Berkofest a success - despite headline act Dan's near miss!

Dan Gillespie Sells [bottom left] still wowed crowds, along with Alabama 3 [top left], John Power [centre] and [bottom right] Jakko Jakszyk. (Pictures by Adam Hollier and S.M Kitchener)
Dan Gillespie Sells [bottom left] still wowed crowds, along with Alabama 3 [top left], John Power [centre] and [bottom right] Jakko Jakszyk. (Pictures by Adam Hollier and S.M Kitchener)

A festival headliner was left feeling a bit of a Twit – after a fan reminded the forgetful singer that he was due on stage in one hour.

The Feeling frontman Dan Gillespie Sells was shocked to discover from a fan on Twitter that he was performing his acoustic set at Berkofest in an hour’s time on Saturday, having put the gig in his diary for Sunday.

Dan was rescued by loyal Twitter followers from missing his set

Dan was rescued by loyal Twitter followers from missing his set

The singer had to ditch a visit to his Nan in Enfield and race to the festival – and buy a guitar on the way to the town’s cricket club venue.

Organisers were left sweating as Dan turned up with minutes to spare, but then realised his newly-purchased guitar was not up to the job.

Thankfully, a local professional musician was on hand to race back to his home and get Dan a six string that was up to scratch, and the frontman went on to wow crowds with an impromptu gig full of requests, as he hadn’t made a setlist!

Berkofest organiser Charlie Hussey told the Gazette: “We knew Dan was running a bit late, but we didn’t know the full story until he got there.

Jess Folley won The Voice Kids talent show on TV. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

Jess Folley won The Voice Kids talent show on TV. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

“He had to buy a guitar at a local shop in Enfield, but when he arrived he realised it wasn’t very good and didn’t have a strap.

“Luckily we had Jakko Jakszyk, who is the singer and guitarist for King Crimson, who was part of our house band.

“He lives locally and told Dan he had a lovely acoustic guitar that he could go home and get for him.

“So Dan went on stage with Jakko’s guitar and told the crowd the story. They loved it and he worked them so well, it was an amazing set.”

The impressive Grace Petrie got political with her songs. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

The impressive Grace Petrie got political with her songs. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

Dan went on to thank the fan who tweeted him and saved the day.

Other than that small hiccup, Mr Hussey said the festival went ‘fantastically’ for the crowd of nearly 2,000 people.

Also starring were Alabama 3 and John Power, as well as a host of new and local acts – all compered by comedian Robin Ince.

Anna Lou was chosen by the town’s Swan Youth Project to open the festival on Saturday, with The Voice Kids winner Jess Folley and folk activist Grace Petrie keeping crowds entertained.

High fives all around for two young crowd members. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

High fives all around for two young crowd members. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

And lots of youngsters were given their first festival experience at the Bullen’s New Music Stage.

Mr Hussey added: “I’d like to thank everyone who helped get Berkofest on, and thank everyone who came along and supported it.

“The weather was very kind to us, we only had 10 minutes shower between sets. It was brilliant to see everyone enjoying themselves.”

The house band, featuring King Crimson guitarist Jakko Jakszyk. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

The house band, featuring King Crimson guitarist Jakko Jakszyk. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

Nearly 2,000 people are thought to have attended the event. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

Nearly 2,000 people are thought to have attended the event. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

Crowds turn out to watch Alabama 3's acoustic set. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

Crowds turn out to watch Alabama 3's acoustic set. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

Choir on the Green entertain crowds. (Picture by S.M Kitchener)

Choir on the Green entertain crowds. (Picture by S.M Kitchener)

Local acts and young bands were given their chance to shine at the Swan Youth Tent. (Picture by S.M Kitchener)

Local acts and young bands were given their chance to shine at the Swan Youth Tent. (Picture by S.M Kitchener)

Buckinghamshire band Halvar at the Swan Youth Centre tent. (Picture by Adam Hollier)

Buckinghamshire band Halvar at the Swan Youth Centre tent. (Picture by Adam Hollier)