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Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Acoustic Festival Of Britain comes to Staffordshire
By Jack Brodie

Sandi Thom
Sandi Thom's appearance at Uttoxeter is eagerly anticipated

The Acoustic Festival Of Britain is to come to Staffordshire for the first time in May 2010.

The event, which began in 2006, will take place at Uttoxeter Racecourse, from the 21st to the 23rd of May.

Donovan, Sandi Thom, The Levellers and Barbara Dickson are already confirmed as the headline acts, with around forty performers expected.

The Mayfest line-up is completed by local artists, including Radio Mary and April Anderson.

Described as an "eclectic programme of unplugged and acoustic music ..." the festival includes music from across the board with the genres of folk, roots, Celtic, blues, pop, rock, ska, burlesque and more in evidence.


This will be the first time that Uttoxeter Racecourse, which also accommodates the annual Midlands Grand National, has played host to a national music event.

A spokesperson said the setting has "beautiful and stunning views", also praising its ideal location in the centre of the country. Organisers are hoping to sell out the one hundred-year-old course.

Now in its fifth year, the festival, which has been affectionately dubbed Mayfest this year in honour of its location, has previously been hosted in Derbyshire and in the south of the country at Winchester. 'Mayfest' is also the name of the May holiday events in Uttoxeter town centre.


One of the most eagerly-anticipated acts will be Sandi Thom, who shot to overnight fame in 2006 with her hit single 'I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker', and is the 47th biggest selling female artist of the 21st Century.

Late in 2009, Sandi was invited to tour the UK and Europe by new blues powerhouse Joe Bonamassa and the result is "Merchants And Thieves", her 2010 album. It highlights Sandi's ability to diversify and explore deeper and more organic musical roots.

Sandi has strong ties in the South Cheshire and East Staffs area as her producer and band members are based in the area.

Donovan began his career in the 60s and is still going strong

Fans of the Scottish folk-singer Donovan will welcome one of his rare appearances.
Donovan began his career in the mid-1960s, and his hits include 'There Is A Mountain' and 'Sunshine Superman'.

The Levellers are based in Brighton, and count folk/punk as one of their influences.

The other headliner, Barbara Dickson, is the Scottish singer who found success with songs like 'January February' and 'I Knew Him So Well'- she is also an Olivier Award winning actress.

Roz Bruce
Roz Bruce is just one of the local musicians playing at the festival

Appearances by home-grown outfits will please local fans. Ghost Trains from Newcastle boast a line-up of some of the town's best known musicians, Hello Big World from Stoke have been gettign a lot of play on the Staffordshire Introducing show, and Darren Poyzer (Stoke), Lucy Ward (Burton) and Roz Brice (Burton) will also be seen over the weekend.

Uttoxeter itself is represented by Radio Mary and by April Anderson - who is on a home return after getting a record deal.


Punters can buy tickets from the Acoustic Festival website at the 'Earlybird' price of £25, with adult prices rising to £75 nearer the date.

BBC Subculture: local band news
04 Feb 10 |  BBC Introducing


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