Wychwood Festival –
Welcome to our Mid-March Newsletter
We are delighted to announce our next headliner, plus more bands, workshops and our VIP kids entertainer!
So we are thrilled to welcome Martin Fry and ABC to the party on Saturday, as our headliner. On its release in May 1982, ABC's debut album The Lexicon of Love smashed straight into the UK album charts at number one. Hit songs such as Poison Arrow, The Look Of Love and All Of My Heart kick-started the Eighties and, with majestic production from the legendary Trevor Horn, the album remains a classic to this day. Martin Fry says Wychwood fans can expect a special performance:
The three words that best describe ABC are romantic, escapist and melodic, and in the UK The Lexicon of Love is regarded as a benchmark for music in that decade, so we are really looking forward to performing our show at Wychwood.
Also added to the Saturday Main Stage line-up are the fabulous Ibibio Sound Machine with their fusion of West African electronic, highlife, jazz, disco, funk and post-punk music. Ibibio Sound Machine manage to be true to their African roots and honour traditions while charging confidently forward toward the future and it's an uplifting, powerful and unforgettable experience to watch them in their element on stage. We also welcome to mainstage Saturday, The Zangwills, a high energy charismatic 4 piece from the North West, fast gaining a reputation for their strong live sets.
More for Saturday – on our Hobgoblin Stage we’ll have three-piece Halifax-based alternative rock band outfit, Regiment, and infectious vocals and lyrics and world-ending riffs from Manchester four-piece, The Covasettes.
On Sunday to the mainstage we welcome The Baghdaddies who combine Balkan melodies, klezmer, ska, latin grooves and sizzling brass, played with anarchic energy and theatrical humour - exhilarating, skilled, frenetic, amusing and totally unforgettable! And finally for this newsletter the wonderful country songstress Demi Marriner.
Our Children’s VIP on Saturday
National treasure, Basil Brush needs no introduction. He's one of the most well-loved characters in modern kids TV programming, first appearing on ITV in 1963. For twelve years he had his own series on BBC The Basil Brush Show and he's still going strong. 2017 and 2018 saw him hobnobbing with a whole range of stars. He was in panto and starred on The Chase Celebrity Special, making friends with Bradley Walsh and The Vixen. He does tons of charity work, particularly with Comic Relief and there's a rumour that he's going to be involved in The Generation Game when it returns to our TV screens in the not so distant future. Come and enjoy Basil's anarchic sense of fun, his groan-worthy jokes and his catchphrase:
Latest Workshop Announcements
Our latest workshops announcements include the Bleephaus boffins who will help you find a way to make some noise! Come and play with their wide range of electronic gadgets, build your own synthesiser, control a wall of LEDs and make music with our percussive potatoes! We also welcome Raspberry Jam who invite you to come and try your hand at robot controlling and Raspberry Pi; Junk Drumming where you can make some non messy music with recycled junk; and World Class Street Theatre - an unusual mix of bald head hoopla, slow motion movement, robotic dance, contact juggling and audience participation. You have never seen anything quite like it! Finally for this newsletter, join Sohan Kailey live on stage performing songs from his brand new debut album. Songs from Bhangra, Bollywood, Dino Rocks, Bhangra Pirates and more.
Our Tier Three tickets are getting low folks and won’t hang around forever. If you’ve still to book your weekend or day tickets we’d advise you get in there now to beat the price rise.
Welcome to our early February news
We’ve got yet another set of wonderful artists to announce for our 15th Birthday celebrations plus more workshops, and an eco-friendly way to get to the festival!
The Stranglers to headline Main Stage
First off we’re very excited to announce that The Stranglers will be headlining the festival on Sunday! Needing no introduction, with 17 UK top 40 albums and more than 20 top 40 singles to their name, they are one of the only bands originating in the UK punk rock scene who are still playing live and recording today.
The band said
We really enjoyed ourselves when we played at Wychwood’s 10th birthday bash, and we’re delighted to be back to bring on the party for their 15th. Roll on the summer.
We are also delighted to welcome back to our Dance Stage on Sunday, Craig Charles with his Funk & Soul Club. Craig is the master purveyor of soul, funk and beyond – he's one of our most requested artists and boy does he know his stuff! Craig will be bringing his extensive record collection with classic tracks and new gems and his deep love of the genre, shown in the ten years DJing prime-time Saturday Funk and Soul Show on 6Music.
On our Main Stage on Saturday we’ll be joined by the legendary Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band. Not only was Geno a legend on the 1960's live circuit but he undoubtedly still enjoys cult status on the Soul, Blues, R&B and Northern Soul scenes today due to his unsurpassable reputation as a high-energy, inspirational live performer. He's also immortalised in the 1980's Dexys Midnight Runners hit Geno!
On Hobgoblin Stage on Sunday, Chap-Hop star Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer will be performing- As well as songs about cricket, pipe smoking, high society and interfering with livestock, Mr.B has recorded five long players! He's a YouTube sensation and he's even rapped for Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight.
To the Hobgoblin Stage on Saturday, we welcome Penny Mob – Jamie Quinn (Fergie in BBC2's Still Game, and Ian in BAFTA award winning comedy Two Doors Down) and Andrew Mullan – childhood friends who combine guitar pop with the lyrical bite and social commentary of Punk.
We’ve also got more workshops to tell you about – dance workshops from Danceworks Studio for the whole family – the perfect opportunity to burn off some energy and throw some shapes to impress! The return of our favourite pre-school yoga sessions with Andrea from Tatty Bumpkin; new to the festival are Tiny Wild Fox - a group of actors and interactors who will be running sports, games and activities for the whole family to participate in, and The Olá Samba Bateria bringing a taste of Brazil to Wychwood, with their high-energy workshop and performance on Rio Carnival instruments. Be part of the band in the birthday parade!
Announcing Wychwood Cyclist Festival tickets
A chance to enjoy the beauty of the UK countryside, make new friends and reduce your environmental impact by cycling into Wychwood Festival.
We have on offer a limited number of discounted festival tickets available for cyclists when purchased with a Red Fox Cycling ride.
Rides begin from major locations in Bristol, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
Wychwood Festival to offer waterless eco-friendly hygiene packs
We remain focused on maintaining our green credentials and this year we've teamed up with Full Circle to offer reusable and waterless hygiene packs to help reduce the amount of single-use plastic and water consumption.
At just £19.99 (inc. postage), it’s the perfect pack to keep your family clean at Wychwood Festival: sustainable, compact and convenient.
With every Full Circle purchase you make, more than 10% is donated to Full Circle's official charity partners – Charity:water and The Raw Foundation.
Limited number of Early Bird day and weekend tickets available
An adult weekend ticket is just £130 and an adult day ticket – to any day – is just £44 during this early bird offer. Under 5s, as always, remain free.
Welcome to our Christmas news
Before we break for the festivities, we’re very excited to announce our first artists for next year’s festival, plus new activities for 2019. We are also launching an early bird day ticket, which along with our early bird weekend tickets will be on sale until New Year’s Eve. And if that’s not enough we’ve got a very special prize draw for everyone who has bought their tickets for Wychwood before the end of 2018.
First Acts For 2019
We are delighted to welcome Scouting for Girls to headline our Friday – with bags of energy, they are sure to have you dancing to their hits She’s So Lovely, It’s Not About You and I Wish I Was James Bond. Also on Friday we’ll be welcoming 80s chart toppers T’Pau with hits like Heart and Soul which reached a top 5 chart position both here and in the US. Plus our very own Thrill Collins - rarely does a band become a festival institution, but Thrill Collins have certainly done that at Wychwood. We’re proud to call them our house band!
Acts confirmed so far for Saturday include Derek Tinkleberry, Donald Cornfoot and Edmund Sidebottam, otherwise known as Folk On.
We’re launching a new dance stage, and are pleased to welcome to DJ for us, 6 times world snooker champion, Steve Davis with Kavus Torabi. In recent years Steve’s devoted his time to indulging in his musical hobby, presenting a weekly Radio show The Interesting Alternative Show on PhoenixFM with co-presenter Kavus Torabi. Their radio show champions new, experimental, avant-garde, far out, underground, electronic, pop, folk, psych, rock and classical music. For their live DJ set expect any and all of the above!
Our musical announcements on Sunday include back by popular demand and with full band, Toyah – drawing on her amazing 30 year plus career with has included 13 Top 40 singles and 20 albums. Also on Sunday we will be welcoming Tankus the Henge – funk and rock combined with an eclectic mix of influences, ranging from Tom Waits and Blur to Queens of the Stone Age. Their shows are described as hair-raising and their songs ‘a virtual carnival of sound’, so come and see! Also joining us on Sunday will be John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett - What to expect? Well, be ready for anything from bare-chested theremin playing to wah wah wheelie bin as these two master entertainers give an amazing and irreverent performance – different every time.
Sunday in our new dance venue sees a set from Count Skylarkin - The Count will have you dancing to a mix of reggae, ska, rhythm & blues, soul and dancehall. Plus over the weekend DJ Bez, most famous for his freaky dancing with the band the Happy Mondays - and winning Celebrity Big Brother in 2005 - will be giving up plenty of fun and 90s nostalgia from old Indie classics through to Hacienda house.
Our First Workshops
Our workshops and activity programme for all ages is already shaping up nicely!
We can confirm the return of Nick Cope, former front man of The Candyskins in the 1990s.
Nick Cope is the indie-surrealist kids' entertainer Robyn Hitchcock and Syd Barrett, foolishly distracted by cult status, never were. Stewart Lee. Plus we’ve got ChiChi Fit - a brand new, musical theatre inspired, dance fitness programme designed to suit everyone. Feel like a Broadway star as you dance along to routines from famous musical shows. Sing along too! And Mr Dilly’s World Of Wonder - Part story, part comedy, part improv… but a whole World of Wonder awaits! Joy and laughter for all the family!
Or why not join Jo Porter’s Kitchen Dancing - Kitchen Dancing is fun, friendly and dance focussed! Perform vibrant dance routines in a disco setting to brilliant themed music from the past decades - soul, disco, rock, dance, pop, musicals and fun dance crazes. You’ll get to enjoy juggler Ben Cornish with his family show, full of technical skill and comic business. Plus our usual eclectic array of dance classes, yoga, meditation, singing, storytelling, silly sports, drumming, parachute games, arts and crafts, technology area, face painting, a family ceilidh and the parade!
Aardman Model Making Workshops
New to 2019, we’re excited about welcoming Aardman Productions – the makers of Wallace and Gromit, giving you the chance to learn how to make your very own classic character in their hands-on clay modelling workshops. Led by one of their expert model makers, you’ll also get the opportunity to ask questions about the tricks of the trade from the Aardman studio, and we’ll be screening some Aardman classics over the weekend.
New Early Bird Day and Weekend Tickets
For the first time ever, for 2019 we are offering an early bird rate on day ticket entry to Wychwood, and these along with our early bird weekend tickets will be on sale until New Year’s Eve - this means an adult weekend ticket is just £125 and an adult day ticket to any day is just £42 during this offer. Under 5s as always remain free.
These special offer tickets will only be on sale for the next couple of weeks, so grab yours quickly if you still need your tickets for 2019.
Special Prize Draw for All Early Bird ticket purchasers
We are running a special prize draw this year for everyone who has already, or who will have bought their tickets before the end of New Year’s Eve — this includes those of you on our Ticket For Life scheme, bought at the festival this year.
We will make the draw in the first week of 2019, and prizes up for grabs include Prizes from The Wychwood Brewery — our excellent ale partner — tours of the brewery in Witney, Oxfordshire, cases of ale and Hobgoblin Mini Kegs. Prizes from our new partner for 2019, Full Circle, include Eco-Friendly Hygiene Packs. Full Circle have created waterless eco-friendly hygiene packs for you to enjoy whether at a festival, camping or glamping!
Many more announcements to come in the New Year.
May we take this opportunity to thank you for all your support of your Wychwood Festival, and wish you the best seasonal greetings and a happy, peaceful and fun 2019!
Our 14th Wychwood Festival was a huge success and thank you all for making it epic!
Our sun-soaked festival was a wonderful family celebration with great performances from our headline acts: Baxter Dury, the phenomenal Gipsy Kings and on Sunday, rocking to a new generation, Shed Seven.
Other musical highlights include: Feeder, Skerryvore, The Real Thing, Kasaï Masaï and Hollie Cook. Plus our tremendous range of comedy, popular workshops and kids literature, which bring joy to so many, thank you all for creating such a delightful atmosphere.
…I love seeing so many smiling faces!
Graeme Merifield, Festival Founder
Please do share your Wychwood Festival photos and fun filled stories with us on our social media channels:
To thank you for coming along this year or in previous years, we're excited to offer you our very limited “super early-bird” tickets for next year's event!
Early bird tickets will only be available for a short time so act fast!
A real crowd-pleaser, welcoming both newcomers and old hands to Cheltenham Racecourse.
Telegraph Festival Guide
2 Ways to buy your 2019 tickets:
As well as a fantastic music line up, Wychwood Festival has a lot on offer for families with children of all ages.
Little Ankle Bitters