Over 1,500 festival goers enjoyed the sunshine, food and entertainment at the revived Swanbourne Music Festival last Sunday, 27th August. Hosted for the first time by Swanbourne’s local pub, The Betsey Wynne, (www.TheBetseyWynne.co.uk), #SwanMusicFest marked its re-opening last Monday (21st August), following a major five-week refurbishment and glass-fronted extension by the award winning pub group, Oakman Inns.
The happy crowd – a great family mix from toddlers to grandparents with families and friends – chilled out and sunbathed on an assortment of beach towels, rugs, and pop up seating and were entertained throughout the afternoon and into the evening by some of the best local musical talent, culminating with headline act, Toploader.
Jack Ashmore, the General Manager at The Betsey Wynne, said: “We’ve been working on our refurbishment over the last couple of months and thought reviving the Festival would be a brilliant way to celebrate our re-opening. The weather was good to us and everyone seemed to have a really good time and the pub was packed too with people watching from our new Al Fresco dining area. A huge amount goes into organising a day like this and we couldn’t have done it without a lot of help from our expert team, staff and volunteers – especially Alan Rondeau – who helped make the day run smoothly.”
Dan Hipgrave, Toploader’s guitarist added: “Thanks to everyone involved at Swanbourne Music Festival for making us feel welcome and for looking after us. It is a lovely festival with a really warm crowd in a beautiful location, what more could you ask for on a sunny bank holiday Sunday! Well done for putting on such a great event and good luck in the future!”
Among those spotted in the crowd were cricket legend, Darren Gough, and MP, Iain Duncan Smith with his wife Betsy, whose family own the Swanbourne Estate.
Emma Jones from Leighton Buzzard said: “We go to a lot of festivals as a family and it was spoiling to have one so close. It was a well organised event which had a lovely atmosphere and plenty of room to spread out and move around. All my family know ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ and Toploader were as good as ever.”
Local resident and owner of Bloom Room Flowers, Natasha Pritchard, said: “The Betsey Wynne put on a fantastic event which was packed with so many locals. We were happy to be able to support the Festival with one of our special ‘flower walls’ which proved popular for photos with festival goers and bands alike!”
Amanda Spicksley, Bourne End enjoyed the Festival: “We had a fabulous time at Swanbourne Music Festival. A truly special event with a family atmosphere – the kids were entertained throughout the day with music, stalls and inflatable play zones. Toploader lit up the stage and ended a fantastic line-up of local musicians and bands. We will definitely be back next year!”
Festival-goer, Ross Walton, who’d travelled from Kingston-upon-Thames, said: “The weather was idyllic which complemented the buzzing vibe suitable for families and friends and a range of music styles entertained and impressed throughout our jolly afternoon at the Betsey Wynne. We will be back next year to this great venue and stunning pub.”
Stallholder, Heidi Beckham, owner of Heidi’s Soap Company, said: “It has to be the best event I’ve attended so far this summer, what a fabulous bunch of people. The event was so well organised, with some cracking acts to open with. Toploader were absolutely fab, taking me back to my school days! The Betsey Wynne is now looking better than ever, beautiful decor, both inside and out, with the terrace overlooking the dreamy countryside views, I didn’t get chance to check out the menu so a visit is on the cards!”
Tim Buckley, lead singer and songwriter with The Buckley Collaboration said: “It was fantastic performing at The Swanbourne Music Festival. The whole band and I had a great time. Weather was wonderful, sounds sensational and the audience simply awesome. The festival was also a brilliant opportunity for the unsigned acts to play to a great crowd. The audience was warm and appreciative to everyone and brought out the best performances from everyone. It was a festival to remember, thanks.”
The youngest performer, 16 year old singer/songwriter, Sam Deed, said it was an amazing opportunity to get his name and music across to a wider public: “Without festivals like Swanbourne young unsigned performers such as myself would never get the chance to show our artistry to others and for that I’m very grateful.”
Social media channels were alive with happy festival-goers using #SwanMusicFest:
As well as a steady supply of tempting food and drink offerings, festival-goers had the chance to browse stalls with independent jewellery makers, handmade sweets and treats, health and beauty services and produce while face painting and fabulous inflatables were popular with the kids.
The Festival raised a total of £3,000 for the three charities which are dear to Swanbourne Estate’s heart – Medical Detection Dogs, The Puzzle Centre and Help Olivia Walk.