Music festivals in Gloucestershire you shouldn’t miss
- Credit: Archant
Desperate to sate your craving for live music? Gloucestershire has a buzzing music scene with plenty to offer locals and visitors alike. Here’s our pick of local festivals you shouldn’t miss out on.
The line-up for the annual Cheltenham Jazz Festival is typically star-studded, with the most recent featuring performances from Van Morrison, Caro Emerald, Laura Mvula, Gregory Porter and Squarepusher. The event, spanning 6 days, is hosted in a tented festival village in Cheltenham’s Montpellier Gardens, with talks, workshops, family activities, as well as a food, drink and market area, in addition to the performances at various venues around town. Read more about Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2015.
The award-winning 2000trees is a 5,000-capacity festival set in the rolling Cotswold Hills. It promises 3 nights of music, camping, a friendly, intimate atmosphere and plenty of local food, cider, ale & lager. This year’s event will include 80 new and underground acts with a focus on rock and indie music, as well as some more established acts. On the roster this year are The Subways, Deaf Havana, Alkaline Trio, Idlewild, We Are The Ocean, Young Guns - among others. Previous performers include Frank Turner, Twin Atlantic, Blood Red Shoes, Band of Skulls, Wolf Alice, Public Service Broadcasting, 65daysofstatic, Lower Than Atlantis and Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip.
Barn On The Farm is a relatively new music festival, but has quickly established itself in the musical calender of Gloucestershire. The award-winning event brings singer-songwriters and folk performers to a local audience, in the uniquely intimate setting of Over Farm. The organisers have displayed a knack for snapping up performances from musicians on the cusp of success, with Ed Sheeran, Gabrielle Aplin and Matt Corby previously taking the stage, months before making it big. This year’s line-up features The Staves, James Bay, Jack Garrett and Prides, among others. Tickets for 2015 are sold out, so keep an eye out for Barn On The Farm 2016.
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With hippie West Country roots, Lakefest will return this year at Croft Farm Waterpark to throw together great music and great cider for three days of fun. The musical line-up for 2015 includes Embrace, Ash, Billy Bragg, The Magic Numbers, Dreadzone and Nizlopi. The event began in 2011, and, 9000 pints of cider and a lot of musical entertainment later, Lakefest was shortlisted at the UK Festival Awards for Best Small Festival, Grass Roots Festival, Best New Festival AND Best Family Festival. As the organisers explained: “The plan isn’t to be a Reading or Glastonbury - but to build something special for people that want to drink, laugh lots, dance and party.” You can’t argue with that.
Each year, the aim of the Tetbury Music Festival is to bring leading instrumentalists and singers to the beautiful Cotswold town of Tetbury. This year, the concerts will start on Wednesday evening with the popular Heath Quartet playing Haydn, Beethoven and Tchaikowsky. On the Thursday, local pianist Joseph Middleton will return, this time accompanying the soprano Caroline Sampson who was given positive reviews at last year’s BBC Proms. On the Friday, as a Festival first, there will be a wind concert – the Marsyas Ensemble playing Handel and Fasch.
SportBeat is another newcomer in the festival line-up, with a USP of combining live music with sports tournaments across a weekend of summer fun in Gloucester. Confirmed musical acts for this year include The Fratellis, De La Soul, Jaguar Skills, The Skint, Orla Gartland and James Arthur, among others. Tournaments taking place include volleyball, netball and rugby 7s; there will be a freestyle scooting event organised by Scoot GB and the Race4Men Fun Run will also take place on Plock Court on the weekend.
This year will be the family-friendly Wychwood Festival’s 11th, bringing the usual line-up of eclectic musicians to Cheltenham. The roster for 2015 features UB40, Bony M, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, The Proclaimers, The Undertones, Ghostpoet, Craig Charles, The Edwin Starr Band, Electric Swing Circus and Dreadzone, as well as 100 workshops for all ages, comedy performers and a cinema to keep festival goers entertained.
Gloucester / Worcester / Hereford, July-August
Positively archaic by the standard of the other names on this list, the Three Choirs Festival will be celebrating its 300th year in 2015! The event brings a week-long programme of choral and orchestral concerts, cathedral services, solo and chamber music recitals, masterclasses, talks and exhibitions to Gloucester, Hereford or Worcester, the three cities swapping the role of host each year.
A part of Cheltenham’s festival series, the Cheltenham Music Festival seeks to deliver everything from symphonic grandeur to the intimacy of chamber music, and from sublime choral experiences to brand new musical adventures. There’s an overt (though not exclusive) focus on classical music, and highlights this year include the Opening Night broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and featuring work by Gershwin, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra performing Haydn, Mozart and Rachmaninov, The King’s Singers celebrating 150 years of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a screening of Psycho with Herrmann’s iconic score performed live for the audience and a lot more.
Lechlade Music Festival is a three-day family-friendly event with 60+ performers taking to the three stages playing everything from rock to reggae, jazz to folk and more. This year’s line-up includes Status Quo, Dr and the Medics, Whole Lotta Led, Bon Giovi, Louise Jordan, Centrefolds, Silver Story, Feral Ghost, among others.
Described as ‘putting the boot into boutique festival’, Gloucestershire-based Livestock is a musical grand tour backed up with fine food, local ales and great company.
With 2015 headline acts including Scouting for Girls, The Feeling, The Hoosiers and Toploader, there will also be classic films shown on the main stage after the bands have finished and, for those that want to keep the party going, the woodland DJ Stage will be keeping the party going throughout the night.
North Nibley, July
There’s something rather special about friendly Nibley. Set in a stunning Cotswold location, it features great live music, free entertainment for the kids, stalls, local beer, and food from around the world.
Run entirely by volunteers on a not-for-profit basis, it’s small but with the kind of attention to detail that has given it rave reviews in both the local and national press.
This year’s line-up includes Scouting For Girls and The Pigeon Detectives.