BerkoFest organisers reveal star signings

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GLASTO may be on a gap year and The Big Chill may have cancelled but take heart, festival-goers, for in 2012 the original festival spirit returns and this year it’s right on your doorstep.

On September 15 the stunning eight acre grounds of Berkhamsted Cricket Club will be transformed into BerkoFest – a summer festival with a line-up to rival many of the long-established gigs.

The one day event featuring an eclectic mix of both high-profile headliners and quality local groups sees a return to the original magic of the British summer festival.

It won’t cost a fortune, the corporate world won’t dominate, and any profit will be donated to the Berkhamsted Sports Club, Berkhamsted Raiders, Swan Youth Centre, the Rotary Club and the Lions’ Club.

Organised by a group of hard-working volunteers who feel passionately about showcasing both local and national talent, this is definitely an event to put in your diary quickly.

BerkoFest promoter Peter Wright said: “We wanted to create a festival on a local level that had both national and local acts of varied genres.

“We’ve worked hard to put together an eclectic line-up that will appeal to all ages and to most musical tastes.”

There will be four stages – main, acoustic, comedy and open mic – and the confirmed acts so far are impressive.

The English folk singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lakeman, whose most recent album Tales From The Barrel House is on national release this month, will headline.

Also on the bill will be Showaddywaddy, enowned for their retro-inspired rock and roll and live and kicking performances they are certain to get everyone up and dancing.

Glenn Tilbrook, part of the massively successful British band Squeeze and a superb singer songwriter, is on the line-up, too, as well as The Crookes, an indie band from Sheffield, highly rated amongst teenagers and students for their fresh approach to music, and local musicians Shane Lamont, who hosts the Open Mic stage, the raved-about Tom Billington, and talented youngster Henry Parker.

Comedian and musician Rowland Rivron, who recently won Let’s Dance for Sport Relief, will be the main stage compere.

And musical comedian Mitch Benn, known for his hilarious stand-up and famous for his humorous songs many of which are performed on BBC radio, will also be doing some compering.

As it’s primarily a family festival, the organisers have lined up the sensational Panic Circus for the youngsters – a traditional, no animal circus with a varied programme of fun performances, workshops and activities.

And a festival would not be a festival these days without a host of professional therapists specialising in luxury treatments to indulge the mind, body and soul.

Fabulous food and drink will also be on offer. Fancy a BerkoFest burger? Award-winning butchers Eastwoods are creating a festival feast. For those with a sweeter-tooth, ice-cream parlour extraordinaire Scoops have an offering to rival all others in development.

Berkhamsted Sports Club will provide a fully licensed bar and there will be a great selection of local ales, cocktails, along with soft and hot drink options too.

The BerkoFest website is now up and running so check in quickly and have a look at all the other amazing acts on their way to Berkhamsted in what looks likely to be the first of many fantastic festivals.

BerkoFest chairman Charlie Hussey said: “It will become an annual must-see event not only in the Berkhamsted calendar but for many people throughout the surrounding areas because of its professional rustic charm and the vibrant eclectic list of performers.”

The big event will run from 11am to 10pm. Go to www.berkofest.com for more information and to book tickets which are now on sale.

Go to www.berkofest.com for more information and to book tickets which are now on sale.

Early bird tickets cost just £25 for adults, £20 for concessions, £10 for children aged under 16 – while children aged under five go free.