Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Another new music festival for Henley

THE organisers of a new music festival for Henley say they want to bring something different to the area.

THE organisers of a new music festival for Henley say they want to bring something different to the area.

The first Hideaway Music Festival will be held at the Fawley Hill estate of Sir William and Lady McAlpine on Saturday, August 3 from noon to midnight.

It is the brainchild of businessman Brett Fuller, from Cookley Green, and his friend Nigel Adams, from Christmas Common.

They worked together at the former Music on the Hill event, which ran on Watlington Hill for several years.

They have already secured a number of acts, including Megan Henwood, John Otway and Wild Willie Barrett, Nubiyan Twist and The Blockheads, who used to play with Ian Dury.

Mr Fuller, whose company designs and builds exhibition stands, said: ?It is something that we have always wanted to do and is going to offer something different.

?I love live music but feel the huge, impersonal festivals have just lost their soul. There was talk of starting a music festival in the area with a handful of people and it was suggested that I spoke to Sir William and Lady McAlpine. They said that they had wanted to do that for ages and that I could have their field. They were very helpful and very keen for me to do it up there. When I got to the site I thought ?wow, this is really hidden away?, hence the name.

?There are lots of events that happen round here, such as the Henley Festival and the regatta, and we all know about them. I went to the first three years of Rewind and while I thought it was good fun, it was the same every year. What was really missing was a traditional music festival.?

Mr Fuller, who has played in several bands himself, said Hideaway would have three stages and other attractions. ?Nigel will be my right-hand man and will be organising the bands,? he said. ?He was born and bred in Watlington and is a hedge layer by trade but he knows so much about music.?

Mr Fuller said that the acts secured so far are mostly through friends or contacts.

?We wanted reggae, ska, jazz and country music altogether,? he said. ?There are a lot of people who we know, such as Megan Henwood, who plays with a drummer friend of mine.

?John Otway is a big pull. He used to play at Music on the Hill so he knows us. We never had him with Wild Willie Barrett, which was the original line-up, so it should be very exciting to have them back together.? The folk duo had a hit in 1977 with Really Free.

Other attractions at Hideaway will include market stalls, trains and fairground rides and there will be several food outlets and a bar selling real ales.

Mr Adams, who is married with two children, said: ?There was a group of us involved in Music on the Hill, which ran for 11 years and I was the committee chairman for seven of those. It has not occurred for five years now and we felt the urge to have another festival as it is something we enjoy doing.

?My role is to put together the line-up. I think what we have is very impressive ? we were trying for quality music while getting something to suit everybody.

?The venue is gorgeous and we want people to feel safe and be able to let their hair down.

?We want people to have a feel of being in a field with good quality food, music and entertainment but also to have the feel of a rock festival.

?We want to appeal to all generations and there is plenty for teenagers with lots of local new and upcoming bands.?

Tickets cost £35 each (under-12s go free) and are available from the In the Groove record shop in Reading Road, Henley, the Bread Bin in Watlington, the Fox and Hounds in Christmas Common and the Chequers in Fingest or from

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