Bish Bash: Platinum party time as Stortford music festival returns featuring EMF, Uncle Funk's Disco Inferno, Boo Radleys, Buster Shuffle and more
The biggest party in town is back at the start of June for a double celebration as Bish Bash returns.
After an enforced three-year absence, Bishop’s Stortford’s own music festival will take place in Sworder’s Field on Friday and Saturday June 3-4.
Not only will it be the 20th edition of the festival, it has also been planned to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee extended bank holiday weekend, marking Her Majesty's 70 years on the throne.
The two-day festival will feature all the usual treats, including three stages of live music, a DJ area, children’s entertainment and comedy.
Refreshments will be provided by locally-sourced food and drink vendors, with offerings such as real ales, ciders and a gin bar.
In addition, there will be lots of Platinum Jubilee fun and games, including rumoured appearances of “royalty” and a “fly past”.
The last Bish Bash, in May 2019, was hit by appalling weather and a lot of money was lost, meaning the plug was going to have to be pulled on the hugely popular event.
But, with the help of a fundraising campaign by the Indie, the community rallied round to generate over £10,000 to enable it to continue.
Festival organiser Twig Smith said: “We really want to thank the Indie and everyone who supported us – we were genuinely blown away.
“Due to the pandemic we couldn’t stage the Bish Bash in 2020 or 2021, so this year is the opportunity to pay back the support of the community. It feels great that we can tie in with the Jubilee and make it extra-special.”
FRIDAY 3 JUNE
Popular local legends Uncle Funk's Disco Inferno, fronted by Stortford rock school owner and award-winning environmentalist Simon Baker, return to the Bish Bish stage for the first time since 2015. Their new show promises to end the opening night with a full-on party.
Before them, there's a treat in store courtesy of very special guests The Boo Radleys. Recently re-formed after splitting in 1999, the Merseyside-based Britpop four-piece – who had a top 10 hit in 1995 with the single Wake Up Boo! and No 1 album Wake Up! – are playing only a handful of shows this year so Bish Bash organisers feel very honoured.
Friday also sees Harlow rappers Collapsed Lung, up-and-coming indie darlings Darlings, Faux Fighters, Bikini Beach Band, Swanvesta Social Club, Maystones, Ramona Marx, Vertaal, Big Door Prize and James White & The Wild Fire and more.
SATURDAY 4 JUNE
Headliners EMF, who have waited eagerly for two years to entertain a Bish Bash crowd, have been hard at work recording new material.
The band from Cinderford, Gloucestershire, came to prominence at the start of the 1990s. Their first single, Unbelievable, reached number 3 on the UK singles chart in December 1990 and was No 1 in the US Billboard Hot 100. Their debut album, Schubert Dip, got to number 3 on the albums chart. The band have split up and re-formed three times.
Returning in the "local legends" slot are Buster Shuffle, the greatest rockney-ska band around, who headlined the Stortford Music Festival in 2009 and played the first rebranded Bish Bash in 2016.
There's a smorgasbord of delights as a supporting cast comprising a bit of swing 'n' bass with Swingers, rock 'n' roll with The Kopy Katz, rockabilly revved-up pop covers from The Real McKoys, plus The Dirty Strangers, Hyde Away, Holding Poison, Ryan Thwaits, Wasted Rhymes, Blues Export, JONO, Impurtonance and others.
In addition to the two main stages, Bishop's Stortford Acoustic Club will be occupying the bandstand.
WEEKEND (Fri & Sat) - Adult £45, under-18 £13, family (2 adults + 2 under-18s) £97, under-5 free
FRIDAY - Adult £25, under-18 £8, family (2 adults + 2 under-18s) £54, under-5 free
SATURDAY - Adult £25, under-18 £8, family (2 adults + 2 under-18s) £54, under-5 free
The last date to purchase tickets online is May 31
* Bish Bash is a not-for-profit organisation, run entirely by volunteers with the support of community groups and local businesses. The organisers are on the lookout for businesses that would like to support the event by attending with a stall or stand or by sponsoring the event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
For more details of Bish Bash visit www.stortford musicfestival.org.uk.