A day of music at a popular Stourbridge venue comes of age next weekend as it returns live and raises money for Black Country Foodbank.
This is the 18th Katiesfest. The last two years have seen an online version of the day-long festival at Katie Fitzgerald’s — but Sunday’s event (note: 22 May)sees it back in person.
It comes as the Enville Street former pub’s owners, Eddy Morton and Trina Keane have already raised hundreds of pounds for the foodbank and are also providing confidential monetary support for two families in crisis, hit by rocketing fuel bills.
Twelve months after unveiling its refurbished, outside Katie’s Secret Garden space, Eddy says this is the first major line-up to get under way after COVID-19 had a devastating effect on live music.
Katie Fitzgerald’s cellar bar underwent a huge rebuild during the coronavirus emergency having closed back on March 2020 amid the first lockdown.
It reopened solely as an entertainments venue from July last year. Next month also marks 22 years since Eddy and Trina started to run the venue.
Katiesfest audience members are being asked to donate if they can afford it, as well as bringing non-perishable food to help families in need. Supplies will be handed over to the nearby foodbank branch at Our Lady and All Saints Catholic Church in New Road.
Protest singer Jess Silk, who’s lined up to appear on the same stage as Billy Bragg at Glastonbury this summer, as well as having a packed schedule of upcoming gigs, is a headline act – after dubbing Katie Fitzgerald’s her spiritual home.
Eddy said: ‘This is our 18th Katie’s Fest and we have to take direct action to help families, many of whom are in work. The Black Country Foodbank relies on donations to provide a vital service.
‘We cannot sit back and do nothing in the face of massive local need and we hope our lovely audience will help us make a major difference.
“There’ll also be acoustic music outside within the Secret Garden. Festival goers can also enjoy cocktails, flavoured gins and vegan wine as a new garden bar opens.
Katiesfest is promoted by ‘Songs of Anger & Redemption’ and some 11 bands or performers are included on the bill, including Abdoujaparov, Headsticks, Sleep in Motion and Jess.
A full list can be found online at: https://www.katiessecretgarden.com.
Black Country Foodbank helps vulnerable individuals and families in crisis. It provides three days emergency food supplies while a longer-term solution is developed. A spokesman said they were very grateful for Eddy and Trina’s ongoing support.
‘We can’t wait to see what Katiesfest brings, it’s going to be epic and what a fantastic way to bring in donations,’ he said. Katiesfest gets under way at 1pm on Sunday, May 22. Tickets cost £16.50 and can be bought at:, https://www.wegottickets.com/event/540902