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Small Dales Village Hosts Major Music Festival For Grand Départ
Thursday, Jun 5, 2014
Small Dales Village Hosts Major Music Festival For Grand Départ
Small business owners from Muker, Swaledale are hoping to make the most of the Tour De France coming to Yorkshire as they hold a major music and arts festival at the foot of the famous Buttertubs Pass. 

Emily and Darren Abbey, landlords of The Farmers Arms pub in Muker, and local land owner and farmer Christine Clarkson, decided that not enough facilities were being provided along the route of the Tour de France Stage 1. With a predicted 38,000 visitors coming to the area, the pub owners were motivated to bring something new and exciting to their small village.  King of the Mountains festival was born as a chance to showcase Muker and provide visitors with the best place to watch the race, alongside top quality facilities and the best in Yorkshire-sourced music, arts, food and family activities for all ages. The festival takes place right at the foot of the famous Buttertubs Pass, voted one of the best places to watch the cycling event from 4th July till 6th July. 

Emily Abbey, landlady said: “It’s a once in a lifetime event that’s going to come past our door. We’re located at the foot of the Buttertubs pass which is one of the iconic hill climbs that count towards the King of the Mountain journey. In the very early days when the route was announced, all the local accommodation booked up quickly and the organisers of the Tour De France and the council told us to expect thousands of people just on that hill alone, not only that, but three hundred thousand people in Swaledale itself“.  

From running a small pub to organising a 5,000 capacity festival, Emily explains how the idea was formed.

“We are only a pub that can seat 50, there’s a tea shop next door that can seat 20. We thought it would be a good idea to hold a festival with additional food outlets, a big bar, toilets and security – providing three days of entrainment. We’re in the middle of nowhere; the nearest cash machine is 6 miles away, so it felt quite natural to hold a festival. To provide people that are here with entertainment in the build up to the race and after because once spectators are here, [after the road closures] there wouldn’t be much for them to do unless they enjoy walking! With over three hundred thousand people in the area I think they’ll want a bit of fun!” 

The site is fully equipped with 3 huge car parks, free and secure bicycle parking, secure camping, toilets, showers, food and a large bar. The busy music and arts programme includes main stage performances from leading UK artists, from BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens to To Kill A King, alongside leading content from the festival’s arts collaborators including cyling films from Tour De Cinema, nature talks and films from Project Wild Thing and live art from Leeds College of Art.

Gary Verity Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “King of the Mountains looks set to be a terrific event and will really get the community and visitors into the party spirit as the Grand Départ passes through. This is just what we want to see – communities coming together to celebrate Yorkshire’s big moment and making it a weekend to go down in history.”

King of the Mountains tickets are on sale now, priced at 39 (plus  booking fee) for  an adult weekend  ticket. Young people (aged  12-17) are priced at 25 (plus  booking  fee), with children (aged 6-11) are 15 + (booking fee) and under 6s go free.

Camping, Parking, Group and Family tickets are also available. All tickets can be purchased online at:  


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