Askern Music Festival 2019

Words: Rob Johnson

Photography: Askern Music Festival

The last time I stopped by Askern Music Festival it was an eye opening experience. The people of Askern came out in their droves, squeezed into ill-fitting tank tops and vests, pints in hand and small children running around with ice cream on their faces. And I loved it. Upon arriving at Askern Miners Club this time it is clear that the whole thing has a much more middle class vibe to it. It no longer feels like we have crashed the Royston Vasey town fair. This is the price you pay for success I guess…

…And what a success. For a festival of this size, in this village, to draw Toploader, Starsailor, Chris Helme and Cast is genuinely astonishing. Even the Donny bands that are on first can all actually play their instruments with the always reliable 48ks delivering a polished and well received set before Chris Helme brings a hushed silence to the brand spanking new Acoustic Tent. Helme is such a pro as a performer that he makes every gig feel like you are chatting in his living room and he is on sparkling form here. Old Seahorses classics such as Hello and a soaring Love is the Law rub shoulders with a couple of crowd pleasing covers – The Faces’ Ohh La La and Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger being the highlights – but it is Blinded By The Light that truly shines. The latter song is actually improved by Helme’s raw vocals in a live setting and in a tiny tent in a field in Askern, the crowd are bewitched by a performer who deserves to be much bigger than he actually is. It’s nice to keep him as an undiscovered secret mind.

After seeing two women urinate in the men’s urinal coupled with the six pints of Budweiser I had reluctantly drank I was pretty ready for Starsailor, and the Wigan heroes did not disappoint. Opening with Alcoholic is a brave move but in reality they have much better songs than that one, and it is Tie Up My Hands and Poor Misguided Fool that steal the show. In The Crossfire now feels as much of a Starsailor classic as Four to the Floor and both sound triumphant here, in fact the sound itself is excellent throughout. Crisp, banging and a credit to the festival.

Starsailor conclude with the now customary rendition of Good Souls and the crowd respond in kind. Anyone who may have doubted James Walsh’s power as a live performer must now be feeling very silly indeed.

They will also be feeling very wet because about halfway through Starsailor’s storming set the heavens opened and then it didn’t stop raining until the headliners Cast had finished playing. It’s grim up north.

Despite the pouring rain, or perhaps because of it, Cast seem determined to put on a good show and John Power is commanding and confident throughout. When you can call on tracks like Sandstorm and Live the Dream, the crowd will always end up in the palm of your hand and I have to say I was surprised with just how good some of the more recent tracks were. Paper Chains and Baby Blue Eyes are just as catchy and insistent as some of the more classic songs like Fine Time and Guiding Star.

Walkaway was always one of the most iconic songs of the ’90s and it takes on added poignancy in the driving rain and with the stars twinkling down on the plastic cups of cider and trays of chips and cheese. Cue singalongs, rain sodden umbrellas being held aloft and lots of dancing in the mud.

People in Yorkshire have a tendency to be cynical first and ask questions later but there is no doubting that the organisers and the bands have done a great job with this burgeoning festival. I can’t wait for next year.

What’s On This August

Words: Emma Gullon

Photography: Various Businesses


CAST are offering plenty of activities over August. Watch their young talent in their Summer Showcase (2nd) where all their hard work comes to fruition. There’s also a FREE Placard Making Workshop on the 14th  (ages 7+) where can create messages of hope for the future of Doncaster – this is an excellent opportunity to be part of this year’s outdoor extravaganza  RISE.

At The Doncaster Little Theatre RKC present One Vision (8th)  – a tribute to Queen & Ben Elton’s smash hit musical We Will Rock You. Acting Up Productions will bring their unique theatrical experience Excellent Adventures Part 2 (9th) guaranteed to leave you with your toes tapping.


The New Fringe is a collective of up and coming artists in the Doncaster community. The aim is to develop and stimulate creative minds and help them to develop professionally with their craft. £5 per membership.\

The Point (DARTS) are hosting a fun day of family workshops (1st) offering where you can print your own rocket with Artist Samantha Green. There’s also the weekly Creative Directions In The Community (6th & 7th).

Click HERE for the full lineup of August workshops.

Doncaster artist Ian Latham has a pop up studio of his ACE funded project on sculpture mixed with VR/AR on Scot Lane. This exhibition is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30am – 3:30pm.

Cusworth Hall Museum and Park have the permanent exhibition Estate of War: Doncaster’s Country Houses – a look at how country estates became military hospitals during the First World War, and how life changed for the families and those below the stairs long after the war ended. There’s also the return of the popular Pirates & Princesses day (6th). A day of fancy dress, entertainers, bouncy castles, face painting and more! 



Doncaster Youth Jazz Association is the perfect way for the younger generation to expand their passion for music, backed by  strong reinforcements in areas such as sight reading, rhythmic understanding, intonation, balance, blend and leadership through part independence. 

Click HERE to join up today. 

Doncaster’s Quirky Choir host term time rehearsals at Darts (The Point) every Wednesday evening 6.45pm -8.45pm. No experience required, just a love for singing! £4 per person.

The Point has the new monthly workshop In The Moment (2nd & 4th of each month) – a dementia friendly workshop focusing on making music and storytelling as well as Singing For Memory (5th & 19th)

August also sees the return of Balby By The Sea (10th) by Right Up Your Street  – a seaside carnival of arts & crafts, circus performance & more all on your doorstep



Helm is a coworking office space where a community of creatives meet, work and collaborate together to help businesses, running workshops on the last Tuesday of the month.

Hive Young Writers Group gives 14 -19 a great weekly meet up to show their work with a supportive young team as well as make new friends. There’s also a Saturday poetry group for 16 -25 year olds.


My artist networking event Creativity & Commerce is back at Donco HQ  on the 19th. This time we are talking about all things Doncaster Fashion Week including a presentation with Donny Fashion activist Lindsay McGlone. 

We also have the weekly Mama Wheatley’s Craft Club  every Monday from 6.30pm – 8.30pm who are currently working on Doncaster’s biggest yarn Bomb. Contact their facebook page to get in touch.

To keep up to date with all the artsy Donco happenings, click HERE to subscribe to our weekly mailing list

CAST turns clubland with Vision

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Vision

Continuing the cultural jamboree that is July in Doncaster, Vision is turning CAST theatre into a nightclub. It might not seem like the obvious venue, but that’s the joy of Doncaster, you can always expect the unexpected.

Vision play underground dance music spanning a whole spectrum of styles including tech, minimal, UK garage and disco. They recently unveiled a special guest DJ, Seb Zito who plays at Fuse London.

Tickets can be purchased through Skiddle. Prices range from £5 early-birds to £15 final release. 

Vision will have a busy summer with several of their signature Terrace parties taking place at decades, which under its former guide Huellas was the birthplace of Visions terrace parties.

I’ve also been tipped off to a super secret project with DMBC that is unlike anything Doncaster has ever seen before. Keep an eye out on Vision’s social media for more information.

Follow Vision on Facebook HERE.

Make some noise for Silent Style at Fret don’t Fret

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Rebecca Gathercole, Lindsay McGlone & Warren Draper

Unless you’re in the habit of walking around Doncaster with your eyes shut, you’ll have noticed a very distinctive rabbit has taken over our streets. This rabbit is the brainchild of Imogen Carline, a local artist whose bold drawings have seen a surge in popularity.

Imogen’s World, as its known, is now so iconic it’s inspiring others. Makeup artist Rebecca Gathercole saw Imogen’s self portraits and immediately wanted to create a makeup look based upon them. Together with photographer Shane Pegram and influencer Lindsay McGlone, a series of photographs have been made showcasing the Imogen Look. These photographs will be on display at Fret don’t Fret on Tuesday 23rd of July as part of Doncopolitan Crawl.

Talent runs in the Carline family, as Imogen’s dad, Frank is playing songs to accompany the exhibition, along with band Al and the Geriatrics. I spoke to Imogen’s mum, Sue, to find out more;

‘Imogen is a 17-year-old, non-verbal, severely autistic artist. She uses art to express how she sees her world and the things that are important to her. She is a multimedia artist who is inspired by the materials that catch her eye. Animals, family and cartoons form the basis of her artwork, which she revisits periodically. Frank is playing at the same venue to support Imogen in her role as an emerging artist in the Doncaster culture scene.’

Frank Carline is a friend of Zel who owns Fret don’t Fret, a charming guitar shop on Priory Place. Because of this friendship, Zel was keen to host Silent Style, ‘Frank’s a friend and he likes Imogen’s art so nice to be a part of something like that, to support a direct cause, someone you know.’ Lindsay McGlone wanted to be involved because she feels a connection to Imogen. She explained;

‘I’m a model for the shoot that’s celebrating and is inspired by a young artist called Imogen! We will be experimenting with textures and colours to hopefully represent Imogen’s World. I really wanted to be a part of it, firstly because I genuinely have a love for Imogen’s work and secondly because as Imogen lives with ASD and I am a support worker it’s a nice tie between us. I am passionate about celebrating individuality and difference and that’s something I feel Imogen represents in abundance. I’m super excited to see the outcome and I’m honoured to be asked to be a part of it!

When people ask me how I became an influencer I always feel a little odd. Like as soon as someone feels a certain way, does something because of you or in result of. You are an influencer. I guess I’ve just been lucky, I work with some of my favourite brands and I’m so grateful. I intended to make my account influential but I really didn’t think my growth would be this quick.’

Her popularity might be a shock to Lindsay, but anyone who has seen her stunning Instagram account won’t be surprised. She’s an absolute natural in front of the camera and I predict this won’t be the last collaboration we see between her and Rebecca Gathercole. Speaking of the makeup artist who spearheaded this event, I asked Rebecca about her background and inspiration and received what can only be described as a personal essay in return. It was so good I’m printing it here in full:

‘I like most of my art to express emotion and feeling. I got into make-up being a TV & film geek as a teenager, watched a lot of Doctor Who, and regularly had horror film nights with my parents. I especially liked the behind the scenes footage, seeing how the artists would create crazy monsters or complex characters. Didn’t even realise makeup as a career choice until I dropped out of college doing media studies.

I enrolled in makeup courses at another college, I was unemployed, depressed and discovered my passion, and signed up to a make-up and sfx degree for the fun of it. It’s not really that deep.

In my second year of uni I found my niche, I absolutely love character design, and specialised in this in my final year. Creating an abundance of complex, interesting characters for my portfolio. Learning so many different techniques to achieve this. I want my images to tell a story, get people thinking. I think make-up can be quite frowned upon because a lot of people think of Instagram, crazy contouring and the “glam” side of it, but there’s so many different sides to makeup as a whole. I’m arty but shite at traditional art, my canvas is the human body & face.

I pitched the idea of working with Imogen’s world to Rachel earlier this year, I was so inspired by Imogen and her story, my original idea was to advertise her t-shirts, and make them more “fashion”. I wanted to push myself outside of character design, but also provide Imogen’s world exposure and free advertising. Imogen is one of the most inspiring, and creative young individuals I’ve met, she touches my heart and i literally just want to help get her name out there.

Big lashes, bright, concentrated blush, she breaks the rules when she does her own makeup. Her art & creativity speaks for her, it’s her way of communicating. This shoot is all about Imogen, I wanted to let her know that she inspires me, like they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery.’

I strongly suspect we’ll be seeing many imitations of this striking makeup look after the Doncopolitan Crawl. This event, as with all the others, is completely free to attend and takes place from  5pm on Tuesday 23rd of July.

This is the final blog in our Doncopolitan Crawl series. I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Bomb along to Scicluna’s and get tangled up in yarn

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Mamma Wheatley’s Craft Club and everyone involved

Scicluna’s Deli has long been a market institution and is a regular on the Doncopolitan  Crawl circuit. On Tuesday 23rd of July, from 5pm, visitors can enjoy a beautiful art exhibition by local painter Penny Cawley, accompanied by music from Laura Kelly. But the highlight for many will be Mamma Wheatley’s Craft Club’s latest yarn bomb, this time in collaboration with new crochet group Mother Hookers.

As a self-confessed yarn addict I couldn’t wait to talk to Mamma Wheatley, aka June McMillan, to find out more about what to expect from this year’s yarn- filled extravaganza. She told me ‘We were all chatting at Craft Club and saying we wanted to do something to bring people together and create a bit of fun along the way, so we came up with the idea of a yarn bomb. We have been round all the craft clubs and spoken to lots of people while we have been measuring up for the event and got quite a few helpers. We have created lots of stuff which will appeal to all ages and will make people smile. We went last year and loved it so this year we wanted to join in and show off many people’s knitting and crochet talent.’ They’ve certainly got some talented knitters and crocheted, I can’t wait to take a selfie with this adorable Dalek.

Painter Penny Cawley is a regular exhibitor at the deli. Her inspiration comes from ‘old boats and old cars and Doncaster art club demos. I’m exhibiting at the deli and that’s where I heard about the Crawl. Penny finished that she thought the Crawl was ‘such a good idea’, to which I can only agree.

Scicluna’s owner, Josie, explained that Penny is such a good customer and they have a good working relationship, so she wanted to support her in kind. The purpose of the art exhibits is to raise money for the charity Mary’s Meals. The 10% commission that the deli takes from sales of the artwork all goes to Mary’s Meals.

Singer Laura Kelly is a regular on the Doncaster music scene. I asked her about her inspiration and why she wanted to be part of Doncopolitan Crawl and this is what she had to say;

‘What inspired me to start performing was…Watching KT Tunstall on Jools Holland about 10 years ago. It was my first exposure to live looping and I was in absolute awe of it! Live looping is the foundation to my music, without that introduction I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be playing today.

I want to be involved with the crawl as it’s a great opportunity to experience a side of Doncaster that people may not have seen before… even if you’ve lived here all your life. 

It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, experience new venues and sample the best of what our local Donny culture has to offer.’

Can’t disagree with that, Laura!

This event is completely free and takes place as part of Doncopolitan Crawl on Tuesday 23rd of July , from 5pm.