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Bish Bash 2018: Comprehensive guide to this weekend's family-friendly Stortford music festival



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The weather is forecast to be just right for the weekends festival Picture: Steve Beeston
The weather is forecast to be just right for the weekends festival Picture: Steve Beeston

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Ticket prices and where to buy

Advance tickets for The Bish Bash 2018 are available until the end of Friday from the town council offices in Windhill, the Rose and Crown pub in Station Road or online from www.stortfordmusicfestival.org.uk.

Prices are: Sat – adult £13, children aged 5-17 £4.50, family (2 adults + 2 children) £30.50; Sun – adult £21, children £7.50, family £49.50; weekend – adult £31, children £10.50, family £72.50.

Gate ticket prices are: Sat – adult £15, children £5, family £35; Sun – adult £25, children £10, family £60; weekend – adult £35, children aged 5-17 £15, family £80.

Under-5s free. All under-18s must be accompanied by a parent or a guardian over 21. No dogs allowed, except registered guide dogs.

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Ticket prices and where to buy

Advance tickets for The Bish Bash 2018 are available until the end of Friday from the town council offices in Windhill, the Rose and Crown pub in Station Road or online from www.stortfordmusicfestival.org.uk.

Prices are: Sat – adult £13, children aged 5-17 £4.50, family (2 adults + 2 children) £30.50; Sun – adult £21, children £7.50, family £49.50; weekend – adult £31, children £10.50, family £72.50.

Gate ticket prices are: Sat – adult £15, children £5, family £35; Sun – adult £25, children £10, family £60; weekend – adult £35, children aged 5-17 £15, family £80.

Under-5s free. All under-18s must be accompanied by a parent or a guardian over 21. No dogs allowed, except registered guide dogs.

The open-air event, sponsored by North Street financial life planners Enable Independent, takes place in leafy Sworder’s Field in Castle Park, on the banks of the River Stort, on Saturday and Sunday (May 5-6).

Gates open at 2pm on the Saturday, with the music starting at 2.15pm, and at 11am on the Sunday, with the entertainment from 11.30am. Bars close at 11pm both days.

The family-friendly festival features live music on three stages – including the bandstand – as well as comedy, children’s entertainment, a beer tent, food vendors and a variety of stalls manned by traders and community groups.

It is headlined on the Sunday evening by former Dr Feelgood and Ian Dury and The Blockheads legend Wilko Johnson and 90s indie stalwarts The Bluetones, and on the Saturday by Rolling Stones tribute band The Rolling Clones.

Hayseed Dixie at the 2016 Bish Bash Picture: Steve Beeston
Hayseed Dixie at the 2016 Bish Bash Picture: Steve Beeston

Stortford comedian John Mann will be hosting a line-up of comics on the Sunday from 8pm as follows: John Mann, Paddy Lennox, Ronnie Golden, Chairman Hughes and Mary Bourke.

The Stortford Music Festival, which was first held in 1999, was forced to move from its old home, St Mary’s Catholic School in Windhill, after the 2015 event and was reincarnated at Sworder’s Field the following year as The Bish Bash 2016.

Over the years, SMF stages have hosted the likes of such home-grown talent as Sam Smith, Charli XCX and George Ezra, all now global stars, as well as Eurovision Song Contest contender SuRie, formerly Susanna Cork.

Previous festival headliners include The Undertones, The Christians, Dodgy, The Selector, The Boomtown Rats and Hayseed Dixie.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Stortford Music Festival Picture: Steve Beeston
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Stortford Music Festival Picture: Steve Beeston

Sam Hastings, from main sponsor Enable, said: “We’re very proud to be sponsoring this year’s Stortford Muisc Festival for their 20th anniversary event. Enable are also celebrating 20 years in the town, providing independent financial advice for individuals, families and businesses.”

Other sponsors and supporters include Bishop’s Stortford Lawn Tennis Club, which is sponsoring the children’s tent, and men’s community group Cromarty Vets, who will be running the bar.

No alcohol must be taken onto the site. As a not-for-profit community festival run by volunteers, the organisers rely on the bar to help pay for the bands they book. The bar is fairly priced and offers plenty of local bitters and ciders as well as wine, Prosecco and soft drinks. Food is allowed to be taken onto the site.

Scout groups, including Thorley Scouts, will be helping with stewarding, Waitrose will be providing volunteers on the gate as part of their Community Matters scheme and TUBS (Tidy Up Bishop’s Stortford) are going to be litter-picking and tidying up the site at the close of the festival.

The Bish Stage (main stage) line-up

SATURDAY – 2.15 Scarlet Thomas – Sounds Like Teen Spirit talent contest winner 3.00 Dusty Wagons 4.00 Swanvesta Social Club 5.00 Hannah Scott 6.00 Riviera 7.00 The Trash 8.00 Simon Williams and The Neverists 9.00 The Rolling Clones

SUNDAY – 11.30 Ivory Stones 12.00 Maystones 12.40 Glymjack 1.40 Sophie in Reverie 2.40 Pet Needs 3.40 Sticks & Stones 4.30 The Franklys 5.30 Withered Hand 6.45 Death Of Guitar Pop 8.00 The Bluetones 9.45 Wilko Johnson

The Bash Stage (2nd stage) line-up

SATURDAY – 2.45 Wild Stag 3.30 Andy Wilson 4.30 Ancient Geeks 5.30 Among the Citizens 6.30 St Clair 7.30 Transparent Human Creatures 8.30 The Real McKoys

SUNDAY – 1.10 Neil Gowans & The Winos 2.10 Cherry & Peesh 3.10 Sing-a-longa Dick including The Morrissey Men 4.00 Madcap Stranger 5.00 Vertaal 6.15 RALFY 7.30 The Muffin Heads 9.00 F.O.X

Bandstand (acoustic stage) line-up

SATURDAY – 3.00 Open mic 4.00 Ron Atkinson 4.20 Bishop’s Stortford Ukulele Society 4.50 Art Block 5.10 Anna Wells 5.30 Roisin O’Hagan 5.50 When Rivers Meet 6.10 Pat Crilly & Paul Hilder 6.50 Elliot Porter 7.10 Steve Ingrey 7.45 Blues Inc 8.30 The Muggabees

SUNDAY – 12.00 Open mic 1.00 Eleanor Hewins 1.20 Not My Circus 1.40 Alice Redgewell & Nia 2.00 Tom Dulieu 2.20 Stevie Leeks & Mr B 2.40 Future West 3.00 Karen Johnson & Tony Clark 3.20 Bill Tarran 3.40 Love Hobbs & Frances Levy 4.00 Stacey McCarthy Acoustic Duo 4.20 JONO

4.40 Open Mic 5.40 Dan Starr 6.00 Gavin Chappell-Bates 6.20 LOZT 6.45 Riviera 7.30 The Fog



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