited return of the Musical Mystery Tour.

Being held for the first time since the pandemic, visitors to Hertford on Sunday, August 28 can look forward to live music across 35 venues around the county town, with over 230 performance slots booked by more than 150 acts.

Organised by Hertford Music Festival (MHF), the Mystery Tour will see music played in pubs, clubs, shops, restaurants, and public spaces from lunchtime to bedtime – and all for free.

Music fans can expect pretty much every musical genre under the sun, from rock, indie and punk to folk, funk, ska, reggae, jazz and more.

"We’ve got some great venues on board," says co-chairman Kev Saunders.

"Some that haven’t been involved before, The Great Eastern and Mr Tanaka's for example,, and McMullen's Brewery Yard, a fabulous new outdoor but covered venue in the heart of Hertford – and home to Rivertown Brewing."

The Macs Yard audience for an earlier music event in Hertford. It is one of the venues on the Musical Mystery Tour.

The Macs Yard audience for an earlier music event in Hertford. It is one of the venues on the Musical Mystery Tour. - Credit: Charles Hoggarth

There's a terrific line-up for the McMullen's Yard in Old Cross, with scheduled performances from the likes of Mimram Big Band, Lip Service Brass Band, Los Ladrones De Amor, Oscar Tavares, Radio Video and The Bleedin' Business at the home of main sponsors Rivertown Brewing.

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Meanwhile, The White Hart will revisit the ‘Punky Reggae Party' theme Kev came up with back in 2016 when Glen Matlock from The Sex Pistols headlined.

The Real McKoys playing Macs Yard earlier this year.

The Real McKoys playing Macs Yard earlier this year. - Credit: Charles Hoggarth

The Real McKoys take the headline slot at 10pm this year for an hour turning power ballads into punk-rock anthems.

Others booked include The Mag 7, featuring Terry Lee Miall, formerly of Adam and the Ants, awesome reggae band The SGs, and Clash tribute The Trash.

The SGs playing Macs Yard earlier this year. Rivertown Brewing is the main sponsor of the Musical Mystery Tour.

The SGs playing Macs Yard earlier this year. Rivertown Brewing is the main sponsor of the Musical Mystery Tour on Bank Holiday Sunday, August 28. - Credit: Charles Hoggarth

Kev Saunders and the team have worked literally round the clock to get all the line-ups finalised.

Kev said: "Obviously there are far too many acts to list here – but all the venues, with their full line-ups and links to the artists’ details, are on the website hertfordmusicfestival.co.uk.

"With so much happening, some changes are inevitable – but the website will be updated right up to the last minute. And, of course, there’s a constant torrent of social media posts, thanks to our social media guru, Amy Jay."

The Real McKoys playing Macs Yard earlier this year.

The Real McKoys playing Macs Yard earlier this year. - Credit: Charles Hoggarth

Headline sponsors are Rivertown Brewing, along with co-sponsors The Hertford Club, Cinnabar, Go-Getters, Hertford Town Council, Duffield Harrison, HD Print, Hertford Planning, Gig Gear, Apollo Audio, Couvre-Feu, Steve Beeston Photography, Brass Tacks Web Design and Discover Hertford Online.

Organisers are also calling on the public to volunteer to help the Green Party at the Musical Mystery Tour.

East Herts Council have informed the festival team that they will not be providing the clean-up operation as they have in the past.

Kev said: "So we’re extremely grateful to our friends Alexandra Daar and the Green Party for their support, working at the MMT from 3pm to 8pm collecting, sorting and distributing litter for recycling."

More volunteers are wanted. Email greenlitter.music@gmail.com if you can help.

Hertford Music Festival's Musical Mystery Tour launch at McMullen’s Brewery Yard

Hertford Music Festival's Musical Mystery Tour launch. Pictured are Tim Voss (HMF), Amy Jay (HMF), James Kelly (Real McKoys), Kylee McKoy (Real McKoys), Ant Pinnell (Real McKoys), Edd Littler (Real McKoys), Conor Walker, Kev Saunders (HMF co-chairman), Adam Fearn, Saya (DJ), Andy Merrifield (Trojan Horses), Bill Clarke (Trojan Horses), Tom McMullen (McMullens), Jon Excel (Trojan Horses & The SGs), and Rob Guinn (HMF co-chairman). - Credit: Hertford Music Festival