Watchet Festival Scouting For Girls, Turin Brakes, Reef & Mel C

Scouting For Girls, Turin Brakes, Reef, and The Selecter will all be taking to the West Somerset festival’s main stage this August Bank Holiday weekend, joining a bill that already includes former Spice Girl Melanie C, Britpop legends Cast, 80s superstar Hazel O’Connor and many more!

The ever creative Turn Brakes @ The Brook, Southampton (Andy Sampson)

The ever creative Turn Brakes  (Andy Sampson)

Returning after a fallow year, following their completely sold-out 10th Anniversary in 2016, Watchet Festival is a not-for-profit family friendly event with amazing views of the West Somerset coastline and beyond. Three live stages host more than 60 live acts, bringing a wide range of high-calibre performers not normally found performing in West Somerset, at a very affordable price.

Scouting For Girls have sold over 2 million records, and have been nominated for four Brit Awards and an Ivor Novello. Their self-titled debut album hit #1 on the UK charts, spawned the iconic singles She So Lovely and Elvis Aint Dead, and has gone on to sell in excess of 1 million copies. Their #1 smash hit single This Ain’t a Love Song preceded the release of their second album Everybody Wants to Be On TV, which peaked at #2. Since then they have released two more hit albums, and continue to tour extensively around the UK and overseas.

The Selecter are the riotous skank machine who exploded out of Coventry in the game-changing, multicultural 2 Tone explosion of 1979. Now reunited around the nucleus of original members Pauline Black and Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson, The Selecter are once again firing on all righteous cylinders. They will be performing tracks from recently released album Daylight, along with their huge back catalogue of hits including Too Much Pressure, On My Radio and Missing Words.

The Selecter at Shepherd's Bush Empire on 21 October 2013 (Imelda Michalczyk)

The Selecter (Imelda Michalczyk)

As one of Somerset’s best known musical exports, Reef need little introduction to the Watchet Festival audience! Whilst the iconic anthem Place Your Hands is unquestionably their best-loved track, in a career stretching 23 years they have scored nine Top 40 hit singles across five hit studio albums, including such classics as Naked, Come Back Brighter and Yer Old.

Reef performing at Ramblin Man Fair 2017 (Simon Reed)

Reef  (Simon Reed)

After 17 years together, seven studio albums and over a million records sold worldwide, Turin Brakes might be excused a bit of downtime. But no, the London 4-piece have just released their eighth studio album Invisible Storm. 2016 saw them enjoy a huge resurgence, with three singles from their critically acclaimed album Lost Property receiving national radio playlisting.

Melanie Jayne Chisholm, aka Melanie C is one of the most successful British recording artists of all time. In addition to achieving worldwide fame and selling over 100 million albums as a member of the Spice Girls, as a solo artist Melanie has released seven solo albums notching up over 10 million sales worldwide, alongside two UK Number 1 singles and six top 10’s. Her debut album Northern Star sold 4 million copies worldwide and went triple platinum in the UK, and she is the only female performer to top the UK charts as a solo artist, as part of a duo, quartet and quintet.

Mel C (Kalpesh Patel)

Mel C (Kalpesh Patel)

Cast are undeniably deserving of the moniker ‘Britpop Legends’, and their debut album All Change is widely regarded as one of the classic Britpop albums. Released in October 1995, it become the fastest selling debut album in the history of Polydor, going ‘double platinum’. Cast’s second album Mother Nature Calls went platinum and stayed in the Top 40 for over 6 months.

Headlining the Udder stage on Saturday is renowned singer-songwriter and actress Hazel O’Connor. With a career spanning more than 30 years, she became famous in the 1980s with hit singles Eighth Day, D-Days and Will You, as well as starring in the film Breaking Glass.

After two decades on the music scene, Aswad remain one of Britain’s best-loved reggae bands. Their 1994 album Rise & Shine earned them a Grammy nomination for ‘Reggae Album of the Year’, and also gave the band a No.1 hit with now famous summer reggae anthem Shine.

Dub Pistols at Blissfields (Andy Sampson)

Dub Pistols  (Andy Sampson)

The Dub Pistols return to Watchet by popular demand, after their triumphant performance back in 2014. Led by indefatigable south-Londoner Barry Ashworth, they have lived every rock ’n’ roll cliché, yet in 2018 they are busier than ever, having reinvented themselves as the ultimate Festival band.

Watchet Festival are also very proud to have booked From The Jam. Fronted by the legendary Bruce Foxton, they will bring their unique punk / mod sound to the main stage on Friday, performing hits such as That’s Entertainment, Going Underground and Town Called Malice.

Watchet Live CIC, the community charity behind Watchet Live Festival, are recipients of the 2017 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service; the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.

Festival will also once again make financial donations to local charity groups including The Children’s Hospice South West, Elliot’s Touch, and the “Stand Against Speed 4 Bethany

Alongside a wide variety of high quality food stalls, the extensive in-house Cider and Real Ale Bar prices are always kept as low as possible, providing one of the best-value refreshments offerings to be found at any event in the UK.

West Somerset’s Biggest Music Festival
FRIDAY 24th – SUNDAY 26th AUGUST 2018
Plus as always, ‘House Band’: THE WURZELS…and many more!


Neverland Tranforms To Neverworld With Bastille As Headliners

Alternative rock-pop band Bastille will headline immersive spectacular Neverworld for a rare festival appearance this summer. After playing LeeFest in 2012, The BRIT Award winners and Grammy nominated four-piece are set to return to the newly evolved Neverworld, tracing a whirlwind six years that have seen the band go from newly discovered artist to global sensation.

With a 2018 European tour just around the corner and new album on the horizon, Bastille will bring their alt-indie offering to this perfect setting for an unforgettable performance that is set to include classic songs such as Pompeii, Of the Night, and Good Grief.

Dan Smith fronts the band Bastille live at Redfest 2013 on Saturday 27th July. (Simon Jay Price/Photographer: Simon Jay Price)

For those festival goers looking for a dance orientated weekend, Neverworld have announced huge sets from genre bending dance Bristol duo My Nu Leng, who debut new label Maraki Records for a highly anticipated stage take-over featuring rising talent Bushbaby and Barley Royal. They join previously announced parties from Percolate featuring Denis Sulta and legendary D&B label RAM Records with Sub Focus, proving there’s undeniably something for everyone. 

 Across the weekend, some of the UK’s most exciting new artists and bands will take to the BBC Music Introducing in Kent stage, giving partygoers a chance to revel in the up-and-coming, as Neverworld’s dedication to championing emerging talent continues. Unruly rap-pop star GIRLI will also take to the stage, with reggae pop force Hollie Cook sharing the bill with folk and country wonders Hudson Taylor, plus Ferris and Sylvester.

Just added to Neverworld’s eclectic line-up are refreshingly new indie rock bands Airways and Forever Cult alongside the fuzzed out finely-honed sounds of Honey Lung and Wolf Note, bringing their blend of garage rock and dream-pop to the immersive festival. The heavy-pop sounds of Estrons also join brit-pop four piece 

The Neverland (Connie Jean Price)

Festival-goers will be encouraged to join one of three tribes – Pirates, Mermaids or Lost Boys to embark on an adventure into their wildest dreams. Venues and stages across the weekend include; The Fortress, the home to the Lost Boys and The Circus, a place for new music discovery.  Then there’s Miami inspired stage The Beach, flecked with club tropicana vibes and opulent drag club Rainbow Rooms. Not to mention late night rave destination The Goldmine, playing host to the hottest names in dance music. Neverworld has truly created a space where festival-goers can let themselves go like never before.

Joining the already announced Clean Bandit and Declan McKenna, Rae Morris, We Are Scientists, new acts added to the line-up include My Nu Leng, Hollie Cook, Hudson Taylor and many more. The latest evolution of the award winning LeeFest; Neverworld invites revellers into a kingdom of music, party and wonder with performances from chart-topping names in music as well as emerging talent for a weekend not to be missed. Taking place 2nd – 5th August 2018, tickets are on sale now but tickets are selling fast. For more information visit the Neverworld website.

Stage hosts: RAM Records, Percolate, Maraki Records, BBC Music Introducing in Kent

Festival Safe: A Music Festival Safety Initiative

A few weeks ago saw the launch of a new non-profit safety initiative designer to help festival goers have the best and safest experience possible. Festival Safe.


The brainchild of Jon Drape,  the director of several high-profile UK festivals including Parklife and Festival No.6 and Group Production Director of Broadwick Live.  Festival Safe is an initiative designed by festival organisers, industry professionals and the emergency services who feel strongly about the lack of vital information readily available for both first-time and regular festival goers to help prevent incidents both big and small from occurring at festivals. 

Whether it’s as trivial as reminding festival goers to pack their wellies, to explaining key steps in managing a criminal incident, Festival Safe aims to fill the gap between festival goers and their lack of festival knowledge and to reduce harm. launched at Parklife – one of the UKs largest festivals and the unofficial start of the season – offering festival goers a place to find information on every aspect of attending festivals. Focus areas include what to expect before you go, camping, crime, drugs and alcohol, sexual health, mental health and more.

Explained Jon: “I’ve worked and attended hundreds of different festivals and events over the years and I’ve literally heard it all from hypothermia in July to people not realising they have to bring their own tents.

“Eventually you see patterns emerge and festival goers making the same mistakes and getting in the same jams year in year out. It was at this point that I realised no-one had laid out a manifesto for how to have a great festival experience. That’s ultimately what Festival Safe is – a one-stop shop for how to have the best possible time. It’s not a rule book to batter people around the head with, it’s a considered and knowing guide drawn from decades of collective experience, good and bad, to ensure everyone has an amazing time from first-timers to seasoned veterans.”

Following testing and development workshops with various groups, the Festival Safe website has been designed to relay its messaging in a fun and relevant manner appealing to the target audience of 18-25 whilst ensuring the serious message is achieved and more importantly, retained.

Festival Safe is available to all organisations invested in promoting well-being and safety at their events.

Full Line-up at Underneath The Stars Festival

Underneath The Stars announces full line-up for the 2018 edition of their music & arts festival. Steve Earle & The Dukes, Kate Rusby, Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and Lau among those set to appear at Cinderhill Farm, Yorkshire on 20th – 22nd July 2018.

South Yorkshire’s stellar music & arts festival Underneath The Stars returns this summer with another exciting line-up of established and emerging talent across the folk, jazz, roots, bluegrass, fusion and Americana music worlds, as well as the promise of enticing workshops, arts, crafts and food stalls, highlighting the creative talents of the Yorkshire region.

Organised by the family production team of acclaimed Yorkshire folk singer-songwriter Kate Rusby, and now in its fifth year, 2018’s edition also sees its relocation to a brand-new site at Cinderhill Farm, Cawthorne, near Barnsley, and promises a warm welcome to this beautiful and cozy little corner of rural Yorkshire.

Heading this year’s line-up are Grammy Award-winning songwriter and activist Steve Earle with his band The Dukes, as well as Barnsley born and bred Kate Rusby, with her disarming mixture of down to earth charm and otherworldly vocals. George Hinchliffe’s Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britainwill be presenting their hilarious, virtuosic, twanging, foot-stomping obituary of rock-n-roll and melodious light entertainment featuring only the “bonsai guitar”.

Lau appear too, with their unique explorations of acoustic folk tradition and electronica. Barnsley based best-selling author Joanne Harris, most famous for her novel ‘Chocolat’, will also be presenting a special audio-visual show combining original music, songs and stories with The Storytime Band.

Elsewhere The California Feetwarmers provide boisterous on-stage antics to accompany their re-workings of classics from The Blue Ridge Playboys, Scott Joplin, The Memphis Jugband and Emile Grimshaw’s Rag Pickers, and Yves Lambert Trio ­– Yves being one of the most influential and legendary players in Quebec’s traditional roots music scene – fronts a trio playing diatonic button accordions, harmonica, jaw harp, and percussion. Two of the world’s finest instrumentalists Damien O’Kane & Ron Block perform together in the bluegrass-country tradition.

Grace Petrie brings her inimitable takes on life, love and politics, that has won her scores of fans across the alternative, folk, political and comedy scenes. Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards also feature with their superb string playing, Sheffield-based ensemble (featuring BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year, Nancy Kerr) Melrose Quartet will appear, and The Adventures of Andy Kershaw – a one-man audio-visual show from the legendary broadcaster and foreign correspondent – is sure to be a highlight.

Scottish collective Fat Suit mix the worlds of jazz, funk and soul, Honeyfeet offer a righteous blast of energy once called Folk-Hop and Barrelhouse-pop, Estebel are a rare line-up of two nightingales from Estonia and two Flemish brothers from Belgium, and John Metcalfe – one the most exciting and versatile musicians and sought-after arrangers and composers in the UK, having worked with Morrissey, Coldplay, Bat For Lashes, Blur, George Michael, Johnny Marr and Tom Jones – features in what will be an incredibly compelling performance.

Midnight Skyracer provide some driving bluegrass, Amythyst Kiah brings her self-described Southern-Gothic alt-country all the way from Johnson City, Tennessee, and there will be folk music from acclaimed young English folk singer and multi-instrumentalist Jack Rutter. Also here is award-winning interpreter of Scottish folk and song, Lori Watson, whose recent album was awarded album of the month in The Guardian. 20-year-old Welsh speaker with Bajan heritage (fusing bilingual soul-folk jazz) Kizzy Crawford is sure to be captivating, as is English singer-songwriter Jack Harris.

Howlin’ Ric & The Rocketeers bring original Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues with a classic sound, Stables – a new alt-folk duo comprising Matthew Lowe lead singer of Keston Cobblers Club and Daniel Trenholme – will be one to see, as will the unique voice of internationally-tipped, Amsterdam-born folk-pop musician Pitou. Hearts at War – featuring the incredible vocal talents of Rosie Doonan, Louise Hull and Megan Barber follow, and the Barnsley Youth Choir return after a triumphant set at last year’s event. L-R meld heart-wrenching songs and dance of the Asturian countryside with the bluesy grit of the Gretsch guitar.

In addition to two towering big-top music venues (the mainstage is fully seated, with an “attentive concert hall” ambience, stage two is a standing venue for a more boisterous atmosphere) the festival site features lively street-arts performers, workshop activities, handmade crafts and vintage stalls as well as boutique street food vendors and bar areas.

A brand-new Makers Market is also introduced this year which prioritises fair and ethical trading, environmental sustainability, value for money to customers, creativity and innovation. 2018’s food vendors have all been hand-picked for their creativity, quality ingredients and value for money, as has the range of local real ales, ciders, wines and spirits available at The Festival Bar.

A great deal of attention has also been put into guest comfort, with provisions for a high level of accessibility for those with disabilities, and even a pre-pitched luxury camping option available to weekend ticket holders.

“We are delighted and excited to have found a new home for Underneath the Stars Festival at Cinderhill Farm. It was especially important for us to keep the site within the Barnsley area in order to continue contributing to the incredible creative culture of the very place our own families were born and raised. We are proud to be hosting some of the best roots performers in the world and at the same time showcasing the talent and creativity within the region of Yorkshire.” – Joe Rusby, Creative Director

More information and tickets can be found at the Underneath The Stars website.

Y Not Festival Adds More Acts To Bill

Y Not Festival makes its line up even bigger and better for 2018, with new acts The Wombats, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Razorlight, Fickle Friends, Marika Hackman, Mallory Knox, Nadia Rose and many more added to the bill.

Already announced for the summer are headliners The Libertines on Friday 27th July, Catfish and the Bottlemen on Saturday 28th July and Jamiroquai with a UK festival exclusive on Sunday 29th July. Plus Seasick Steve, The Levellers, Circa Waves, The Amazons, Fat White Family, Buzzcocks, Moose Blood, Reverend And The Makers, The Sherlocks and many more.


Joining the line up are Liverpool indie legends, The Wombats. The band released their fourth album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life earlier this year, including infectious new single Cheetah Tongue. So with a blend of the new gems and their already legendary bangers including Let’s Dance To Joy Division and Moving To New York, this treasured trio will get the Y Not crowds going.

Since their debut release in 2001, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have made a name for themselves on a global scale. By fusing together elements of the psych, space rock, noise-pop and classic rock and roll that weave themselves across five acclaimed studio albums, BRMC live shows have often been hailed as events rather than mere gigs; a dynamic showcase of dark, brooding rock mixed with an energetic show you can’t take your eyes off.

Razorlight return to The Big Gin Stage as headliners on Thursday 26th July to kick off a major weekend of music in style. Formed in 2002 by front man Johnny Borrell, and with a fresh formation, Razorlight will be bringing their much loved classics to the Y Not including America, Something Else and In The Morning.

Anyone who’s seen Kurupt FM in action on mockumentary People Just Do Nothing will know that this garage crew are crucial to any festival weekend. The lads, Beats, Grindah, Steves and Chabuddy G, will carry on their quest for world domination at Y Not festival.

Fickle Friends fuse the perfect amount of indie and pop together, and are already making an impression on the new music scene. Now the Peaks are part of the fun.

Folk singer songwriter Marika Hackman has been stunning crowds for years. Her new record Boyfriend is the sound of liberation, reinvention, spontaneity and collective joy. It packs a gutsier punch than anything Marika has released before and Y Not is lucky enough to witness the new Hackman.

Hot off the heels of their UK tour, Mallory Knox will no doubt be hitting Y Not festival hard. On a high from their third album Wired, you can expect to hear a run down of their previous hits as well as new material.

UK rap starlet Nadia Rose came to the scene in 2015 with viral hits such as D.F.W.T and has been raising the bar for female rappers ever since. Back in the studio and working on her forthcoming EP, the future is bright for Nadia Rose.

Also joining the line up are a mix of home grown talent and the UK’s hottest new artists: Blaenovan, Ibibio Sound Machine, Spector, Superfood, Beans on Toast, Astroid Boys, Easy Life, Youngr, Gallops, Federation of Disco Pimp, Hellions, Estrons, Fizzy Blood, Husky Loops, Fazerdaze, Anteros, Menace Beach, Nelson Can, Slydigs, Bryde, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Holding Absence, April Towers, Black Futures and Groundculture.

Back for its thirteenth year this summer, Y Not Festival will take place in Pikehall, Derbyshire from 26th-29th July. Since 2005, when it began life as a house party spilling over into deepest Derbyshire, the event has remained home grown and true to its roots. The festival offers a glorious weekend of live music, family fun, comedy, street food and much more – all in the heart of the Peak District.

Festival organiser Simon Mawbey says, “We can’t wait for this year’s Y Not festival. With legendary acts such as BRMC, The Wombats and Razorlight added to the bill, we hope fans will see this as our biggest year yet.”

Y Not recently announced that their new and improved site will be Aston Hill Farm, adjacent to the previous site on Mouldridge Lane. The festival will still take place in the unbeatable setting of the Peak District and the benefits of the location include clearer routes for festival-goers and improved access for service vehicles.

In addition to the site change, Y Not have continued their ongoing communications about improvements, following on from their 2018 Manifesto. This includes the site, staffing, security and traffic management. The updated pledges will ensure this year’s festival will set the highest standards for all Y Not customers.

Tickets & Prices

Adult Weekend Camping Tickets £114.50
Youth Weekend Camping Tickets (aged 13-17) £114.50
Family Weekend Camping Tickets £114.50
Child Weekend Camping Tickets (12 and under) FREE

Thursday Upgrade £25 + £0.00 booking fee
VIP Upgrade £60 + £0.00 booking fee


British Summer Time Hyde Park Adds More Stars And More Access

Atmosphere at BST Hyde Park 6th July 2017 (Simon Reed)

The line-up for the second weekend of this year’s British Summer Time Hyde Park has grown with the announcement of special guests for Michael Bublé (13th July), Bruno Mars (14th July), and Paul Simon (15th July).

The annual festival has also introduced new innovations in accessibility, including a more efficient booking system, improvements to viewing platforms and BSL (British Sign Language) provision, and a Ticketing Without Barriers coalition launched by Attitude is Everything.

Supporting Michael Bublé at his only UK performance of 2018 are Irish pop-country singer Catherine McGrath, who performed at last year’s event; country-pop trio The Adelaides, who made a real impression at the Country Music Fest last October; former TOWIE star Megan McKenna; Nottingham singer-songwriter Rob Green; alternative folk duo Gypsyfingers; and Brit-poppers The Tailormade.  

They join a line up that already includes Van Morrison, Bananarama, The Feeling, and The Shires.

Van Morrison @ The Feis 2011 (Simon Jay Price)

Bruno Mars, currently on his 24K Magic World Tour, will be joined by the Joe Jonas-fronted DNCE, best known for their single Cake By The Ocean; musician, singer, songwriter, producer, multiple Grammy nominee and the former lead vocalist of The Gap Band, Charlie Wilson; trombonist and singer Trombone Shorty; London rapper Yungen; singer-songwriter Tom Walker; New York-based duo Sofi Tukker; pop poet Liv Dawson; soul singer-songwriter Alex Hepburn; and DJ Rashida. The bill for the 14th July is completed by the already announced Khalid.

Paul Simon, whose Hyde Park appearance will be the last UK show of his The Farewell Performance retirement tour, will be joined by folk singer, guitarist, poet, and actor Johnny Flynn, who fronts the band The Sussex Wit and has collaborated with the likes of Mumford and Sons; Keane frontman Tom Chaplin, who’s carved out a successful solo career since releasing his debut album The Wave in 2016; three-time Grammy winner Shawn Colvin; and country duo Ward Thomas. Also set to play on 15th July are Callaghan, Night Flight, Sarah Darling, Jesca Hoop, and Blueprint Blue. They join the previously announced James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt.

Lizzy Ward Thomas of Ward Thomas performing at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on 10 May 2017 (Simon Reed)

Tickets are still available for the Michael Bublé, Bruno Mars, and Paul Simon shows, but the first weekend of British Summer Time Hyde Park, featuring Roger Waters (6th July), The Cure (7th July), and Eric Clapton (8th July) is sold out.

Now in its sixth year, the event continues to cater for all access requirements. Three accessible viewing areas over two stages feature exclusive wandering vendors and access for a friend or family member with interchangeable, free personal assistant passes.

Ticket holders can now also provide their evidence of disability in advance, so there is no need to bring private documents on the day. It will also enable the festival to build a database of accepted evidence so information doesn’t need to be resubmitted in future years.

Atmosphere at BST Hyde Park 6th July 2017 (Simon Reed)

Expanding on the ‘Quiet Space’ facility, one of the main objectives for 2018 is to make sure that the festival is inclusive for those with invisible disabilities, all the while retaining their existing accessibility services, including accessibility route video, hearing induction loops, accessible toilets with hoist, and British Sign Language performance interpreter for all Great Oak Stage performances when requested.

For more information on accessibility, visit the British Summer Time Hyde Park website