By Graham Chalmers
The weekend the Tour de France came to Harrogate was more than a great cycling occasion.
Local music acts were given to the chance to perform live at the TdF Fan Park on The Stray at West Park in front of crowds of up to 20,000 people.
From Thursday night’s launch to Sunday’s close, excitement was high as the centre of town became a mini music festival - come rain or (mostly) shine - with acts such as popular Harrogate covers band MFOR led by vocalist Paul Kettley and up-and-coming originals act Dukes of Bevington.
DJ Rory Hoy from Knaresborough kicked off proceedings at the end of Stage One with some banging house and breakbeats.
Afterwards he declared the atmosphere “brilliant.”
One local band, ex-AMP Awards winners Purple Mafia whose members go to Ripon Grammar School even played twice over the TdF weekend.
The teenage indie pop band were on stage on the Friday night when it was damp, grey and wet and only a few thousands in the Fan Park on the Stray, though this was still the biggest crowd for an outdoor pop gig the town had seen in living memory..
Then came Le Tour day itself - Saturday night - when, in the warm evening sunshine, Purple Mafia they played to a packed house of 20,000 spectators.
Despite the huge size of the crowd, there wasn’t a shred of nerves and they played as if they really ‘owned’ the big stage.
People were overheard saying they were “simply sensational” - sound engineers, TV crews, the audience, even the MC.
To watch DJ Rory Hoy’s new video, visit click here