The very first Musicport Festival was a pretty small scale event intended to be a one-off celebration of the Millennium. It was helped on its way by a group of local people getting together and attempting to build upon the success of a programme of concerts that had been developed at The Old Chapel, Robin Hood’s Bay by Jim & Sue McLaughlin and that had then transferred to Whitby once they gave up the premises there. Musicport was set up as a not for profit community business. The Arts Council suggested the idea of a festival and Musicport were keen to develop its interest in “world music” so with the help of a Millennium Awards For All Grant the very first festival happened in September 2000.
With E2K (formerly Edward II ) & Robert Maseko & The Chaka Chaka Zouk topping the bill on the Saturday night and Sansaar and Celtarabia on the Friday. Imbizo from Zimbabwe completed the weekend on the Sunday afternoon. Other acts appearing included Labi Siffre, Los Incas, Charanga Del Norte, Tashbain, Viva Flamenco, Banoffi, High Peak Samba Band, Stakesby Steel Band, Tim Hain & Th’Worx, Angie Scarr, The Noisy Planet Band, Viv Mousdell, Theepenny Bit, Widdershins, Bayou Gumbo,The Black Cat Puppet Theatre & The Manchester Adventist Gospel Choir…There were poetry, kite-making and mask-making workshops.
Tickets were £35 for the weekend and the weather was beautiful. About 400 people attended at it’s busiest and highlights were Sansaar ,Viva Flamenco, Robert Maseko & the Gospel Choir.