Pewsey Music Festival was established in 2007 to bring an eclectic array of live music into the beautiful Pewsey Vale, at an affordable price. Previous performers include Pewsey Music Festival History
The festival’s founding principals are excellent live music performed by virtuouso musicians. The acts are selected for originality and diversity. Any genre is accepted as long as there is zest and it’s in-yer-face enough to grab the audience. To date examples of genres we have had include soul/funk, jazz, Americana, folk, electronica, country, heavy rock and blues.
The festival is held in Cooper’s Field, a 5,000 capacity field behind the 17th century thatched pub The Cooper’s Arms. The venue nestles in the beautiful Pewsey Vale in Wiltshire – England’s best kept secret – under the watchful eye of the Pewsey White Horse.
The beginning . . .
The inaugural Pewsey Music Festival attracted people from as far afield as Northampton and Surrey due to having the legendary and local Nick Harper in the line-up. Unfortunately it started to rain ten minutes before the start and didn’t let up until the last song of the night. Driving rain swamped the stage and the first two bands, Big Baby Ernie (soul-funk from New Jersey) and Hitchmo (Devizes) played inside the pub [The Cooper’s Arms – which owns the field where the festival is held].
While revelers crammed into the pub to enjoy the first two sets in the dry, the stage was swept of water and outdoor equipment made secure from the onslaught. Nick Harper pulled onto the site and cheerfully agreed to brave the outdoor stage. Not only did he successfully lure the audience out of the warm pub, but - having previously agreed to a very modest sum - he generously waved his fee.
After the precedent set by Nick Harper the final three bands: Big Num, Jon Amor and The Convulsions kept the music pumping out into the field until gone midnight. Though somewhat bedraggled, the dedicated music fans continued dancing into the early hours.
In 2008 organisers were asked for paving slabs for launch band Who’s Next to smash a guitar on. The stage frontage was then adorned with giant flowers by Swindon girl band The Mentalists. Irish country-rock band The Prelude captivated the crowd with their harmonies and multiple stringed instruments. Detlef Zoo flew in front Latvia specifically to play. Halagoogoo’s drummer clambered over his drum kit to reveal buttock-exposing trousers. An impromptu human pyramid was constructed during Jon Amor’s headline set.
Subsequent performers over the years include: former Supergrass founder Mick Quinn, Gaz Coombes & The New Breed, Tankus The Henge, The Rockingbirds, Los Barkus, featuring "Legs" Larry Smith of The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band, Curfew, AJ Live, On Deaf Ears, The Roundheels, Oldwick, Samantha Marais, The Funkinsteins, British Harlem, The John E Vistic Experience, The Julian Tulk Band, Mr Love & Justice, The Loose Kites, Ultimate Elton & The Rocket Band, Fragile and The Rabbit Foot Spasm Band.
A family day run by volunteers . . .
Pewsey Music Festival is organised and run by a team of dedicated volunteers. The music is central yet there are also local arts and crafts demonstrations, including wood-turning, thatching and sun-dyeing, and children’s entertainment. It is equally aimed at music enthusiasts and the general public. It attracts people from as far afield as Surrey and Northamptonshire. Each year fans of the festival bring more of their friends and family. Many regular punters came the first year to see Nick Harper and had such a good time they return year-on-year.
Pewsey Music Festival supports the following charities: The Bruce Trust, The Richmond Fellowship Trust's Wiltshire Outreach and Pewsey Carnival