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Black Grape and Republica headline as Stortford music festival Bish Bash 2019 looms


By Tom Ryder


Bish Bash 2019 (8127808)
Bish Bash 2019 (8127808)

It hardly seems possible that almost a year has passed since The Bish Bash 2018 took place on a gloriously sunny bank holiday weekend, featuring unforgettable performances from the likes of The Rolling Clones, The Bluetones and Wilko Johnson, all of whom played to a record Stortford music festival crowd.

Yet here we are, just one month from the 2019 event, and the tireless organisers of the community music festival have pulled out all the stops to ensure that this year’s Bish Bash will be an absolute belter once more, as more than 50 artists are set to perform across three stages on Sworder’s Field in Castle Park – taking place on the weekend of May 4-5.

Topping the bill for 2019 are Shaun Ryder’s Black Grape, local troublemakers Papa Shango, 90s Britpop stalwarts Republica and O’Connell & Love from the Alabama 3.

Headliners aside, there will be plenty more top-quality entertainment to enjoy: The Jam tribute A Band Called Malice, The Kubricks, Too Many Ts, Jim Bob from Carter and Koasis – The Kazans’ raucous homage to Liam and Noel Gallagher et al – will delight the ears and eyes of punters.

Live music will take place across two stages: the main stage (Bish Stage) and the Bash Stage, which will be located in the beer tent. There will be a third, ‘acoustic’ stage in the bandstand, featuring upcoming and established acts booked by Geoff White and Bill Tarran from Bishop’s Stortford Acoustic Club.

In addition to the music and beer tent, Bish Bash includes a comedy tent, a children’s area and kid zone inflatables, making the festival a family-friendly affair.

Republica (8127800)
Republica (8127800)

Republica, who will headline on Saturday night, are best known for their hits Drop Dead Gorgeous and Ready To Go.

Fronted by the charismatic Saffron, the 90s indie technopop band’s music has been used in numerous showreels and is still spun regularly on Absolute Radio.

Despite reaching only number 43 on its original release, Ready To Go returned to the charts the following year at number 13 and has become an anthem for many sports teams and advertising campaigns around the globe.

Black Grape (8127798)
Black Grape (8127798)

Black Grape, who bring proceedings to a close on the Sunday, are led by former Happy Mondays singer and I’m A Celebrity… runner up Shaun Ryder.

The band had a string of hits in the mid 1990s – including Reverend Black Grape and In the Name of the Father from their chart-topping album It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah – and, following a lengthy hiatus, released critically-acclaimed album Pop Voodoo in 2017, returning them to the top 20.

Tickets for Bish Bash 2019 are on sale at the Bishop’s Stortford Tourist Information Centre, the Rose and Crown pub and the Marne Inn on Thorley Park. Adult weekend tickets are priced £40, under-18s can get in for £12 and a family ticket (two adults plus two under-18s) costs £89. Day tickets are also available, at £22.50 for adults. For more information and to view the full line-up, visit stortfordmusicfestival.org.uk.



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