Daily Mirror ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Sun “…a weekend party like no other”


The countdown is well and truly on for Wales’ biggest family festival as ‘In It Together’ announce their headline acts for 2024.  Set to make for an unforgettable weekend  – Sugababes, Rag’n’Bone Man andDizzee Rascal have today been unveiled as the headliners for the festival, which returns to Margam in South Wales next May.
Sugababes are one of the most successful British girl bands of the 21st century, scoring 6 UK number 1 singles, millions of global sales, and multiple multi-platinum albums. Joining them on the bill is 3 time Brit Award winner Rag’n’Bone Man, whose 4x platinum selling 2017 debut album ‘Human’ became the fastest selling debut album by a male artist of the decade.
Also announced today – Cat Burns, Eliza Rose, Craig David’s TS5, James MorrisonDiversityJoel CorryEats Everything, and Sigma are joining a stellar line-up of international stars includingRazorlightSam RyderBilly OceanBlueScouting for GirlsSister Sledge and Gruff Rhys. 
With budgets in mind, and cementing their status as the biggest family-friendly festival in Wales, In It Together are also launching their ‘Kids Go Free’ campaign – where children can now attend the festival for free as part of a family ticket.  This means access to 150 artists playing over the weekend – plus over 100 free family activities included at no extra charge.
Among the activities are the Climbing Wall, Tic Tac Skate School, Outdoor Cinema, Sports Academy, Science School and Junior Jungle all making a welcome return.  Joining them for 2024 will be an Extreme Sports Arena with BMX, Parkour and Volt Stunt Shows and Workshops, Live Wrestling, a designated Baby and Toddler tent and brand new Street Food Village. So, whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or fancy yourself as the foodie of the family – there is sure to be something to satisfy your cravings.
Another returning fan favourite is Steelworks which will be bigger than ever in 2024.  The stage will showcase the best world music –  everything from Reggae, Funk, Soul, Afrobeat to Dub and more.  On Sunday the stage will be hosted by crowd favourites Chai Wallahs.
The festival’s iconic dance tent Panchaia will once again see the worlds of House, Techno and Drum n Bass collide in 2024.  Elsewhere on site, the popular Rewind arena is back after an epic 2023 debut, playing the very best of 90’s and 00’s anthems.  Garage NationNoughty 90s and Judgement will all host over the weekend.
As well as welcoming some of the biggest international names to the Welsh Valleys, the festival will once again be a proud supporter of upcoming local talent – with the Padlock Stage hosting over 30 Welsh artists, showcasing the country’s finest exports.
Speaking about this year’s festival Mark Hopkins, Head of Festivals said: ‘‘After much hard work behind the scenes, we’re thrilled to finally be able to announce Sugababes, Rag’n’Bone Man and Dizzee Rascal as the headline acts for 2024. “
Earlier this year the family-friendly weekender well and truly cemented its status as the number 1 festival in Wales, with headliners The KooksAnne-Marie and James playing to sold out crowds under the glorious May sunshine.  A remarkable achievement for a festival which only made its debut in 2022.
Tickets for In It Together 2024 will be available from 10am on the Monday 27th November– register Prices start from £159 for a weekend ticket or £319 for family tickets (2 adults with 2 kids going free).  Secure your ticket for a £20 deposit and pay nothing more until after Christmas.

Wilkestock Festival 2017

It's September 2017 and Wilkestock Festival is back! With an amazing line up organised and booked by Juicebox Live and The horn, this year the festival celebrated its 10th birthday. The festival began as a party for family and friends and was organised by brothers Tom and Olly Wilkes. Years later it became a charity music festival with all profits going to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and also Keswick Mountain Rescue. Despite being a small festival, Wilkestock has grown bigger in popularity year after year. It was announced that this year saw the festival's biggest event they have ever known, as over two thousand people were in attendance to celebrate it's milestone birthday. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with Wilkestock, it is a small festival based at Frogmore Hill which is just outside of Stevenage, Hertfordshire. The festival provides ticket holders with a choice of artists and bands spread throughout it's five stages (Main stage, Bella stage, Rock up and Rinse, Bangorang and The Doghouse). Main stage and Bella stage were the most prominent of the weekend event and the others showcased DJ sets and a silent disco. There was even a secret stage which was basically a converted bathroom trailer. 

 As the festival is a family friendly weekend event, organisers provided a seperate children's area full of large inflatables and crazy golf. There was also a small white tent filled with large cushions, which served as a cinema showcasing classic Disney films such as 'The Jungle Book', 'Oliver and Company' and 'The Lion King'. 
Wilkestock also had a good variety of food available to us. There wasn't many vendors in the small food court area, but the variety of food was quite diverse. There were stone baked pizzas, the sauage company cooking lots of gourmet sausages and hot dogs, an ice-cream van, indian cuisine, greek style street food such as kebabs and halloumi salads and lastly a smoothie stall making lots of delicious and healthy beverages. Of course there were also the return of the log cabin bar.  The main arena looked quite a sight! Due to it's 'Hippie' themed weekend, there was an abundance of beautiful coloured flowers, peace symbols and glitter all around. Just like last year, the main arena was furnished with recycled sofas, logs and straw bales to encourage a relaxed atmosphere.  

So, music, who performed? Who was good? Who wasn't so good? After attending this awesome festival last year and loving the artists that the organisers had booked in 2016, I was somewhat a skeptical about this year's line up just not comparing at all to the brilliance of last year. In all honesty that is how I felt.  I was totally wrong! And I am glad that I was proven wrong.  Wilkestock really out done themselves to celebrate their big birthday. Not only did they have amazing headline acts to close each night, but they also had many acts returning from last year and some new bands and artists that I hadn't heard of before that really impressed me. DJs Adam O and and Matt Crawley also owned the decks throughout the entire weekend!

Let's start with all of the musical goodness from Friday. The main stage was opened by four piece male indie rock band Mono 01. Although only three of the band's members had turned up.  The guys performed singles including 'Lost Dreams' and 'Get Out Of My Face'. Other bands that played on Friday included indie rock band Arcadian from St. Albans who played their hits 'Mandy', 'Talk Slow' and also an amazing cover of Kanye West's 'Stronger'.

 We also saw Alternate pop rock female duo Rews. These two ladies from London and Belfast totally owned the stage while performing singles''For The Broken Hearted', 'Violins' 'Miss You In The Dark' and new single 'Shine'. Their debut album is due to be released in November this year. 

The first of the returning acts from last year were Bedford based band The Scruff.  In 2016 the band played and completly packed out the Bella/BBC Introducing stage.  This year the lads had been promoted to the main stage for a bigger set. I will be honest. When I saw this band perform last year, I thought that they were a good band but not really a band for me. This year they did a complete flip reverse on me. They were one of my highlights for Friday! The Scruff played a variety of music, both old and new. What really changed my opinion of their music was when they performed their newest single titled 'Her' a song about being kind to your mother, it is also dedicated to one of the band member's late mother. A beatifully written and very emotial song which completely tugged at my heartstrings. One feeling I didn't expect to feel while watching this band perform. They are definitly worth a listen to so check them out. 

An act that appeared to entice a lot of people were rock band Blackwaters. Our photographer especiallly.  While headbanging and owning the stage the band performed their singles 'Let The Good Times Roll', 'Help Me', a pretty awesome cover of Britney Spears hit 'Toxic' and the very memorable 'F**k Yeah!' (I'll let you fill in the gaps haha). The band's lead vocalist was quite the showman, dressed in fitted black trousers and what I can only describe as a mariarchi style shirt. Not only did he rock the stage and interact well with the audience but he also jumped down from the stage to rock out in the arena with the fans watching too. For some reason a lot of very young children appeared to like this set too. There must have been around five children under the age of three sporting their ear protector headphones and bopping to this band's music. It was rather amusing. Perhaps a new generation of rockstars emerging, who knows? 

Friday's warm up act for the headliner were British indie/alternative band The Sherlocks. The band brought in quite the crowd which gathered at the front of the main stage arena. I'd heard many people talk about their excitment to see this band on stage. The lads have just released their debut album titled 'Live For The Moment' and are currently touring all over the globe. Their single 'Heart Of Gold' has recieved air play from BBC Radio 1 DJs Annie Mac, Huw Stevens and Greg James. They also played at Reading and Leeds festivals last year (2016) before then supporting the Libertines on their arena tour.  They performed hits for us including 'Chasing Shadows', 'Blue', 'Last Night' and 'Candlelight' before then exiting the stage to make way for the evening's headline act. Carl Barat and the Jackals. What a lovely tie in to The Libertines there! With people flooding in from all corners of the grounds to see this set, it was heaving! Carl Barat is best known for being co-front man alongside Pete Doherty in The Libertines.  In 2014 Barat had set out to to search for a new band online via popular social media site Facebook. He had recieved well over 1000 applications before he then chose members to then form The Jackals. The collaboration works really well and their music is something that many peope enjoy. They are on tour and their current EP 'Harder They Fall' is out now. 

Saturday was a big day for the festival, not only was it fancy dress day with a hippie theme but it was also the day that the festivals birthday celebrations took place.  Throughout the day announcements were made on the main stage in regarding the 10th birthday of the festival. Including a heartfelt speech from the festival's founders Tom and Olly Wilkes. While thanking friends, family, press and production for their support over the years a cake was brought on stage as we were all encouraged to sing happy birthday. For the rest of the afternoon free birthday cake was available at the log cabin bar. And you can't go wrong with free cake! The day even saw a live proposal on the main stage. Congratulations to the happy couple! 

Some of the best sets of the day came from artists including Honeylung, a male rock band that are fresh from the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds festivals 2017 with their grunge like apparel. A band that I thought were a tad different was Haunt The Woods. I can only describe their music as rock/eerie. The guys from Cornwall put on a great set with their singles 'Beautiful Catastrophe', the very haunting sounding 'Twisted' and 'Red Wood' which the band members themselves named a folk song.  

We also saw a very girly punk rock set from female trio Hey Charlie who had packed out the tent at the Bella Stage. The fiesty girls (Lizz, Sophie and Lauren), who play their own instruments also played at the British Summertime Festival in Hyde park earlier this year. I had a lot of fun watching these three. I loved their music! Their song 'Cheer Up Princess' is a brilliant upbeat punky pop song that got everyone up on their feet and left us singing the lyrics throughout the day. 

Saturday like Friday night also had a warm up act before the big headliner. Saturday evening brought us the very energetic and amusing band Vant.  These lads are absolutely brilliant live! Their music has had a lot of air play, particularly on BBC Radio 1 lately and are really starting to make a name for themselves. I only saw this band just over a month ago at Truck Festival and I loved their set there too. It seems that they like to introduce themselves by saying "Hey we are Vant from planet Earth!" Early on in their half an hour set one of the band members burst into song to sing the Spice Girls hit '2 Become 1' which of course set off a kareoke like chorus from everyone else in the arena. This was hilarious! The band even stopped half way through perfomorming their single 'Do You Know Me By Now?' to pass comment on a security issue that was being dealt with in front of the main stage.  The front vocalist shouted out to the security team "security! Have you not been to a punk rock show!, Let the man stay at the front, I will keep an eye on him". This absolutely ticked myself and many other people there. The band just seem so down to earth and have a great connection with their audience. The guys continued afterwards to play a number of songs including their popular hit 'Karma Seeker'. 

Just before the headline act graced the stage, one of the DJs played a number of songs over the speaker system to keep us all entertained in the meantime. Whoever that DJ was did a great job! They just kept throwing out hit after hit which really got the crowds of people dancing and singing along.  Especially when 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' (Originally by Nirvana) was blasted out. I've never known so many people to jump around and go wild. There were even middle aged people acting like the teenagers that they once were. It was really quite something to see. It just showed how much fun can be had at this festival and it brought everyone together. 

Saturday's headline act was the one performer that everyone was talking about, even the other artists on stage. Razorlight! I had loved them in my late teens, so I was quite excited to see them perform myself. They did not dissapoint. The opened their set with a quick "hello" before going straight into their first song of their set, the well known 'In The Morning'. the band took many of us on a trip down memory lane with a variety of hit singles accompanied by an array of laser and strobe lighting. All in all they showcased a total of eighteen hits in their alotted time slot at the end of the night. They rounded off not only their set but also the evening by performing probably their biggest hit 'America' to which the production team also set of huge confetti cannons that filled the grounds and the air, leaving us all reeling from excitement.  

Lastly, Sunday was a shorter day at the three day event but to be honest it was my favourite of the three days.  The music was a lot more diverse rather than mainly rock bands throughout the day. As much as I like rock music it was nice to see some tamer styles of music. My highlights of the weekend were mostly acts from the last day of Wilkestock. On the list of stagetimes it showed that at lunchtime we were to see another of the returning bands from last year My Little Empire. When they took to the stage this was quite different. I say they, but only lead singer and guitarist Rob from the band took centre stage alone. As only he attended this enabled him to perform a slightly different set to what was originally planned. One man and his guitar often means one thing. A relaxed acoustic set. Yep, the band's front man performed their singles 'Solitude', 'Letting Go' and a really good cover of Ocean Colour Scene's 'Robin Hood' which he had said was an iconic song to him growing up. As it was to many of us too. This would have been the band's 7th year playing at his festival. But Rob certainly managed to pull it off all by himself.

Another Wilkestock veteran returning from last year were St. Albans based indie/rock band Alexis Kings. I loved them last year and to be honest I was quite enthusiastic about seeing them again over this weekend.  The all male musicians had a slightly more grown up look after recently returning to the UK as they have been busy touring Asia. They played at the Summer Sonic festival in Shanghai alongside the likes of The Kooks and Sum 41. We heard some familiar songs from them such as their most popular single 'Squire' and a personal favourite of mine 'Strawberry Blonde'. They also sampled their newest  masterpiece, 'Magic Mind'  which they admitted they've only performed live a handful of times. This single is set to be their next release in around two months time. Watch out for it, it's a really great tune and I will be surprised if it doesn't do well. 

To be honest I think the most popular performance of the day came from electro/pop group Club Drive. This set was a particularly important one to the band members as four became three. This was their bass player's last gig alongside the other lads as he is moving on to bigger things in his life outside of the band. Club Drive are becoming more and more popular with each single they release. The musicians from hertfordshire put on an amazing show for all ages. Everyone was up on their feet enjoying the music from their set. There was tons of energy on stage too.  Their music is very upbeat and infectious. They certainly bring the party with them.  

Sunday evening and the festival weekend was brought to a close by the cheeky chaps from Padding Needed. I had spoken to one of the band members in the afternoon before their set and he informed me of the antics that the band get up to while they are performing on stage. They had spent their afternoon handing out flyers inviting everyone to their pillow fight in the tent they were playing in. The band member that I spoke to had told me that the reason why they provide lots of pillows and encourage a huge pillowfight at all of their gigs is due to their single 'Pillow Fight'.  They thought it was something unique and very fitting to promote their single. Ever since then, they have had giant pillow fights at every single gig they have played.  This weekend we saw not only their famous pillow fight, but balloons being thrown into the crowds which packed out the tent completely and also what appeared to be sparklers on the ends of their guitars. They really do put on a gig like no other. The band that are based in the Milton Keynes/Northampton area are currently gigging all over the place and they even have their own festival planned for December called Pillow Fest! Which sounds like a massive fun party. If you get the chance to see these guys live then do so, you don't want to miss out on this much fun at a gig. Great music and laughs, what more could you possibly ask for?

So now this brings my rather lengthy review to a close. Wilkestock really upped the ante for this year's event.  I'm so glad I've been able to go for the last two years as its a great family weekend out.  Tickets for next year have already gone on sale and they will probably sell out fast so get them while you can.  
Thank you Tom and Olly for having us share your festival fun once again! 

For more photos by Kane Howie click on day links below.


Razorlight at Kew the Music 2017

A week long summer series of picnic concerts spanning from 11-16th July, Kew the Music is set within the picturesque grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, in the suburban district of Richmond, London. A UNESCO World Heritage site offering stunning landscapes, unique plants and impressive architecture, it’s difficult to imagine a dreamier atmosphere to soak up the sun, enjoy a picnic and listen to some fantastic live music.

This year’s star-studded line-up included talent such as ballad-queen Mary J Blige, pop girl band All Saints and indie rockers Razorlight. Off to see the latter on 12th July, I was very keen to lend my ear to a band I had loved so much back in my late teens.

As I bounded through the gates and into the greenery with my companion, it’s fair to say we were feeling pretty warm underneath the early evening sun. We were extremely lucky with the weather; it had been pouring buckets for Brit Singer-Songwriter Passenger’s performance the previous evening.

Being able to bring in as much food and alcohol to a concert (especially one in London) was a novelty for me, and one I appreciated very much! It was quite a laid-back affair, so we didn’t go all out with the boozing but it was a definite time and money-saver (it’s always annoying having to queue for another drink at the bar between sets). It also made us feel that little bit more appreciative towards the organisers.

Settling down with a good spot in front of the stage, we embraced the relaxed atmosphere and stunning verdant scenery. We were just in time for the start of ‘The Bluetones’ set which made for ideal background music as we munched on our picnic snacks and sipped from our cardboard cups of Prosecco in the early evening. There were, however, quite a few already rocking at the front as the opening song, the joyous ‘Slight return’, was played – my personal favourite of their set.

After a break and more time to chit-chat and fill up on Prosecco, it was time for Razorlight’s much-awaited headline show. The boys burst onto the stage with their hit single ‘In the morning’ from their second self-titled album ‘Razorlight’, a tune I’m sure we can all relate to at times! As it was still daylight, the atmosphere was relatively calm, with many enjoying the set from their picnic spots on the grass. Up next we enjoyed ‘Stumble and fall’, followed by ‘Keep the right profile’. With the mass of crowds at the front growing with each song, crowd-pleaser ‘Golden touch’ definitely brought even more fans swarming forward.

It wasn’t until a familiar favourite was played until my ears pricked up again – ‘I Can’t Stop This Feeling I’ve Got’ which had the now sizeable crowd chanting along in time. Up next, was the more morose ‘Wire to wire’; another song I’m fond of, from their last album ‘Slipway Fires’. It’s fair to say front-man Johnny Borrell’s voice shone in that one!

Picking up the tempo again, we were treated to 2006 single ‘Before I fall to pieces’, prompting lots of singing along to the recognisable chorus. As darkness fell upon us, the edgier the tunes got, encouraging more vigorous dancing (or shall I say, jumping up and down), singing and overall, a lot more energy. A string of bouncy hits heightened the atmosphere, including ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Lies’, ‘Don’t Go Back to Dalston’, ‘Who Needs Love?’ and ‘LA Waltz’.

I have to say, the energy in the crowds had really picked up and by the time the encore was starting, the masses were begging for more music. Concluding with the eagerly-anticipated number one single ‘America’ (my friend and I had been waiting for it throughout the whole set!), the show finished on an exhilarating high with plenty of liveliness, singing and dancing.

I had never been to a concert that had started off so relaxed and chilled, but then proceeded to finish with so much energy and character. I do feel that is what’s so special about Kew the Music and its stunning location – you can enjoy the best of both worlds at a concert there. Razorlight delivered a fantastic set that drew in my nostalgia and I eagerly look forward to returning to Kew the Music next year for another fantastic summer evening.

The Pretenders, The Kooks and more announced for Isle of Wight Festival 2017

Today, The Isle of Wight Festival 2017 announces 18 new acts to be added to the bill: The Pretenders, The Kooks, Imelda May, Razorlight, Alison Moyet, Starsailor, Space, Melanie C, Scouting For Girls, Tom Chaplin, Alex Francis, Lucy Spraggan, Bang Bang Romeo, Paradisia, Wild Front, The Slow Readers Club, Showhawk Duo and Victoria.

They join headliners Arcade Fire, David Guetta, Run DMC and Rod Stewart as well as recently announced acts Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Bastille, Kaiser Chiefs, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Zara Larsson, Clean Bandit, The Vamps and The Amazons. 

Of the exciting new additions to the bill, John Giddings says: “This makes it one of the best line-ups we have ever had.  Roll on June!

Legendary English-American rock band The Pretenders are fronted by the unstoppable Chrissie Hynde. Originally forming in the late ‘70s, The Pretenders’ self-titled debut album soared straight to #1 on the UK chart, paving the way for an iconic career spanning almost four decades. 

Chrissie Hyde from The Pretenders said: ”I'm absolutely over the moon to be playing the Isle of Wight Festival; it is one of the most iconic festivals of our time. I'm so humbled to be playing a festival that so many legends have performed at. I cannot wait."

The Kooks will celebrate a decade together as a band with their 'Best Of' UK tour taking place this year. Their 2006 debut album ‘Inside In / Inside Out’ was recently certified five-times platinum and is still engaging new fans today. The band now have three more studio albums, a number of massive world tours, awards and critical acclaim under their belts as well as over 3 million monthly Spotify listeners, while their seminal single ‘Naive’ remains in the Spotify Top 200 playlist. 

Imelda May has become one of Ireland’s most celebrated female artists in history. Discovered by Jools Holland, who asked Imelda to support him on tour, Imelda has gone on to perform alongside legendary artists including Lou Reed, Bono and Smokey Robinson. Her previous album ‘Tribal’ debuted at #1 in Ireland and #3 in the UK. 

Razorlight’s 2006 self-titled album topped the UK Album Chart and went on to be certified multi-platinum, spawning the huge singles ‘In The Morning’, ‘Before I Fall to Pieces’ and UK #1 ‘America’. Over their 15-year career, the band have played shows alongside Queen, Oasis and The Who and have become a staple of the British indie movement.  

Alison Moyet’s career is in its fourth decade. Her earliest hits as a solo artist include ‘All Cried Out’, ‘Is This Love?’ and ‘Love Resurrection’. Moyet has released five UK Top 10 albums, including two #1s, and most recently Top 5 album ‘The Minutes’ in 2013.

Alison Moyet said: “I’m really thrilled to be invited to perform at the IOW Festival again. It really is something to play this legend of a festival that boasts such an authentic history. I am expecting grand larks.

Britpop four-piece Starsailor have released ten Top 40 singles and two Top 10 albums since debuting in 2000. Not only have they toured the world extensively the band have also enjoyed more than their fair share of prestigious gigs, supporting the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Police, The Killers, and U2, and have sold over 3 million albums worldwide. The band are currently recording a new album to be released through Cooking Vinyl in 2017. 

James Walsh from Starsailor said: “We're really excited to be returning to the Isle of Wight festival. It's a fantastic line-up this year & we're extremely proud to be a part of it.

Space first rose to prominence in the ‘90s for their eclectic blend of alternative rock, hip-hop and neo-psychedelia. After disbanding for 10 years, the band returned and immediately sold out their reunion show at O2 Academy Liverpool, solidifying their status as a cult band on the Liverpool music scene. Space’s new studio album, Give Me Your Future, is being released early 2017, followed by the bands Anthology Boxset release date late 2017.

Tommy Scott from Space said:  “The Isle of Wight is the most iconic festival and we are so excited to playing it this year. Best present for 2017 that we could have wished for.  Can't wait to see the fans over on the Island.”

Melanie C is an international pop icon and founding member of Spice Girls, the best-selling girl band of all time. Since Spice Girls’ disbandment in 2000, Melanie C has gone on to establish herself as a hugely successful solo artist, selling 20 million records worldwide and collaborating with Bryan Adams and TLC’s Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopes. She released her latest solo album, ‘Version of Me’, in 2016. 

She said: “I’m really looking forward to playing the Isle of Wight in June.  It’s one of my favourite festivals and a great way to start the Summer.

Scouting For Girls released four UK Top 10 singles and four UK Top 10 albums since their debut in 2007. The three-piece’s 2010 single ‘This Ain’t A Love Song’ debuted at #1 and spent a whopping 22 weeks on the UK chart. In December 2016, the band announced a ballot for their 10th anniversary show, which received 20,000 applicants for just 300 tickets.

Tom Chaplin is the frontman of anthemic, multi-million selling British band Keane, who scored 5 number one albums between 2004 and 2013.  A successful solo artist in his own right, Tom released his debut solo album ‘The Wave’ in 2016 which entered the UK Album Chart at #3. The Wave features eleven incredibly honest and ultimately uplifting songs written by Tom and produced by Matt Hales.

Up-and-coming singer-songwriter Alex Francis is gearing up to release his debut EP in 2017. The budding talent was named one of Time Out’s ‘Rising Stars’ in 2016, followed by live shows with Samm Henshaw and Luke Sital-Singh. Having already gained the support of British breakthrough James Bay, Francis is set for big things this year. 

Alex Francis said: “I’m beyond thrilled to be part of this year's Isle of Wight Festival alongside so many amazing, legendary performers. It's a real honour to be asked and I absolutely cannot wait to get on stage!"

British singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggan recently released her fourth studio album, ‘I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing’ in January 2017 and achieved an incredible no.12 in the Official UK Album Chart. Spraggan is that rarest of things – a genuine singer/song-writer to emerge from the TV talent show scene and was the first contestant in the show’s history to score a Top 40 single and album before the live shows even aired.  

Bang Bang Romeo are a British rock four-piece who draw influence from the likes of Jefferson Airplane, The Mamas and the Papas and Smashing Pumpkins. Described as a ‘hard edged Fleetwood Mac’, the band have been praised by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens as ‘the best in new music’ and ‘one of the most exciting new bands in the country’. 

Bang Bang Romeo said: "Isle of Wight Festival will always be special for us, the place is steeped in History from Hendrix to The Rolling Stones, Bowie to Fleetwood Mac and you can feel the magic in the air around the place. It has such a feel good factor that a lot of festivals fail to grasp and forever will be important to us as the first major festival that gave us a chance to perform. It plays a leading role in the BANG BANG ROMEO story and we can't wait to be back on the Island this summer."

Paradisia are a female trio from London who combine vocals, keyboard and harp to create a unique, ‘70s-infused sound. The band have previously supported Paolo Nutini on tour and played a Hyde Park show with Bruce Springsteen, whose classic track ‘Dancing In The Dark’ they covered and released as their debut single.

Breaking indie four-piece Wild Front whose self-released tracks have already amassed an impressive 175,000 streams on Spotify. The band’s eclectic tracks – which draw influence from everything from ‘80s rock and indie folk to West Coast hip-hop – have all received huge support from BBC Radio 1 and BBC Introducing. 

Lead singer Jack Williams from Wild Front said: ’'It's one of the big ones, with a lot history, so it's a privilege to be playing.’'

The Slow Readers Club describe their sound as ‘indie-electro-doom-pop’. The band have supported James on their UK tour, including a date at London’s Forum, and recently sold out their own headline show at Manchester’s O2 Ritz two months in advance. The Manchester Evening News recently described the band as ‘one of the most exciting sounds coming out of our city’. 

The Slow Readers Club said: "We are really excited to be playing IOW festival.  This year’s lineup looks amazing. Love that it has so much history too.  We've all seen the old IOW footage from the 70s with acts like The Who, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, Hendrix and Leonard Cohen. It was so mysterious and mystical following the peace movement. Feels like the most natural and musically relevant festival to play."

Mikhail Asanovic and Jake Wright together make Showhawk Duo and have gained recognition internationally for their unique combination of classical guitar and electronic production. The duo began as buskers but quickly built a cult following, culminating in slots on Nick Grimshaw’s BBC Radio One Breakfast Show, festival appearances across Europe and a sold out UK tour. 

Showhawk Duo said: “We can't wait to bring ADM (acoustic dance music) to the Isle of Wight! We're honoured and humbled to make our debut at a festival where so many great artists have played over the years."

Victoria are an up-and-coming indie pop group, who have already garnered acclaim from the likes of Clash for their ‘crisp electronic production matched to a real pop nous.’ The group recently released their new single ‘Souvenir’ and announced a string of headline dates across the UK, including Nottingham, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton and London.

Forgotten Fields announce brand new stage lineup!

Having sold out Kendal Calling in record breaking time last month, the creative minds behind the fan favourite Lake District festival announced Forgotten Fields, the groundbreaking, intimate new festival set to take place at Eridge Deer Park in Sussex. With an emphasis on great atmosphere, incredible music, good food and drink and arts, Forgotten Fields will see performances from Super Furry AnimalsBasement JaxxLevellersRazorlight, De La Soul and more, with even more names now announced. 

Looking past the main stages and taking revelers late into the night, the first names have been revealed for the Gypsy Disco Presents stage. The likes of Ushti Baba, Manushka, Crinkle Cuts, Fat Sandwich and many more will be playing across the weekend on one of the festival's most exciting stages, with the Gypsy Disco acting as a melting pot of musical styles with interactive theatre, burlesque and circus performers to boot. 

The inaugural Forgotten Fields will also be a champion of new and upcoming talent and future stars like blog-favourites Fickle Friends and Common Tongues as well as providing a home for festival favouriteTim Peaks Diner as well as a Late Night Cinema for those looking to kick back with cult classics like The Shining, Rocky and Alien. A host of world beating cuisine and the Kendal Calling favourite Real Ale Festival will also be on site to ensure a memorable weekend is had by all! 

Full Lineup Below:

Super Furry Animals / Basement Jaxx / Levellers / Razorlight

De La Soul / Public Service Broadcasting / The Horrors / Augustines / British Sea Power / Slamboree 

DJ Yoda presents: BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS / Beans on Toast / Fickle Friends / Sam Brookes / Wooden Arms / Gang / Skinny Lister / Get Inuit / Tom Williams / Glass City Vice / Time For T / Coco and the Butterfields / Lazy Habits / Phoria Island / Cassettes Realms / Keston Cobblers Club

Too Many T's / Native People / Molly Warbuton / The Beautiful Word / Will Varley / Flags / First Family / Half Crown / Jacko Hooper / Abi Wade / Skies / Garden Heart / MOK / Fish Tank  / The Dubarrys / Ed Prosek / Common Tongues / Eden Circle / Joeyfat / Ray Gun

Gypsy Disco Presents: Ushti Baba / Crinkle Cuts / Manushka / The Inexplicables / Fat Sandwhich / Shambolique / Mr Tea and the Minions / Town Of Cats / Mama Nice / Voodoo Jukebox + More!

Tim Peaks Diner Featuring: Riding The Low / Howling Rhythm / DJ Megatune / Hatcham Social / Dhrone / Hot Vestry / Gallery Circus / Lisbon / Grasshopper / Northern Soul Dance Classes + Very Special Guests

Late Night Cinema Featuring: Indiana Jones / Alien / Mr Nice / Wall-e / Rocky / Levellers: A Curious Life / The Shining / Ace Ventura

Forgotten Fields announce Razorlight and more!

Indie legends Razorlight will be joining the bill for a set sure to be full of smash hits and signature tunes the likes of ‘America’ and ‘Golden Touch’ as well as a solo outing for their frontman in the form of Johnny Borrell & Zazou.

Much like Kendal Calling, Forgotten Fields will be a champion of new and upcoming talent and as such future stars Fickle Friends join the lineup as well as Common TonguesEden CircleJoey Fat and Raygun.

Renowned for damn fine coffee and the best cherry pie in town Tim Peaks will be on site at Forgotten Fields for a selection of special, intimate sets alongside DJ sets, Q&As and all round great vibes. The lineup includes Riding The LowHowling RhythmDJ MegatuneHathcam SocialDhroneHot Vestry,Gallery Circus, Lisbon and Grasshopper as well as Northern Soul Dance Classes!

The Late Night Cinema will be hosting classic and cult films including Indiana JonesAlienMr NiceWall-ERockyLevellers: A Curious LifeThe Shining and Ace Ventura.

Kendal Calling 2014 Review

 “Make sure you pack your sun cream…it’s going to be a scorcher next weekend!”

These words did not end up ringing wholly true. In fact, this was one of the wettest, muddiest festivals I have ever experienced…and I've been to at least 20. If you are going to have your festival in the Lake District, who knows what weather you are going to get, but this was a Northern festival, with proper double-hard Northern people who were ready for anything.

…then this little guy turned up and showed us all how it was done…

Mud monster

We arrived early on Thursday, this being the first year to allow entry the day before the main festival.
After finally getting up our beast of a tent, we caught the first half of Craig Charles’ 
thumping set in the Glow tent, before some Yorkshire Ska in Chai Wallah, courtesy of The Talks.

Friday started out in the real ale tent, and not even for beer (this time!), but instead to avoid the first
heavy downpour of the weekend. Samba bands were a feature across the site, and kept everyone
entertained until the stages started. By the early afternoon the rain had stopped, giving way to sack
races and plenty of activities to keep families busy in the Ladybird Kids area. Teenagers got their dancing shoes dirty early on at the Jägermeister stage and in the House Party tent. The first big crowd
of the day was for The Dub Pistols, a band who just seem to be made for festivals, getting everyone
stomping those wet weather blues away.

There was disappointment for some as the next act Ella Eyre was unable to attend due to illness, but fear not…The Sunshine Underground served up an extremely last minute indie dance set that kept everyone happy while they refuelled in anticipation of De La Soul

Unfortunately, owing to an accident on the M6, their set was cut short, but the enthusiasm they provided more than made up for it. 
“Me, myself and I” put lots of smiles on faces. With as many years of experience as they have they worked the crowd as you would expect.

Just enough time to grab some food. There was plenty on offer, ranging from exotic burgers
(Llama; wild boar and wagyu beef) to delicious momos from the Tibetan Kitchen (my photographer is now completely hooked on these badboys).

Suede headlined Friday night and began with a quiet opener “The Next life” from their first album.
They had won the crowd over by the third song “Trash”, followed by “Animal Nitrate” giving
everyone a chance to sing, and Brett Anderson to strut his stuff like the mid 90’s were here again.
Mid set we were given a new song “Tightrope” which the crowd were not really sure about, and
their set finished with “Beautiful Ones”.They closed the main stage with an encore of
“She’s in Fashion”, and a wonderful rendition of “Stay Together”.


After hours there was plenty to do with particular highlights being the Britpop set in the Tim Peaks Diner and the jazzy breaks of Mr Scruff.


As morning broke on Saturday, the site was turning to a liquid red thanks to the Cumbrian mud and morning rain. That didn’t stop large numbers of aliens, and sci-fi characters emerging from their tents to lighten up the gloom. The Glow Tent hosted a mass moonwalk to the song “Billie Jean”, as hundreds of MJ’s strutted their stuff.

Mid-afternoon, as the sun peeked out, Newton Faulkner played to a background of bubbles drifting across the field, “Teardrop”, and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I love you baby” bringing the crowds in. Athlete continued the summer vibe, and the sunglasses were out by the time Razorlight took to the stage. Sporting a lovely beard (trust me, I know about beards!) Johnny Borrell and the boys played a high energy, hit filled set.

Then, it was ALL about Madchester, with bucket hats and Lennon glasses being the necessary uniform. The Happy Mondays began with Bez informing us of his political intentions, which is either genius, or the most bonkers thing you’ve ever heard. The majority of this crowd would definitely vote for him. Shaun planned to keep it a PG performance, and entertained the crowd by never being quite sure which songs were coming next. Rowetta looked fantastic in her cowboy hat and tassels, and people were literally climbing the trees to get a good view. The sound was great and the whole arena was rocking to party classics from “Loose Fit”, to “24 Hour Party People”.

The Happy Mondays

Frank Turner started his set with a smaller crowd, hampered by the rain, but that crowd grew and got to enjoy a very special headline slot. This being his third time at the festival, he’s
definitely earned his Kendal stripes, and when he announced how honoured he was to play, you really knew he meant it. His band, The Sleeping Souls, threw themselves around the stage and really stepped up the volume, with stomping tunes like “Photosynthesis” getting the crowd all clapping and singing along. He dedicated his new song “Angel Islington” to all the Northerners. Despite a re-tune mid song and a broken string, nothing could faze Frank tonight!

Frank Turner

Sunday, originally predicted to be the best day for weather, was the worst, with frequent showers turning the main arena into a mud bath. Children and adults kept their spirits up by sliding down the hillside, and one of the great moments of the weekend was the chap in neon and a flat cap, cruising round a pool of mud in his electric wheelchair, chasing people. The Lancashire Hotpots played at lunchtime and won the award for most costume changes, and as they said, it was like a Lady Gaga gig! Conga lines, beach balls and songs including “We Love the North”, and “Chippy tea”, were just what was needed to keep everyone from flagging.

Reel Big Fish were the afternoon high point, Masters of styles they gave us the Ska Punk we all expected, but also a touch of Disco, and even a bit of Square-dancing. With choreographed kicks they finished with “Take on Me”, and as the dancing increased, the mud was flying. Tom Odell didn’t go in for quite the same level of onstage action, but instead let his music do the talking. It only took him to point to the girls at the front to get them all screaming, as he hammered away at the piano. A new song “Jealousy” from his upcoming album was particularly well received.

Miles Kane was taking no prisoners with a straight up rock and roll show. Dressed in a psychedelic shirt, his strutted around owing the stage, scissor kicking as he went. By the time he played “Don’t Forget Who You Are”, he had the audience joining in from the front to all the way up the hill.

Miles Kane

The final act on the main stage was Example, the biggest crowd of the weekend, and everyone wanted to be at the front. The sound from the stage was massive, with filthy bass lines shaking the sodden ground. Dressed in black he electrified the entire field, with lasers and a completely awesome neon drum kit. “One more day (Stay with me)” “Changed the way you kiss me” and “Kickstarts” were by far the biggest sing-a-longs of the weekend. As the set finished with air cannons
and ticker tape, the epic firework display was a worthy end to a sometimes challenging but ultimately celebratory weekend.


After the main events, we headed back to Tim Peaks Diner for some energetic table dancing and a storming funk and soul set from Tim Burgess.
Just time to pop back to the real ale tent, this time for a well-deserved pint, we’d all survived!


Words by Reuben Crowther
Photographs by Andy Sawyer

Dizzee Rascal andRazorlight to headline Brownstock Festival

Legendary British rapper Dizzee Rascal will headline Saturday night of the festival. Dizzee’s debut Boy in da corner is over 10 years old now, winning him a Mercury Music Prize kickstarting an amazing career in music. Since then he has collected a host of other awards with both an NME and Brit award under his belt. He has also gone on to release four more albums, 3 of which went gold and the last of them “Tongue in cheek” went platinum. And of course Dizzee Rascall is one of the few artists with the claim to fame of playing at the 2012 Olympics’ opening ceremony, singing Bonkers to an estimated audience of 900 million in a specially-made ‘E3’ baseball jacket. There is no mistaking the dirtee stank anthems, Bonkers and Fix Sharp Look Sharp amongst a whole host of collaborations with everyone from Chase & Status to Calvin Harris.

Indie rock royalty Razorlight will also be taking to the main stage to headline Brownstock 2014. With a huge back catalogue of classic anthems, this NME and Brit award nominated English indie rock band are World renown for their chart topping hits such as “America” “Golden Touch” and “Somewhere Else”. Johnny Borrell is taking a break from his busy solo schedule to make an historic appearance at the birthday party.
Other main names released for the 3 day festival include:
The Feeling: Brit Awards nominated “pop rock” band The Feeling. With a number 1 selling album, a selection of top ten hits, as well as the claim to fame that they were at one point the most played band on UK radio. Their four singles received a total of 97,436 plays, which meant that, on average, a song by The Feeling was played 267 times every day, once every 5 minutes.

DJ EZ: Garage supremo and DJ extraordinaire DJ EZ will be one of the featured artists making an appearance in the Festivals Good Shed arena. The man literally needs no introduction having destroyed dance floors all over the world and a career spanning 3 decades. Even now with his Kiss FM radio show, he ignites parties with his infectious brand of mixing UK classics with the latest breakthrough artists. A firm favourite for 2014’s line up.

Goldie Lookin Chain: Brownstock’s 10th birthday party will not really start until Welsh comedy rap group Goldie Lookin Chain hit the main stage. Although sometimes controversial, group members Rhys, Eggsy and Adam certainly know how to entertain, and since they have recently announced it is 10 years since their first live gig they should certainly be ready for the celebrations.

Jack Beats: Niall Dailly and Ben Geffin make up this extremely successful electronic music duo. Dailly, also known as Plus One, is a former Scratch Pervert and is a winner of the coveted DMC DJ championship title, meanwhile Beni G was a member of fellow turntablists, the Mixologists.  With a recent Fabric Live compilation under their belts, demand has never been higher to witness the turntable masters in action.

Doorly: As a Brownstock ambassador this will be Doorly’s 4th appearance at the festival after hosting his own stage in 2012. More recently he’s gone on to play some of the biggest shows the scene has to offer, including a Nokia launch in Times Square, New York, alongside Nicki Minaj in New York.
P money: Paris Moore-Williams, better known by his stage name P Money is an English Grime MC of the highest caliber. Being a New Zealander he made an impact down under being nominated for Best Urban/Hip Hop Album at the 2013 New Zealand Music Awards. However he is now firmly making waves in the UK and finished eighth in MTV's list of the best UK MCs.

Frank Turner to headline Y Not Festival 2014

Having previously announced Dizzee Rascal & White Lies as headliners for Y Not Festival, the Summer Festival Guide can announce that Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls are the third headliner for this years festival.

Also joining the festival are:


Shed Seven

Ella Eyre

Swim Deep

Saint Raymond

Beans On Toast


Circa Waves

DZ Deathrays

Menace Beach

The Wytches

King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys

Amber Run

Nordic Giants

Tiger Cub

Razorlight to headline this years Sportbeat Festival

Three Music Stages, the Main Stage, the Guildhall Stage for emerging talent and the Academy Stage for talented young artists.  SportBeat are excited to announce that Razorlight are to headline, on Sunday, at this years Festival!  Also confirmed are The Hoosiers, Reverend & the Makers, The Ordinary Boys, By the Rivers, Lucy Spraggan, The Struts, Menswe@r, Matt Cardle, Big Sixes, Shy Nature, Isaiah Dreads & George Barnett.

The Sportbeat Festival is part of the BIG (Believe in Gloucester) campaign and last year won the BIG ‘Community Event of the Year Award 2013’, a great achievement in the Festival’s inaugural year.