In 2016, Powderham Castle hosted a hugely successful BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend, headlined by Coldplay performing a truly exceptional homecoming gig. The Big Weekend also offers young and emerging artists local musicians workshops and opportunities to perform live. So successful was the whole event, that it inspired The Countess of Devon, A J Langer, to create ther first Powderham Live! when 12 young people’s acts were invited to perform in the iconic James Wyatt Music Room at the Castle. AJ wrote at the time: “While working with the BBC Academy, we were given the opportunity to meet many of the local school music departments and young musicians. It was a highlight of working on the Big Weekend that inspired us to open our doors and give young artists the opportunity to take centre stage at Powderham. We are lucky to have this magical space and we are looking forward to the performers bringing our Music Room to life in a new way.”
THF Trustees Annie and Roger Kirk were also at the Big Weekend, where Chris Martin dedicated his evening’s performance of Fix You to Helen, and they immediately responded to an invitation from AJ to join forces with Powderham and The Cave project in Teignmouth to create "Powderham Live". Until the pandemic intervened in 2020, each year young people have performed at Powderham and the programme has grown to include workshops, and a mentoring programme in which alumni from earlier years actively support young emerging musicians.
Powderham Live! couldn't take place in 2020, but plans are well advanced for a virtual Powderham Live 2021, following year-long support of young musicians with on-line tutoring and mentoring from Robin Brown of The Cave and AJ Langer of Powderham. More details soon!