SABIC backing for the Infant Hercules

The Infant Herules Choir. Pic by Doug Moody

Those attending this weekend’s Festival of Thrift in Redcar are in for a musical treat when well-known Teesside performer Mike McGrother brings together three of his acts on a single stage.

The largest UK festival promoting sustainable living, the Festival of Thrift takes place on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th September at Kirkleatham Museum with organisers hoping to top last year’s weekend attendance of 45,000.

Performing on a stage sponsored by Wilton-headquartered chemical firm SABIC on Saturday morning will be Infant Hercules, a male voice choir named in honour of the region’s proud industrial heritage.

The ‘community choir with a difference’ Infant Hercules are led by musician Mike McGrother, who will also bring onto the stage the Haverton Hillbillies, a tribute to his grandad and community, while Mike will also perform as the Wild Rover, promising “a little bit Irish, a little bit Cash and a whole lot of Teesside”.

Based on the neighbouring Wilton International Site, SABIC’s sponsorship of the festival for a third successive year will also see the company host an eco-challenge escape room within Kirkleatham Museum itself and take part in one of the talks and debates over the weekend.

A number of SABIC employees will be part of Infant Hercules as they sing songs to inspire remember and celebrate Teesside’s heritage and landscape.

Energetic frontman Mike, well known as founder of local band The Wildcats of Kilkenny, promises that Infant Hercules will bring “an industrial heart and soul to the party”.

The group is one part of Mike’s Pals Programme, which helps local men to find companionship and mutual support whilst getting involved in their local community.

Infant Hercules’ Thrift Performance will include a performance of the Linkin Park song ‘One More Light’, a tune that will head up a suicide prevention initiative in the lead up to Christmas.

“We promise a performance of emotion, passion and Teesside grit,” said Mike. “We’re looking forward to performing on a stage sponsored by SABIC, as they have kindly supported our ensemble throughout 2019.”

Claire Wordsworth, SABIC’s senior communications business partner, said: “SABIC are proud to support this unique festival, which is now in its seventh year.

“Sustainability is a vital part of our core business strategy and we feel that our goals and those of the festival are very much aligned.

“The SABIC stage has an exciting line up of bands performing all weekend including Dylan Cartlidge of ‘The Mighty Redcar’ fame, so I’m delighted to see that Mike and Infant Hercules are part of the mix this year, promoting the important work they do around health and wellbeing in the community.

“We are also pleased to have introduced an eco-themed ‘escape room’ this year aimed at families, which is already fully booked. There is truly something for everyone at this award-winning event.”

To fit with the theme of sustainability, festival attendees can walk to the event with Mike and choir members as they make their way on foot from South Bank Train Station.

They will leave the station at 8am on Saturday and follow the Black Path to reach the Trunk Road roundabout around 9.45am, Kirkleatham Lane opposite Outward Academy by 10.15am and arriving at the festival around 10.45am. They will perform on the SABIC stage at 11.30am on Saturday 14th September.

The Festival of Thrift, which runs from 10am to 5pm both days, will feature stalls, performances, food and drink, workshops and hands-on activities. Admission is free but parking is £5 per car.

For further information and to see a full programme of events visit www.festivalofthrift.co.uk.