Press Update

A free family festival held in the town centre of Coleford, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.

Festival organisers and volunteers have been working in partnership with Coleford Town Council to bring back the return of this fabulous community festival . which will take place from Friday 7th to Sunday 9th August in the town centre of Coleford and It promises to be as spectacular as ever with something to please all musical tastes and ages!

As the festival has been absent from the calendar for a number of years it will begin by bringing back some old festival favourites on friday evening from 7pm with performances from Toadstool, Massai, & The Bleeding Hearts.
Saturday will again be an evening of high energy performances from 7pm on the main stage with Static Signals, Edd Donovan & the Wandering Moles and Bob Smith & The Hickory Stick Boys.

The Big Day on Sunday will start at 10am and live music coming from stages around the town centre throughout the day which will feature an eclectic mix of jazz, reggae, rockabilly, blues, folk and more with performances from most performers from the local area as well as a few from a little further afield.

One of the highlights of the day will be a performance from Talisman, one of the UK’s top British Roots Reggae bands from the late 70’s and early 80’s.The band’s prowess back in the day earned them support slots with acts as diverse as Burning Spear, The Clash and The Rolling Stones.

If you like rockabilly The DelRay Rockets will be performing what they describe as
“kick ass music with a serious attitude, full of energy and good fun, leaving you feeling exhausted from the energy these guys exude.”

There will also be amazing acrobatic skills from The Black Eagles , African drumming with Djabot & a chance to try out some salsa dancing! The kids can be entertained by Punch & Judy & take part in making some pop star puppets out of paper plates!

The headline performance on Sunday will be from the original rude boy Neville Staple, fresh from Glastonbury, who’s thirty-five year career in the music business is well documented. From the early days with The Coventry Automatics, The Specials, & FunBoy3, to The Special Beat and various other collaborations during his solo career from the 90’s up to the present day. Expect to hear some of Neville’s own material, some arrangements of his very favourite old school Ska numbers, as well as some classic hits in the mix.

One of the organisers Amanda Smith said “ I first saw Neville perform at Whitcombe Lodge in Gloucester in the late 70’s with his band The Specials, it was a highlight for me & stood out as a great gig amongst many that I saw around that time. I have always thought that Neville would go down well at Coleford Music Festival. We like to encourage dancing in the streets & we will have plenty of that on Sunday night!”
Over the last 8 months a number of young Forest of Dean musicians have been meeting as our youth committee with one of the festival organisers Nick Penny to learn about the key elements of putting on a event of this scale and also to select all acts that will be performing on the St John Street Stage on Sunday 9th. Nick told us, “It has been great to work with this team, to guide them to apply for funding for elements of the event, and to support them with stage programming, and guiding them through what they will need to do to run this element of the festival on the big day”.

As well as live music there will be plenty of street food, including hot pork, noodles, falafals, wraps, salads, caribbean & spices, all to compliment the food outlets in the town centre. A buskers corner is already programmed but anyone wishing to bring along an instrument can join in the acoustic fun with spaces available in the Angel Hotel garden. DJ’s will be performing in Magnums nightclub from 4pm onwards.

New for Coleford Music Festival this year and hopefully for years to come, will be our very own Scarecrow Trail! Coleford Town Centre will have some very interesting characters in residence to make you stop, marvel and stare.

Shop keepers, community groups, individuals, businesses and children from the local Berry Hill School have taken part of the festivals celebrations by making their own unique Scarecrows.If you have missed out on, or haven’t had time to make your own Scarecrow, there will be a great opportunity to get involved with the creation of an in situ ‘Scarecrow Spectacular Sculpture’ on the main day of the festival Sunday the 9th of August! Who knows what the result will be, anyone can contribute, the ‘Scarecrow Sculpture’ will be a festival first!

There will also be workshops, displays, and a festival market , and even one or two surprises! The festival has been well known for getting people dancing in the streets & this year will be no exception, so come along & support the return of this fantastic community event.

Further information about the festival can be found & a donation can be made to keep music live at our website


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