The Sun Was Sure Burning Bright At Upton-Upon-Severn’s “Sunshine Festival” – Review

Campers enjoyed their August Bank Holiday weekend celebrating the 10thAnniversary of Worcestershire’s very own Sunshine Festival. Starting in 2009, Sunshine Festival began as a small show only gaining 714 audience members with only one stage and one bar. 10 years later, they’re now met with thousands of music fans eager to watch over 100 acts across 4 stages. Not only that, but the festival also expanded the entertainment, providing their audience with; a circus, an inflatable land, an international food village and 50 sold out trader places.

Starting on Friday 23rd August, campers headed their way to Upton-Upon-Severn to set up their tents for a fun filled weekend ahead of them. The party started that evening as the sun was setting with performances from The Osmonds, and 90s heartthrobs 911, and East 17.

It was a perfect start to what was going to be the perfect weekend. After a well-earned rest from setting up camp the night before, the festival kicked off the next day with another incredible line up suiting all ages. The first act to get the crowd on their feet and have a dance around were Jedward, who were also celebrating their 10-year anniversary. Singing some original songs including; ‘Lipstick’, ‘Bodies in Action’ and ‘Teenage Runaway’ as well as some popular covers; ‘Shut Up And Dance with Me’, ‘Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)’, and ‘All the Small Things’. Although they were only contracted for a half hour set, they didn’t think that was enough and stayed on stage for a full hour! This may have been a bit of a nightmare for the festival organisers, the audience definitely weren’t complaining.

An act more remembered by the parents in the crowd but were enjoyed by everybody were 70s band Showaddywaddy. They were certainly a crowd favourite from the day as hardly anyone in that audience was sat down. The headliners for the evening were none other than Busted who knew how to put on a show. Singing hit after hit such as ‘Air Hostess’, ‘Crashed the Wedding’ and finishing their set with the song everyone knows the words to after a couple of beers, ‘Year 3000’. These old hits were clearly fans favourites, although they did add some more recent songs from their album ‘Halfway There’which they released at the beginning of the year and reached number 2 in the charts.

Sunday rolled round for another day of music. The day really got started with Ska Britannia, getting the audience warmed up for the day ahead, singing Madness covers. Families were scattered across the field dancing away like it was the 70s. Highlights from this day included S Club who took us back to the early 00s proving that there really isn’t a party like an S Club Party and Peter Andre, who despite having to stop during his performance due to an audience member taking ill, carried on and drew a large crowd. Boyzlife followed suit, not only giving us an amazing performance, but also had the audience in stitches with how hilarious they were.

Scouting for Girls were the headliners for the Sunday and this was an excellent choice on the festival organisers part. Everybody enjoyed their quirky lyrics and were certainly sad when it was time for them to leave the stage. They sang a few of their new unreleased songs from their upcoming album due to be released in September. One of these songs was album title ‘The Trouble with Boys’, which was a highly humorous yet relatable song about boys not growing up. But of course, it wouldn’t be a Scouting for Girls set without their extremely popular hits; ‘Heartbeat’, ‘Elvis ain’t Dead’ and ‘She’s So Lovely’.

Although the main stage showcased some tremendous entertainment, there were 3 other stages available where a variety of acts performed. The most popular stage over the weekend had to be the Westons stage. This specialised in DJ sets creating more of a clubbing atmosphere. The audience mainly consisted of the more grown-up guests as they partied the night away. The tent the stage was in could be seen overflowing as the performers drew in an enormous crowd. A favourite from this stage were the popular tribute band Kaiser Monkey Killers. You could hear 100s of music fans singing ‘Mr Brightside’ all the way from the main stage on the other side of the field! Another favourite was none other than The Specials star Terry Hall who wowed the crowd with his DJing skills.

There were many, many tribute performers across all stages however, you were most likely to find them on the Sunflower stage. There was certainly something for everyone in this tent with tribute acts dedicated to; Dolly Parton and David Bowie for the grown-ups and Ariana Grande, family favourite Taylor Swift and George Ezra for the youngsters. Last but not least, the Variety stage – which is rather self-explanatory! In this tent, there was a wide mix of entertainment! From tribute acts to DJ sets to comedians – basically everything from the other stages in one place! Popular acts from this stage had to be; the Peter Kay tribute act, the Tom Jones tribute and Bandeoke where the audience had the chance to show off their own musical talents.

Sunshine Festival isn’t just about the music (although it is a large part of it). If music isn’t your thing or the kids are getting bored standing around in a field, there’s still loads more the festival has to offer! Happy’s Free Circus held performances throughout all 3 days where families gathered to enjoy the funny yet fascinating circus acts. You could be seen in hysterics over the clown act or on the edge of your seat witnessing their strong man trying to juggle extremely heavy weights. There was also a kids zone where a range of board games was set up with a kite workshop and rock climbing nearby. Not forgetting the very popular Huge Inflatable Land where your kids can have a tonne of fun on bouncy castles and inflatable assault courses.

It’s impossible to go to a festival without experiencing some tasty food. Sunshine Festival made sure that you were spoilt for choice with their food village. There were vegan choices, Mexican food, Italian, Asian and of course the English classic fish and chips. Not to mention several bars to choose from as well as a kid’s bar serving soft drinks and sweets. You may gain a pound or two once the weekend was over, but it sure would have been worth it!

Not one person would have been left disappointed with their experience at Sunshine Festival. It was a fantastic anniversary celebration for a truly fantastic festival. Here’s to another 10 years! Make sure you don’t miss out on this awesome festival by booking your early bird tickets now for next year! Available via Sunshine Festivals website.

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Book lover. Concert Freak. Band nerd...that's basically all you need to know!

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