Fortnight of Festival Frolics in Somerton

Such is the success of the annual Somerton Music & Arts Festival that the event has now been extended to cover two weeks in July, as well a prelude event in the form of an art and photography exhibition to kick things off at the end of May.

The festival fortnight itself comprises a wide range of events to be held across the town, with bands playing in the local hostelries, talks, walks, musical recitals and various food and drink themed workshops.

The flagship of the festival however is Somerstock, Somerton’s own family-friendly music festival, which is shaping up to be a corker!  As well as headline act The Hoosiers leading the charge of ten live bands providing continuous music all day, the festival offers a much wider array of food outlets, multiple bars, the return of the silent disco and entertainment for the children.

“All our performers can’t wait to show off their amazing talent and entertain you, so why go elsewhere when you have all this on your doorstep, right here in Somerton!” extols festival chairman Cliff ‘Fred’ Bassett.

The organisers would like to clarify that the family fun day, which is now part of the Somerstock weekend, will take place the day after Somerstock on Sunday 10th July on the sports and recreation ground and will be free to attend as usual. Fun-day activities will include the traditional blend of displays, family activities, food, bars, classic cars and live music, but bigger and better than before!

The events to be held across town from the 1st to 14th July include:

  • Bath Gilbert and Sullivan society will be performing songs with a nautical theme mainly from G&S but also from other well-known composers (Friday 1st July, St Michael’s Church)
  • Not like the others playing rock, dance and indie covers from across the years (Saturday 8th July, Unicorn)
  • Quiz Night The infamous Festival Quiz returns – show off your knowledge and win prizes. Maximum of 20 teams of up to six people. (Monday 4th July, Sports Club)
  • Somerton Ukulele Band and Singers A U3A group of 30 members playing all the old favourites for the residents of Wessex House (Monday 4th July, Wessex House)
  • Jive Night Featuring Ray Warry teaching the jive along with Strictly Jive and Twisted Vinyl who will jive your socks off! (Thursday 14th July Edgar Hall)

The Art & Photography exhibition runs from 28th May and run until 4th June, opening daily from 10am to 4pm (closed on Sunday 29th May). Alongside the exhibition, the festival will be hosting talks and interactive workshops including digital art, felting and drawing, as well as workshops for children in bracelet making and sewing, plus an afternoon of crocheting.

The exhibition is free to visit and provides an opportunity for all amateur photographers, artists, sculptors and needle-workers to display their work. Exhibitors need to reserve a place to enter their work and will need to book early to avoid disappointment. Entries can be made at www.somertonartsfestival.co.uk/exhibit

For more information on all the events go to www.somertonartsfestival.co.uk

Get ready for summer!

Whilst most of us are still recovering from the excesses of the festive season and sheltering from the wet and cold, the organisers of the Somerton Music and Arts Festival are busy planning for warmer and sunnier weather. With a full schedule of events taking place throughout Somerton, the 2022 Festival will extend to cover two weeks during July.

“We have an action packed couple of weeks in store, starting with the Art & Photography exhibition as a precursor event in May,” says Festival Chairman Cliff Bassett. “We are delighted to welcome back so many local artists and provide an opportunity for them to exhibit their work as part of the Festival.”

The Festival includes a full range of events taking place throughout Somerton, culminating on 9th July with Somerstock, Somerton’s own family-friendly, one-day music festival. “We are proud to have the Hoosiers headlining Somerstock as part of their latest tour,” continues Bassett. “It really puts us on the map!”

The organisers are also keen to recruit volunteers to help with stewarding at Somerstock as well as new members to join their team to help promote the festival – particularly generating more social media activity. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to get involved with a local event, support the community and join a friendly team working with some great acts,” explains Bassett.

Anybody interested in getting involved should contact hello@somerstock.co.uk

Here are just a few key events and activities to look out for:

  • The Somerton Art & Photography exhibition will open in the Parish Rooms on the 28th May and run until the 4th June, opening daily from 10am to 4pm (closed Sunday). Alongside the exhibition, the festival will be hosting talks and interactive workshops for all ages in the Pinney Room within the Parish Rooms throughout the week.
  • Somerton Music & Arts Festival (1st -14th July) planning is underway with a number of events already announced, including the Bath Gilbert and Sullivan Society who will be opening the Festival, local band Not Like The Others will also be performing, the popular Festival Quiz will return as will Twisted Vinyl alongside Strictly Jive at the last event on the 14th
  • Somerstock (Saturday 9th July) – Early Bird Tickets Available until the End Of February: Joining The Hoosiers on the outdoor stages will be Alex Lipinski who delighted festival goers in 2021, popular artist Bess Atwell, AC/DC’s Chris Slade with a timeline of his music, Ska from the Decatonics and high energy from Nick Parker and the False Alarms; once described as ‘A British Arcade Fire’. The festival also includes a celebration of ELO music from the Explosive Light Orchestra, reggae from the South West’s Irie Fire, folk rock from local band Kindred, the eclectic and atmospheric Shoun Shoun and the fabulous Young Martyrs, who will open the show.
  • The Family Fun Day, now part of the Somerstock weekend, will take place at the Somerton Recreation Ground on Sunday 10th June.

 

Early Bird tickets for Somerstock will only be available until the end of Febauray. To take advantage of the Early Bird discount before it ends, go to www.somerstock.co.uk/tickets or find out more about the volunteering opportunities at Somerstock, go to www.somertsock.co.uk/join-us

Somerstock 2022

The popular family friendly one-day Somerstock music Festival returns to Somerton on Saturday 9th July 2022 with rock and pop legends The Hoosiers headlining a full day of live music, with silent disco, stalls, food, bars and family fun.

Festival Chairman, Cliff Bassett, says “We are absolutely delighted to welcome The Hoosiers and all our great bands for 2022.   With two outdoor stages and a marquee, we provide a choice of acts throughout the day covering many genres and featuring up and coming local and original acts as well as many family favourites.”

Joining The Hoosiers on the outdoor stages will be Alex Lipinski who delighted festival goers in 2021, popular artist Bess Atwell, AC/DC’s Chris Slade with a timeline of his music, Ska from the Decatonics and high energy from Nick Parker and the False Alarms; once described as ‘A British Arcade Fire’.  The festival also includes a celebration of ELO music from the Explosive Light Orchestra, reggae from the South West’s Irie Fire, folk rock from local band Kindred, the eclectic and atmospheric Shoun Shoun and the fabulous Young Martyrs, who will open the show.

A silent disco will run all day from 11am to 11:30 pm starting with music for children, moving to music for all tastes in the afternoon and featuring live DJs in the evening. As a family friendly festival, there will also be a wide range of activities for children in the children’s zone.

“With all this going on, our guests will want to be there from the start” adds Bassett “We will have more bars and food stalls as well as a wide variety of retail stalls, with on-site parking and camping. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back in 2022”

A limited number of Early Bird Tickets are now on sale on the Somerstock website.  As Bassett points out, they would make excellent Christmas presents so grab them before they go!

 

Air Ambulance selected as Partner Charity for 2022

Our charity partner for 2022 is the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, a registered charity established to provide relief from sickness and injury for the people of Dorset and Somerset by the provision of an air ambulance service, with an air and road-delivered critical care capability. The organisation receives no direct funding from the Government or the National Lottery and relies on the generosity of the public for support. Their operational costs are over £5 million a year and the approximate cost per mission is £3,000.

Since their launch in 2000 they have flown thousands of missions. They are tasked as part of the normal ‘999’ emergency process by a dedicated Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) desk located at Ambulance Control (paid for by the South West Air Ambulance Charities) and can attend up to eight or nine incidents in a single day.

Their airbase is situated at Henstridge Airfield on the Dorset/Somerset border. From there, they can be at any point in the two counties in less than 20 minutes. More importantly, the helicopter can, if required, then take a patient to the nearest major trauma centre in the South West within a further 20 minutes.

Find out more at www.dsairambulance.org.uk

Festival gives back to the community

Local organisations have reaped the benefit of another successful Somerton festival, despite the challenges of a global pandemic and some sub-tropical weather.

The organisers of the Somerton Music & Arts Festival have donated £450 to the Somerton Recreation Ground Trust from the profits raised at its Somerstock music festival. This comes after a previous donation of £500 to St Margaret’s Hospice from money raised at the same event.

Presenting the cheque to David Osmond, chair of the Trust, Festival Chairman Cliff (Fred) Bassett said ‘We are delighted to be able to make these donations, especially after such a difficult year.  This has only been possible through the hard work of our committee and volunteers who all give their time for free and, of course, the support of the Somerton community who turned out in great numbers’.

Plans are already underway for the 2022 festival, kicking off with an Art and Photography Exhibition in May followed the July festival week with events throughout the town, and culminating on the 9th July with Somerstock, Somerton’s own family-friendly music festival.

“We have a great headline act in the pipeline for Somerstock” added Fred. “We’ll be making an announcement very soon so keep an eye on our website and social media channels.”

Fred Bassett presents cheque to David Osmond, Chair of Somerton Recreation Ground Trust

 

Fred Bassett presents cheque to Kara Frampton of St Margaret’s Hospice

Hoosiers to headline Somerstock 2022

The Hoosiers are to headline Somerstock in 2022. An English pop rock band formed in Indianapolis, The Hoosiers consist of members Irwin Sparkes (lead vocals, lead guitar) and Alan Sharland (drums, percussion, vocals).

Thank You

We would like to say a very big thank you to everybody who helped us make Somerstock 2021 a fantastic event. We’ve had lots of great feedback as well as some ideas and suggestions for next year, and we’ll be taking them all on board to make sure we come back in 2022 with an even better festival.

One or two of our bands had to pull out because of Covid and needing to isolate, but we had some wonderful replacements. We also had to change the way we ran the event and limit the number of tickets to ensure that everybody had enough space to stay safe and have fun.

We would also like to thank our sponsors, without whom we wouldn’t be able to put the event on at all.

Next year, we’ll be back bigger and better than ever.