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Malt Cross set to host birthday music festival

Malt Cross birthday music festival

One of Nottingham’s best-loved heritage attractions will be celebrating its birthday in style with a music, arts and beer festival later this month.

The Malt Cross, a former Victorian music hall on St James’s Street, re-opened in October last year following a £1.38million refurbishment paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Now the team is preparing to mark the re-opening, as well as the birthday of the original music hall, with the first Malt Cross Festival which takes place from 23 to 25 October.

Held over the last weekend of half-term, the family-friendly event promises free craft activities such as ceramics, screen printing and letterpress. There will also be a chance to snap up the fun by taking home a Melton Original portrait made using a 19th century tin type photography technique.

Over the three days, festival-goers will be entertained by musical acts from Nottingham and further afield as they perform on the music hall stage and in the intimate sandstone caves beneath. Among the highlights are gypsy jazz act Manière des Bohémiens and pianist Matt Ratcliffe, as well as Malt Cross favourites Stiff Kittens.

On the balcony upstairs, beer lovers will find a pop-up bar serving brews from local and national breweries including Adnams, Totally Brewed and Black Iris. They can soak up their tipple with locally-sourced dishes such as pulled pork, beef brisket or mushroom burger with Stilton from the new Smoked menu.

The festival also sees the launch of the Malt Cross Commission, which profiles the work of regional artists. This year, sculptor Hannah Whitlow, based at Backlit Studios, has been invited to create an installation.

Jo Cox-Brown, chief executive of the Malt Cross Trust, said: “It is hard to believe it’s been a year since we re-opened.

“The HLF money allowed us to open up our caves for the first time and we have certainly made good use of them. As well as running regular tours, we have also hosted everything from corporate gin tastings to workshops, exhibitions and performances.

“The Malt Cross Festival aims to bring together everything we now offer and showcase it not just to our regulars but to anyone who has never visited before. For families, we have plenty of craft activities while grown-ups will love the live music and beer festival.”

Meanwhile, Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “It’s heartening to see the Malt Cross, one of our last surviving Victorian music halls, go from strength to strength following National Lottery investment.

“The redevelopment of the building has been a great success, enabling many more people to experience a variety of heritage based activities in this wonderful historic and atmospheric setting.”

Entry to the Malt Cross Festival is free. For further details visit www.maltcross.com.

Posted on 13 October 2015

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