The 'My Dad's Bigger Than Your Dad' festival in aid of Prospect Hospice starts at noon on Saturday, 28 August.
The ten-hour festival at the Town Gardens is run by the people behind The Swindon Shuffle in partnership with South Swindon Parish Council, and is being held in tribute to Dave Young, the former landlord of The Victoria and 12 Bar, who sadly died in early June at the Prospect Hospice after a hard-fought battle against cancer.
There will be two stages, one at the Town Gardens Bowl and a free acoustic one at the park's bandstand.
The stellar musical line up on the main bowl stage is headed by David’s former band The Boys From County Hell, an Irish Folk-Punk band in the vein of The Pogues, who toured the UK and internationally to huge acclaim and who are reuniting for the occasion to perform for the first time in more than a decade.
Joining them will be Dave’s last band, the legendary punk covers outfit The Chaos Brothers along with Gaz Brookfield & The Company of Thieves, with whom he toured the UK as sound engineer.
Also featuring are a host of acts who were all championed by David in one way or another during his time as a cornerstone of the local music scene, including parody party covers act Kova Me Badd and ska-punk band Slagerij. THUD! will also be playing, as well as blues-funk three-piece Hip Route and reggae act The Erin Bardwell Trio, plus many more.
The free entry acoustic stage on the bandstand will feature some of the best local bands from around Swindon and will be playing from midday until 6.30pm.
The festival has green credentials thanks to Shrivenham Road-based Hills Waste Solutions. The firm has come forward to generously donate the general waste and recycling facilities for the event.
Organiser Ed Dyer said: “We wanted to make this a truly inclusive community event and involve as much of the local music scene as possible.
“The bandstand is perfect as it’s outside the ticketed area, which is the bowl, so this will be completely free for anyone to come along and get a taste of what the festival is about.
“The general public will also be able to pop along and enjoy fairground rides, arts and crafts, food and drink, trade stalls, and circus performances from Tom Falding of Fandangos and face-painting all in the non-ticketed part of the festival.
“It really is going to be a festival for the community by the community, all in tribute to a man who gave so much to the community.”
As well as the music there will be plenty of activities for all the family and food and drink from a variety of locally based vendors, including a licensed bar.
The festival organisers are made up of several key members of the Swindon music scene including the people behind Swindon Shuffle, as well as Andy Loddington, the man behind Summer Breeze and Jamie Hill, the editor of The Ocelot and Swindon Link. They are also working very closely with Anna Sprawson, the widow of Dave Young.
A JustGiving page has been set up for people who want to support Prospect Hospice but are unable to attend the festival in person.
Ed Dyer said: “All money donated this way goes straight to Prospect Hospice to help them in the valuable work they do supporting the terminally ill and their families
“During their tenure at The Victoria and the 12 Bar, Dave, along with his wife Anna, revitalised the Swindon music scene, offering opportunities to hundreds of local musicians to show off and develop their talents.
“It’s only fitting that this legacy is recognised by throwing a great big musical party and raising as much money as possible for Prospect, who helped keep David comfortable in his last months.”
Prospect Hospice provides end of life care to those living in Swindon and north east Wiltshire and offers all of their services free of charge. It’s thanks to the generosity of the local community that helps to raise around £8million a year to cover this cost that they’re able to be there for patients and those important to them, no matter their circumstances, so for them this event could not come at a better time, having not been able to organise any big fundraising events for almost two years because of the pandemic.
Sheryl Crouch, head of income at Prospect Hospice, said: “We’ve been so pleased to have been chosen as the local charity to benefit from this fantastic bank holiday music event in memory of the groups wonderful friend, I really can’t thank them enough. I can see the passion in the team to raise vital funds for the hospice after we cared for Anna’s husband Dave at the end of his life.
“Support like this means a huge deal to us, especially at the moment when we’ve been unable to fundraise in our traditional ways but continue to offer specialist care to those who need it. I wish them all the very best for a successful and enjoyable event and we’ll be here to support them wherever we can.”
Anna Sprawson, the widow of Dave Young, said: “Dave’s death has been a tragic loss to all who knew him. He was so full of life and gave so much to others whether it was his family and friends or to the music community.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his life and all he meant to others by holding this one-day festival in aid of the Prospect Hospice who helped us all during such difficult times. We can’t do enough for this wonderful charity and we’re hoping to raise as much money as possible so they can continue helping more families in their time of need.
“The fact that so many people have come forward to help with this tribute concert is testament to what an impact Dave had on so many lives.”
Tickets are available online via seetickets.com or in person at Holmes Music and The Tuppenny in Swindon, Tescos in Calne and Sound Knowledge in Marlborough.
Adult Ticket (18-plus) - £20
Concession Ticket (10-17 years) - £12
Child Ticket (Under 10 years old) – Free
Family Ticket – two adults and two concessions - £50
To keep up to date with information about the festival visit www.mydadsbiggerthanyourdad.co.uk
To donate to the JustGiving page visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MDBTYDFestival