Derbyshire's Eyes Have It festival is a hit as live music makes a return

After almost 18 months of no music festivals in the UK as the coronavirus pandemic ceased all live music, restrictions are gradually being lifted.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 10:42 am
Updated Thursday, 8th July 2021, 2:19 pm

It was a huge relief that The Eyes Have It Festival still went ahead, albeit under the strict guidelines in place with the Covid situation and these were respected and adhered to by the audience.

This is a small family friendly festival that takes place on Eyes Meadow, Duffield, and has a wonderful community feel to it.

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Over the three days, the line-up was very eclectic, featuring Appalachian folk music, electronica, indie-rock, alt-rock and blues, along with some incredible covers bands and a tribal drumming workshop aimed at the kids – there really was something for everyone.

A highlight was a surprise and impromptu performance by local woman Eva Long, who played an original composition called The Hedgehog Song, raising awareness of their plight.

Of the featured musicians, the best of which were Andy Bennett, formerly of Ocean Colour Scene, The Wam Bam Band, Telson, Eddie & The Wolves, The Sarah Knight Band, Steve Harley, the Cockney Rebel – in particular a great version of his classic Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) – Facsimile, The Rye Sisters, The Silicone Taxis and Women In Rock.

Stunning set

Bluesman Aynsley Lister played a stunning set of original songs and threw in a powerful cover of the Prince classic Purple Rain.

Sadly, the festival was hit by bad weather, thunder and lightning on both Saturday and Sunday which resulted in a couple of temporary shutdowns for safety reasons.

This did not dampen the spirits of all present.

The musicians present regularly commented it was a joy to finally get out and play actual gigs again.

Andy Bennett performs at the Eyes Have It festival. Picture: Graham Whitmore.

For the audience, it was a great release just to be able to experience and enjoy this type of event once more.

The Eyes Have It is a superb festival that is exceptionally well organised and run by an amazing team who worked incredibly hard over the weekend to ensure that things ran smoothly. Everyone present had a great time.

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Steve Harley performs at the festival. Picture: Kev White.
Eva Long. Picture: Graham Whitmore.
MC Ted Witten at the Eyes Have It festival. Picture: Graham Whitmore.