Is Ludlow too posh for Rag’n’Bone man? No way!

What a weekend it has been and it is not over yet with Bastille performing tonight. The town centre has been buzzing with visitors from in and around town and much further afield. For once, the town has been buzzing with younger people, though many older people enjoyed the events also. Those who couldn’t get a ticket were jigging in the market and on Whitcliffe. Many sat out in their gardens. Maybe not on Saturday evening when the rain barely let up.

There were of course, complaints about noise. Not just from the town centre, which bore the brunt of rehearsal and performance noise, but from as far away as Parys Road. There has to be a balance and I think four nights of noise to provide some of the best entertainment Ludlow has seen and a major boost to the local economy is a price worth paying.

Even the rain on Saturday could not dampen spirits

Early glitches with road closures were resolved quickly with the help of castle managers and Shropshire Council’s team who were on site. I have had complaints, a lot, about noise. Some from the town centre but a town centre can’t thrive in the 21st century if it is quiet and sleepy. A few complaints from people that live a mile from the castle. The topography of Ludlow means that sound travels to unexpected places. Expected places too. There were good crowds on Whitcliffe Common which could perhaps remarket itself as the Ludlow Amphitheatre.

The boost to the local economy from the Within the Walls weekend is already evident, especially the afternoon and evenings when Ludlow is usually quieter. Many pubs served food all day and were packed in the evening. Our hospitality venues need everything they can get after the pandemic and before trade dies away after Christmas.

We still have the September food festival to come and that will be another boost.

No one can have failed to notice the increase in empty shops around the town. Some are to reopen, some may not reopen or will struggle along with short term uses. The pandemic, high business rates and unsustainable rents haven’t helped. Neither does out of town shopping. Sainsbury’s already operating and perhaps soon M&S Food.

With the success of Within the Walls, Ludlow Fringe, the Paino Festival and the food festivals, with Ludlow Assembly Rooms as the entertainment venue for south west Shropshire, footfall is increasing again. Ludlow is keeping itself alive while so many other towns are withering. Some our festivals and events are highbrow. Some are lowbrow. We need both for the town to flourish.

We have a choice with Ludlow. It can become a sleepy town with a town centre that fades away or it can thrive. That doesn’t mean a concert or festival every weekend. It does mean hosting events that for short periods may cause inconvenience and noise for residents. I think we have the balance right.

I hope that Within the Walls returns again next year.

A selection of comments from social media

“It’s amazing to see the town come alive! Excellent way to support the music industry and we can’t wait to see Kaiser Chiefs tonight!”

“It was an amazing concert. Ricky’s performance and showmanship was fantastic and to have it in Ludlow at the Castle was incredible. Brilliant all round.”

“Great evening – fantastic performance, warm and friendly atmosphere and brilliantly organised. What an absolute treat to have such artists coming here.”

“It made a really good change to hear some life in the town.”

“We were sat at home listening and we’re up Sandpit way and could hear it very clear! The crowd cheering was lovely to hear! Looking forward to hearing the rest of the acts!!”

“Concert was amazing. Organisation seamless. A brilliant addition to town events that saw the whole town buzzing.”

“Absolutely amazing night! It was finished by 10.30 so really no need to complain as that’s hardly late  we need more of this sort of thing in Ludlow, the town was absolutely buzzing!”

“Concert was amazing. Organisation seamless. A brilliant addition to town events that saw the whole town buzzing.”

“It rained all night, but we all had an utterly brilliant time. Thanks to everyone who has helped to organise this wonderful run of gigs in our little town.”

“It was an absolutely amazing atmosphere. So good to see so many people in the town having fun.”

4 comments on Is Ludlow too posh for Rag’n’Bone man? No way!

  1. Seems as though all the planning has paid off to get everyone in and out comfortably. Closing Linney and King Street to all but residents and diverting traffic via Whitcliffe etc seemed to pose no problems for anyone at all. The drivers who filled up Galdeford, Smithfield and Rugby Club car parks to proceed on foot then had a great chance to enjoy the town beforehand. And pretty good behaviour,too with peace and quiet all round as a result.
    Ludlow Town Centre resident.

  2. We work on Ludlow market four or five days a week. We have had visitors from as far away as Germany, France and Canada! They are staying in local accommodation or making special visits to family knowing the gigs are on. A major boost to the local economy as a direct result of this extremely well organised event. Any resistance from formal or informal quarters in the town needs to be squashed in light of the huge positive impact this event has created for a small rural community.

  3. It is all so good for Ludlow, tremendous atmosphere and so well run event, more pleasexx

  4. I always attained to live in Ludlow. Now I’m glad I don’t and have decided never to live here.

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