The Big Ones: Looking Forward to 2023 for Local Festivals and Large Events

What better time than when the temperature drops like a sack of potatoes on official potato sack dropping day, to think about next year and all the fun you can have without having to trek over mountainous landscapes or oceans? Sometimes even with your clothes on!

So, without further ado, let’s take a sneaky peek at some of the many festivals and large events happening around these supposed “cultureless backwaters” in 2023, and I think it’ll put any critics on their ass……

It should be noted this list in far from comprehensive, and many other events will surely come to our attention, ensure you’ve message us with your events we may’ve missed. Meanwhile, some of our favourite regular events have yet to secure a date. As soon as they do, we will add them to our event calendar, and slot them into place on this here article too.

No dates set yet for Trowbridge Festival, Devizes Arts Festival, and Swindon Pride, among others, but we suspect they’ll announce soon; watch this space. But what we do know is this……

Now, before we headlong into the summer months, some folks are like polar bears and do not allow winter to spoil their party, so let’s kick this off in January. Don’t let me sound like your mum, but take a warm coat!

January


21st January: Bradford Roots Music Festival

A stable and reliable indoor multi-day event at the ever-busy Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford-on-Avon, where you can find a series of events, showcasing the very best of local talent. Expect folk, jazz, indie and, of course, roots music, combined with crafty local beverages and delicious food offerings for the ultimate celebration of this iconic community festival. Last year the festivities were broadcasted online too for the first time, and we assume this will happen again this time. Details are HERE.


28th January: Winterfest Clevedon

Perhaps a little early for a trip to the seaside, but WinterFest in Clevedon offers sixteen bands over two stages at The Salthouse. Line-up is a who’s-who of local Bristol-based talent: Adam & The Hellcats, The Shucks, Mr Zippy, Louis Stone Band, Captain Zero, Mireille Mathlener, Eddie Mole Band, Ragz, The Black Museum, Sophie & The Sticks, Magpie 22, Telhalla, Billy Driscoll, MJ Reynolds, and Drew Bryant.

Bowled over by boasting all this, they however neglected to give any tickets details! But we know previous years hasn’t cost much over a fiver, habitually on the door, and is usually charity fundraising. Info HERE.


February


 3rd-5th February: Incider Festival (Weston-Super-Mare)

Staying west coast, this one is dangerously entertaining, and fuelled by cider! A trio of days indoors at Sand Bay Holiday Village near Weston-Super-Mare. Starting at £159 per person with no booking fees, your ticket includes chalet accommodation, meals, live music, entertainment, and leisure facilities; all you need to bring is a towel, a big smile and money for the bar!

To put things into perspective, the festival states these strict rules: No tribute bands. No X-Factor. No Carling lager. No tossers! Which should give you a vauge indication of what to expect! Tickets on sale now.


18th February: Festival of Winter Ales (Devizes)

DOCA in association with Stealth Brewery kick off 2023’s Devizes event calendar with this regular beauty. The Festival of Winter Ales is essential fundraising for DOCA, but what is more, it’s a whole lot of drinking fun with entertainment and a more types of beer and cider than you could sensibly test them all; but who said anything about sensible, you can least try! Our roving reporter Andy might be able to shed some light on the line-up, he has leaked that Alex Roberts will be present for the afternoon, and the fantastic Dr Zebo’s Wheezy Club for the evening session, and that’s all I got for now!

Two sessions running on the Saturday, first from 11am-5pm, and later from 5:30-11pm, at The Corn Exchange, Devizes. Tickets on sale now.  


March

I’ve got nothing yet for March, what the heck is wrong with March?! But I will be celebrating my 50th at the Three Crowns, Devizes on March 4th and hope you can come to that? Talk in Code, Ruzz Guitar Trio, Ben Borrill and hopefully and few other special guests will be coming, they might even give us a tune or two! It’s free but I plan to have a whip round for a chosen charity, so bring your purse; yes, the pink one.


April


15th April: Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival

The Jazz Knights return for their 3rd year of the Swindon Jazz & Soul Festival at the Christ Church in Old Town, the venue with undoubtedly the best acoustics in Swindon. Not much more to go on this for now, other than there maybe some extra days around the weekend added, but for now, it’s the Saturday only. More info to follow, here’s the Jazz Knights website.


May


1st-7th May: Swindon Festival of Literature

At thirty years strong, plans are now underway for the next live in-person Swindon Festival of Literature. If you have any authors or speakers you would like to recommend, please get in touch with them HERE.


12th-21st May: Bath Festival

From books to music, Bath Festival is the city’s long-established gem. Sign up for their newsletter to find out more, HERE.


25th-28th May: Shindig Festival (Ilminster)

The dance music Mecca, Shindig is set in the posh grounds of the Dillington Estate in Somerset and while looks too good to be true, is well-established and known for its reliability. As well as camping and glamping, you can, at a price, stay in the plush hotel, and Shindig has an inspiring children’s program. Tickets are on sale, hurry, HERE. 


26th-29th May: Chippenham Folk Festival

Early bird tickets are on sale for Chippenham’s gem in folk music. The High Street is engulfed in a sea of colour and sound. Dance Sides, representing traditional styles from the UK and beyond, perform at key points around the high street and the main festival site at Island Park. Sides can also be found dancing and singing in the local pubs, as well as showcases on three public stages around Island Park. Open to the Public is a craft tent showcasing traditional crafts, hand produced wares and tasty treats from fudge to mead, also a music fair and many varied food stalls.

Those wanting a more participative festival experience can immerse themselves in tune and song sessions, both programmed and spontaneous, across the towns pubs. Beside the towns historic Butter Cross an outdoor ceilidh takes place each lunch time.

Inside more formal festival venues there are over 200 events. These allow ticket holders to plan a weekend to suit their own tastes. To soak in the sounds at the concerts, perform in club style events, develop skills in a vast array of workshops or stomp, twirl, and swing into the night with a choice of ceilidh, contra, and folk-dance events…. sound good? It’s just up the road! HERE.


27th-28th May: Devizes International Street Festival

The best day in Devizes, fact! DOCA’s International Street Festival is a double-day of music, street theatre, food, and drink, and it’s all free! The Market Place and all around it becomes a colourful festival; be rude not to…. go HERE


June


17th June: Test Fest (Taunton)

Taunton Rugby Club plays host to a one-day music festival, fundraising for It’s in the Bag Testicular Cancer Support, and offers great music, good food, beer, children’s activities and a silent disco. Details HERE.


21st-25th June: Glastonbury Festival

Elton John headlines the Saturday night at unarguably the world’s most historic festival, only across the county border. Need I say more about this one?!


24th June: Melksham Pride

Plans still underway for Melksham’s second Pride, but to mark it your diary will be good enough for now. HERE.


30th June-2nd July: Minety Music Festival (nr Malmesbury)

This renowed festival continues to go from strength-to-strength. Tickets are up for grabs already, and they’re boasting Owen Paul, Reef, Dodgy, EMF and locally based legends such as Gaz Brookfield, The Dirty Smooth, Rave Against the Regime, Talk in Code, Will Lawton & The Alchemists and too many more to list. Not been myself, but everything I hear about Minety tells me to make the effort! Tickets out now, HERE.


July


1st July: Mantonfest (Marlborough)

This is one which should be on everyone’s agenda, it’s quaint and simple but effective and fun. If Marlborough was a festival, this would be it! A friendly vibe with a vast demographic, it is the gem on Marlborough’s event calendar. Rolling Stones Now tribute headline, with James Oliver, Madness tribute Badness and of course, the constant jewel of MantonFest, Barrelhouse. I love it there, and I say, do this one if nothing else!! Tickets and Info HERE.


1st July: Devizes Beer & Cider Festival

In its 22nd year, The Devizes Beer & Cider Festival is the stable must-do for everyone in Devizes, because they all love beer! Spoiled for choice, hundreds of brands of real ale and cider, and the dependable music program which supports our local scene; I’m there already in my mind! HERE.


6th-9th July: Nass Festival (Shepton Mallet)

If Shepton Mallet was never a hip hop capital, it is now. Nass is all about high energy stuff; skating, BMX, street art and an urban musical line-up, including the Wu-Tang Clan, there to celebrate their 30th anniversary. There’s camping, and tickets are up for grabs now, HERE.


8th July: CrownFest (Bishops Cannings)

Terrible poster, great event! To list here every local pub which puts a man with a guitar in a gazebo, flogs some manky hotdogs and tries passing it off as a festival would be insanely unfair on those who really makes an effort, and last year’s inaugural CrownFest was one of them, one of the best of them; it was top notch. With proper-job stage and pyrotechnics, lots of food choices and kids’ entertainment, camping and generally all-round good vibes, this has bags of potential for a second year.  

8th July sets the date for 2023, at thirty quid, tickets will go on sale from 3rd January, and camping is £15 extra. It’s all rather tribute top-heavy with Bob Marley & The Wailers, Abba and Tina Turner tributes, with Cap’n Rasty’s Skiffle City Rockers, Junkyard Dogs, and The Leon Daye Band. There’s me contemplating a few more original local acts would better suit, but that’s just my personal preference, it’s a good day out nonetheless.  


8th & 9th July: Chippenham Food & Drink Festival

Double-day food and drink festival at Monkton Park, Chippenham, bringing some of the best chefs, wine tasting and talks, craft beer and cider, live music, children’s entertainment (kids go free,) and cheese masterclasses; tickets are going like hot cakes, HERE!


15th-16th July: Market Lavington Vintage Meet

This ever-popular family fun event in aid of Wiltshire Air Ambulance and local community projects will have displays of vintage and classic cars/vans/motorcycles/commercial and tractors, military vehicles, stationary engines, miniature & full-size steam engines and miniature train for kids to ride on.

Several car clubs will be having club stands. Wiltshire Air Ambulance fund raising team will be there as well as Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. There’s a static display of birds of prey from K&H Falconry, who will also be doing a flying demonstration in the arena on both days. There will be gun dog demonstrations in the arena from BASC.  A fun dog show will take place in the arena on Sunday followed by the popular tug of war competition. There will be numerous trade and craft stalls as well as demonstrations & collectables. Several catering outlets will provide a delicious range of food and Botanico bars will be providing beer, wines and spirits from their converted classic 1976 VW bay window camper van. Children’s entertainment will be a bouncy castle, swing carousel, fun house. Organisers have again applied to the RAF for a flypast by aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Red Arrows.

Tickets available now: HERE


22nd July: My Dad’s Bigger Than Your Dad (Swindon)

The inaugural Swindon Shuffle organised one day music festival at the Old Town Bowl, in tribute to Swindon’s premier music promoter, Dave Young, and raising money for Swindon’s Prospect Hospice was heralded legendary last year, and though few details have been released to-date for 2023, I’ll guarantee you right now, this one will be very worthy or your attention. Backing the very best of our local music scene, My Dad’s Bigger Than Your Dad’s tickets are up for grabs now, HERE.


22nd July: Marlborough Festival

If Marlborough has scrambled somewhat in the dark since the closure of its historic Jazz Festival, Marlborough Rising set to replace it but phased out, this year we see a new kid on the block, simply titled “Marlborough Festival;” why not?!

This inaugural one dayer takes place at Marlborough Town Hall, where they outline the plans for a community Music & Arts festival in 2023 and beyond. Suggestions welcome, but it already offers guest speakers, live music from Romeo Stodart of The Magic Numbers, a champagne reception with food from Rick Stein, Tipi Tapa and Pie’s Pies. Tickets are £30 each, available from Sound Knowledge, The Lamb, and HERE.


27th-30th July: Womad (Malmesbury)

Pricey, but you get what you pay for, and this is nothing short of legendary. This most diverse, world music extravaganza is on our doorstep, and attracts people worldwide. How they are coping with post Brexit visa issues will no doubt add to the ticket stub, but this magical festival really speaks for itself. If you can, do it, and report back to me, if nothing more than to make me jealous! Tickets not on sale yet, but HERE is the link where you can add your name to the mailing list.


27th-30th July: Camp Bestival (Lulworth, Dorset)

Se in two locations, the other in Shropshire, the Jurassic Dorset coast is within reach for us, and this one also speaks for itself. Tickets up for grabs now, HERE.


28th-29th July: Mfor Festival, Lydiard Park (Swindon)

Postponed from last year’s cancelled festival, this pop-based festival at Lydiard Park has been cancelled again, claiming the next one will be July 2024. Unless you apply for a refund your ticket will automatically be transferred to the 2024 date…. this is including the already transferred tickets from this year! With this track record I’d be asking for a refund if I was you, rather than hope and pray your 2022 tickets will see you into a festival two years too late. It is a shame, but it also sticks as a warning to festival-goers; be vigilant in where you splash your festival budget. The other side of the coin says advance ticket buyers are essential for organisers to make ends meet, and without them it risks the future of the event; a double-edged sword. All enquiries should be directed to info@mforfestival.co.uk


28th-30th July: Devizes Scooter Rally

If Mfor was the only local large event we currently know of clashing with Devizes Scooter Rally, its cancellation might be Devizes Scooter Club’s advantage, not that the clientele rests in similar genres. The Devizes Scooter Rally is nuts and bolts modest, retrospective goodness of the mod, skinhead and scooterist variety. Though for some it’s a niche they’re prepared to trek the country to attend, on their hairdryers, one thing which separates this from other scooter rallies is its continued devotion to attracting and catering for locals with only a passing interest too. That is why I will sing its praises, plus for two other simple facts; it’s affordable and won’t leave you feeling ripped off, and after two previous years it is surprisingly reliable, for a bunch of skins!

Look, see what I mean, early bird weekend passes include camping, and that’s a snip at £25.00, but a weekend pass anyway is only £30. There are also day passes for half-price, and a Saturday day pass is only a fiver. Live music from ska legends Orange Street, who were the highlight of their inaugural rally in 2019, Sharp Class, The Butterfly Collective, and local ska covers from Killertones. DJs also play a large part of the scene, and Fenton, Big Phil and Phil Seymour spin the tunes ahead of Northern Soul legendary DJ Terry Hendrick. The Devizes Scooter Club work tirelessly to bring us this annual event, and it’s worth every penny. Tickets HERE.


August


3rd-7th August: Wilderness Festival (Chipping Norton)

Complete change of scene now from our Devizes mods, Wilderness is a four-day boutique festival spanning music, the arts, food, and wellbeing, all set amidst the idyllic surroundings of Cornbury Park, near Chipping Norton. The Chemical Brothers, Christine and The Queens, Fatboy Slim, Sugababes, Confidence Man and Pip Millett are amoung the hefty line-up. I’m in dark on this one, but it looks rather special, in a hippy-love freakout kinda fashion; have I got time to grow and beard and buy a straw hat? Tickets on sale now, HERE.


25th-27th August: Reading Festival

Reading festival, the younger man with tighter jeans and high-tops’ Glasto! Say no more, it’s fairly local, it’s grounded in historic legend, perhaps only overshadowed by Glastonbury itself. I could research the line-up but being honest, I think you’re like me, and too old to know any of them!

Okay, just in case you’re not, Billie Eilish, Sam Fender, Foals, The Killers, Imagine Dragons and Lewis Capaldi headline; lucky tickets HERE.


26th-27th August: FullTone Festival (Devizes)

Not much to go on yet, but early bird tickets are up for grabs for Devizes’ third orchestral merges with pop extravaganza. On the Green, as usual, The Full Tone Orchestra’s homecoming plans to serve up six amazing sets from Proms to Iconic Themes from TV and Film, Huge Dance Anthems, Big Band, Massive Great Big Musical Theatre and The Absolute Best of Elton John. Plus, of course guests which are to be confirmed. Though I know a secret which Jemma might tell me off for breaking, so I’ll keep it under my hat, for now, but it will be something to look forward to, trust me!

Early Bird tickets on sale HERE.


27th August: Potterne CC Festival

Sunday of the bank holiday is also the regular date of another great shindig which sells out faster than it takes to drive there from Devizes, just down the road in Potterne. The Potterne Festival, not called “PotFest,” or it might have different connotations, organised by Potterne Cricket Club, is a regular mini-festival which punches above its weight. Details to follow on this, but see HERE for updates.


31st August-3rd September: End of the Road Festival (Blandford)

End of The Road Festival is located at Larmer Tree Gardens, near Blandford, in Dorset. Line-up yet to be announced, but it offers as much alternative shows as well as music, from comedy, talks and films to literature and healing workshops. Seems like a great all-rounder. Get in quick though, this sells out fast. HERE.


September


10th-17th September: Pewsey Carnival

We’d surely be here all night if I was to list every local town and village carnival, but Pewsey’s is different, for a week it is Wiltshire’s Rio de Janeiro! Okay, usually a chilly Rio de Janeiro, but a Rio de Janeiro all the same. The marvellous things about it is the simple notion that everyone comes out to enjoy it, and truly is historically our county’s most widely renowned carnival, so put it in your diary and I’ll see you feeling sorry for yourself in the Cooper’s field come September! HERE.


14th-17th September: Swindon Shuffle (Swindon)

Swindon is the place to head this weekend, if you wish to worship our local music scene. The Shuffle is free, supplies multiple gigs in all of Old Town’s pub venues, and raises vital funds for Prospect House. No details yet, though it offers no headliners, no hierarchy, just the very best of local live music; just another to stick firmly in your diary. HERE.


23rd September -1st October: Devizes Food & Drink Festival

Always with a packed program to fill your bellies, Devizes Food & Drink Festival is a stalwart for foodies. Details of this year’s festival are yet to be announced, stay in touch with them by signing up for their newsletter HERE.


23rd September- 2nd October: Bath Children’s Literature Festival

From Bath Festival comes a second event, just for your little bookworms. This is grounded in absolute top-notch guest authors, and no doubt will be no different this time. More info HERE.


28th September- 1st November: Marlborough Literature Festival

Pam Ayres has been rescheduled from the pandemic year, and goes to show just how prestigious the Marlborough Literature Festival has become. Check the link for info and the brochure, and where to get some tickets.


October


14th October: Swindon Ska Fest

A new one from last year, I believe, though The Moonrakers Inn in Swindon has always hosted the best local ska bands. This sees The Killertones, The Corsairs UK, The Bee-Skas, Ska’d For Life, and Sister Sister, an Amy Winehouse tribute from Caroline Lowe and DJ Dave Clark. This is a Specialized project, fundraising for various charities, including the Teenage Cancer Trust, and wait for it, tickets, on sale soon, are only a fiver; pick em up, pick em up, HERE.


Do not take this list as exhaustive, though it might make for exhausting reading! But for now, that’s all folks! Updates will be added, when details of more large events are released, so bookmark the page, or pay attention to our event calendar. Let’s make 2023 a real belter!


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Bring your unwanted toys, games and books to swap for something new, or simply donate some of your older toys and books. Crazy how they grow out of them so fast, isn’t it? While me, I secretly still want to play with them, but I can’t, because they’d moan at me, call me “babyish,” and what’s worse; they’ll tell on me!

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Featured Image by Simon Folkard Photography Happy New Year from Wiltshire’s wackiest what’s-on website. It’s that time again when I waffle on endlessly in hope…

Devizine 5th Birthday!

Right then you lot, Devizine is five years old today, or at least it was when I begun this monumental mission of reminiscing on how, why and what the hell I was thinking when I started it in the first place. Question is, do you want the short story, or the long, drawn-out one?

Oh well, that’s just tough luck then, isn’t it?! You can’t stop me in full shit stream, because, everyone’s good at something, mine is endlessly waffling on about crap, so that’s what I’m going to do. In the words of the unforgettable Lesley Gore, it’s my party I can waffle on about crap if I want to, or something like that.

In consolation, I’ve sprinkled this piece with a lot of lovely photos, well, it’s been five years and we’ve a lot to show off about. And what a wonderful ride it’s been; dancing, dodging, meeting so many wonderful and talented people, rattling a few cages, and I hope it will continue to be so, if I do say so myself.

Best, if any, place to start is childhood aspirations. Note, I never had any dreams of writing, let alone journalism. English at school was a pet hate, like every other subject, especially spelling, I was atrochous…… atreechois…. really bad at it.

Though I have to humour the media industry, I’d grow to detest Fleet Street wank-stains. To be a cartoonist was the thing for me, the like of Charles Schultz or Jim Davis favourably, they did, after all, make the most money. But I’d write for magazines, zines and FINs I submitted cartoon strips for in support, because they needed writers…. bloody slave drivers.

As time moved on and I created my own comic, reviewing works of other creative types within it was an aid to networking, and, most importantly, getting freebies. I also suffered with a lack of writers but plenty of artists, so I’d script for them, and gradually the writing took prominence over the artwork.

Self-publishing is a labour of love, and any excuse for procrastination was on the cards. Unpredictably stumbling upon family life was the perfect excuse for giving it up; there were nappies which needed changing before cross-hatching a nudy caricature of Cameron Diaz, and besides, I’d grown out of the psychedelic nature of the zine; fatherhood can change a lad. Word of warning, whippersnappers.

But once bitten, the creative cannot help but create, that’s why they call them creatives, see? I picked self-publishing up again when eBooks came around, as it was easy, and not so time consuming. As an author I spaffed out more books than Boris Johnson did lies, happy as a method of improving my writing skills; though it’s still a learning cuve…. curth… bendy thing. And okay, that’s the same joke, get used to it.

Devizine came about simply for looking at other avenues in which to offload my wobbly words to the unfortunate world. I pitched to satirical, (or “fake news,” to gammons of which satire is above their understanding) websites, but was only sporadically successful, even lesser-so my attempt to create my own satirical website, called Poop Scoop. Until I noticed a new local news-site called Index;Wiltshire. There, finally through this insane waffling lies the kingpin to Devizine.

The editor wrote to me, “you’re the most powerful person in Devizes,” as my weekly rant column amassed a thousandfold more hits than MP James Gray’s did. Dishonest flattery works; I marched on, slagging off everything that was shit about Devizes as I could possibly think of, for humorous effect, you understand? Some didn’t, and Monday morning hate-mail filled my inbox, which was amusing to start with but being grew tedious.

Aside common complaints from any medium-sized market town, the joke wore thin due to decreasing ammo. Devizes is actually a great place to live; could be better, like freewheeling Frome, or like Tijuana, the murder capital of the world, it could be worse. The need to keep the ideas flowing caused me to post a gathering material question on a local Facebook group. It was Jemma Brown who raised the most important point: why didn’t I focus on the positives about living in Devizes? Of course, she was bang on the money, but it simply wouldn’t do, for that’s not the nature of satire, that’s not the idea of “No Surprises Living in Devizes.”

At the time, I’d just crawled out from my hermit hole and seen for myself talent lurking in the mists of this Tory haven. Richie Triangle played The Black Swan, spurring me to meet Tamsin Quin, who was crowdfunding for a debut album. Jemma, naturally was aiming my attention to her productions, as the TITCO theatre company. I wrote of my findings in an ever-increasingly heavily edited version of my rant column, claiming I was spinning the negatives around, though it was lagging in ethos, because to know me is to know I’m happy-go-lucky, and I couldn’t keep the pretence of being some kind of left-wing Alf Garnett any longer.

The column suddenly became more about what events were forthcoming in Devizes, rather then ranting about how rubbish everything was. I think at one point I joked, “what do I look like, some kind of event guide now?!” Not realising I’d predicted the outcome.

Frustrated the column was so heavily edited, now a new editor took over, I took to publishing them on a personal blog, but blogs need love and attention, in other words shameless self-promotion. Devizine though, as I came to knock up a new blog with the idea of doing precisely what we do now, promotes itself, as featured creative types share the fact they’ve been featured, and generally, people seemed to flock to this gap in the market. The first ever article was an unedited version of the that week’s column, the second was about Tamsin’s Crowdfunder.

I never understood, and probably never will, why aside perpetual splashes on national news stories as an aid to fund submissions to scoop sites, regional newspapers here couldn’t at least mention, or give credit to all the talented people here too. There’s room in a newspaper for both surely? But their downfall is our triumph. Devizine is now the go-to to what to do, the rest of it is me just mucking about!

This, coupled with our policy of brute honesty, will always be why Devizine has become something of a (slightly) respectable local institution. Though it may not have started out this way, because a few who were supposed to be responsible for what’s on sections of local media outlets fell short of lifting a finger, and thought it better to sought to trash Devizine’s pending reputation. Funny world, I thought Devizine would be welcomed, and I opened, and still do, my arms to the chances to work with them regardless; c’est la vie.

I believe it’s levelled now. Hardly anyone posts on local Facebook groups, “any live music going on tonight?” And if they do, rather than being directed to Devizine by yours truly, someone else beats me to the recommendation. Which brings me nicely on to the ten zillion quintillion thank you accreditations.

For aside my waffling, the bulk of this article is nothing more than a tedious clip show, which has taken longer to load up than I planned, probably be the sixth birthday by the time I publish it! Maybe we’ll refer to it as a “photo gallery in dial-up connection speed!”

Cider in one hand trying applause without spillages, my photography skills are best avoided whenever possible. Though I do believe I’m getting better, nothing illustrates a review better than a professional or semi-pro photographer. We’ve used and abused so many, and other than Nick Padmore, who makes me sit on his knee, most of them allow us to use their wonderful snaps for free! Which is handy, cos Devizine has not made millionaires out of us, quite yet.

So, a massive thank you, which would deserve a huge hug, if I wasn’t to wonder if that was a zoom lens in their pockets, rather than them being pleased to see me, and also an apology, there’s so many photos here it’d be a minefield wracking my miniscule mind recalling who took what, so excuse me, I hope that you don’t mind, I’ve not been able to credit them individually. Take it as red, though, the out of focus ones are likely from me. The rest I owe to so many photographers, some mentioned here and now: Gail Foster, Nick Padmore, Simon Folkard, Helen PolarPix, Ruth Wordly, Matthew Hennessy, Abbie Asadi, and Chris Dunn of Inscope Design. Please give them a virtual applause and go check out their work via their websites and social media.

But everyone needs a thank you, don’t they? So many good people have come to my rescue, submitted reviews, scoops and content, to make Devizine both comprehensive, and how I see it; a community-led, erm, thingy. I’d appreciate any help I can get, I’m totally overloaded here, and apologise to things I’ve missed, but Mrs Miggins has to get her pint of semi, also. You know you run a what’s on guide when Facebook pings the notification, “you have 55 events this weekend!”

Sporadically then writers have contributed, and I have Ian Diddams, Jemma Brown, TD Rose, Jenny Dalton, Phil Bradley, and Helen Robertson to sincerely thank too. But none more than our esteemed man in the field, the brilliant Andy Fawthrop, for his constant bombardment of most excellent reviews have been a godsend, to the point we need a statue of the good fellow here, front and centre of the lobby in the prestigious Devizine Towers. Seriously, if I cannot get hold of any marble, though, it might have to be made of paper cups.

All I have to say now is thanks everyone, everyone who has supported us, everyone I missed on the roll-call, contributed in some way, and that’s a long list, folk like the ones who’ve helped us out with technical bobs and bits; Ida McConnell, and musically, Dean Czerwionka, Mike Barham, Cath, Gouldy and the DayBreakers, Clifton Powell and Nick Newman, Daydream Runaways and The Roughcut Rebels.

Or those who’ve given their time to play for us at one of our fundraising gigs, the above mentioned, plus, Chole Jordan, Will Foulstone, Tamsin Quin, Phil Cooper, Jamie R Hawkins, George Wilding, Bryony Cox, Lottie Jenkins, Mirko Pangrazzi, Bran Kerdhynen, Finley Trusler and Sam Bishop.

And I think I’ve waffled enough; sorry if I missed anyone, but they know who they are. Bloody love ’em too, I do; group hug.

Being the Wiltshire Air Ambulance bear, touring homemade breweries, the Palace cinema, spending a day with Clifton Powell with Arts Together, going behind the scenes with DOCA, a day on tour with Talk in Code, press screening of Follow the Crows, riding an E-bike with Sustainable Devizes, meeting Neville Staple backstage, plus all the event invites, and so much more my brain is aching, there’s been so many fond memories, but I think, if you had to ask me to pick just one, it’d have to be the time I did my milk round in my Spiderman onesie and met with Carmela Chillery-Watson and her lovely family. A day I’ll never forget.

It leaves me now, to sign off, you must be tired looking at all those people having fun, but I did pre-warn you about my waffling! Enjoy the remaining pictures in our picture show, maybe you’ve spotted yourself in there, five or less years younger. If so, I want you to know, you’re still that gorgeous, gorgeous for showing us your support and partying with us; here’s to another five years, gorgeous!!

Trivia: What is the most popular article on Devizine to-date?

A: The April Fools Day joke 2021, when I announced, McDonalds was coming to Devizes. I believe that one broke the internet! Sad, but true.

Trivia: When did you first force Andy Fawthrop against his will and better judgement, to write reviews?

A: I believe it was October 2018, and the first review was Joe Hicks at the Three Crowns; I maybe wrong, I often am.

Trivia: Who was that country looking gent who used mascot on Devizine?

A: I don’t know, stop hassling me with inane questions like a fanboy at a Star Trek convention!

REVIEW – Devizes Arts Festival – The Second Best Bed @ The Merchant Suite 23rd June 2022

The Plays What She Wrote

Andy Fawthrop

The Devizes Arts Festival’s presentation last night was a right little gem.

Alright, it definitely helped if you were slightly interested in William Shakespeare and his back-story, but it certainly wasn’t compulsory in order to have found this production quite fascinating. The central conceit of this compelling monologue, superbly played by Liz Grand, was that her recently-deceased husband William, that “upstart crow”, hadn’t in fact written any of his famous plays and poems at all – and that she, Anne Hathaway, was the real literary genius behind the scenes. Addressing a bust of the bard in her bed-chamber, occasionally sitting upon and referring to the eponymous second-best bed, Anne recounted in hilarious detail how the two of them had, jointly, carried off this major deception over the many years of their marriage.

The piece managed to convey both much factual (or at least conjectured) biographical detail – their marriage, the deaths of their children, the vagaries of the court and the theatrical players of their times – as well as the comic flights of fancy that constructed the central myth of bard’s true authorship. Her description of her trips to London, disguised as a man, to see her own plays performed on the stage, and debated in the taverns, whilst passing unrecognised by her oblivious and complacent husband were hilarious. And to later catch him in flagrante with not just one, but two, whores, just proved to her that her that the man was none too bright.

Anne, now widowed, spoke of her regret that her contribution, indeed her literary genius, had not been recognised. It was not now enough, following William’s death, to simply claim authorship since no-one would ever believe her. It would have needed Will to admit the deception, to corroborate the deceit, whilst he was still alive. And the chance of that had now gone forever. She railed at her ex-hubby – a man who couldn’t even spell his own name the same way twice – for having taken all the credit.

There was some clever stuff here if you listened carefully, with many famous lines from both the plays and the sonnets freely scattered in among the scripted lines, and some hilarious explanations of why certain things had been written the way they had. Indeed one of the highlights towards the end was the now-dead Bard arguing with his own genius wife about why she’d written the various roles of the plays’ heroes and heroines the way she had. Richard III, Macbeth, Hamlet, Lear, Othello, and all the flawed tragic men were swiftly eviscerated, and the roles of the women – Lady Macbeth, Juliet, Desdemona, Cordelia, the “Dark Lady” and the rest – were all grounded in the lives and feelings of real, oppressed women.

Both the script, and Liz Grand’s performance, were a tour de force, eagerly lapped up by an appreciative audience. An entertaining and instructive evening all round.

The Devizes Arts Festival continues only for two more days until Saturday 25th June at various venues across town. Tickets can be booked at Devizes Books or online at www.devizesartsfestival.org.uk


Live Jam Sessions at Swindon Hub Looking for Musicians

Central at The Parade, Swindon Hub, an accessible, friendly community space which opened in October are aiming to host regular Saturday jamming sessions, to promote local artists and give them a platform where they can perform……

The Hub is a comfortable volunteer-led centre trying to bring the community together. They’ve an affordable café where they invite you to relax in their “snug,” read and share books in their bookshop, browse items for sale from local retailers and upcycled furniture by Renew Men’s Shed. The profits of any surplus of stock items donated from shops for sale go to Swindon Night Shelter.

They are currently building a calendar of regular events including a monthly craft market, weekly knitting circle and writer’s club, as well as art workshops and regular music jams on the weekends. They’ve just hosted Swindon ZineFest, which I’m sorry to hear I missed, and from a Women’s History Month exhibition or a Ukraine fundraising jumble sale to Dub in the Hub sessions, the last one by Suitcase Sound System, there’s something for everyone here, especially those who like cake!

Music last Saturday came from The Thieving Magpies, but it was far from the be-all-and-end-all of activities at the Swindon Hub, as well as the aforementioned zine festival, there was a kid’s comic workshop too; it really caters for all.

“The Jam is a Community project as much as a Music one,” organiser Claire told me.

It focuses on confidence building, teamwork, social interaction and collaboration.

The Jam has been running already since September last year and there have been hundreds of people who have taken part.

There are loads of people who take part who have no background in music or performing to an audience and it creates an opportunity for people to get involved with music without the traditional barriers that stop so many people from taking the first step.

That said there are also many talented musicians who take part and it creates a wonderful mix of experience and enthusiasm that allows people of all experience levels to have a meaningful musical and emotional experience.

The key to creating a successful jam is building a relaxed atmosphere with little pressure or expectation that allows people to share without fear of criticism, ridicule or humiliation.

The Hub has a great atmosphere for this kind of activity due to the warm, friendly and supportive nature of the volunteers and visitors to the space.

There are already some fantastic success stories of people who have had their confidence built up by attending the event.

Post lockdown has seen a real boost in community spirit, and such volunteer-based projects like this are a lifeline, in rural areas and debatably more crucial in urban areas too; the larger the population doesn’t necessarily mean the large scope for friendships to occur, in fact it can be harder. So, a massive congratulations to the good folk at Swindon Hub, this looks like an amazing space doing some amazing work, and I might add for a wide-spanning age demographic.

They always need volunteers, if you want to join and help shape the future of communities in Swindon, and any musicians interested in performing for their day sessions should contact them. Facebook Page here.


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Devizine Christmas Podcast!

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Carmela To Help in Local Care Home

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Sustainable Devizes Christmas Toy & Book Swap

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Devizes Books Gets Rude at the Museum!

Literary Evenings are back in Devizes, and they’re inviting you to find out how rude they can be, though there is no bidding for you to be rude back, yet there appears to be no regulations set, so I’ll leave it up to your own artistic licence….

For the record I’m hardly ever rude, but the opening evening on 25th May at Wiltshire Museum, Devizes is at 7:30pm, on Wednesday 25th May. Devizes Books presents the evening, in which the subject of rudeness and impoliteness will be discussed and celebrated as an art, as written about by Saki, Mark Twain, Bernard Levin, Hunter S Thompson, and Jane Austen, among others. There’s a musical interlude, or should I suggest “inter-rude” by Lewis Cowen and James Harpham, nibbles and wine.

Tickets are £6 from Devizes Books, which is rude, perhaps you could shout at them as they go in! (Kidding!) They should consider the novel White Space Van Man by a certain local author if they want to delve into some deep-rooted rudeness, and not to mention, shameless plugging.

I can’t help feeling there might be some local councillors really into this event!


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Devizes Arts Festival Coming Back

After the wonderful winter stop-gap between the void of lockdown and this coming summer, Devizes Arts Festival is back with a full programme of events running from Friday 10th to Saturday 25th June.

Please check their website for full details, but allow me to least give you a quick rundown.….

A Diva and a Piano with Britain’s most popular soprano Lesley Garrett starts us off at the Corn Exchange on Friday 10th June. Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling writer of crime fiction Sophie Hannah is at the Town Hall Saturday 11th June with Agatha, Poirot & Me.

Saturday night is my kind of night, cumbia night at Corn Exchange, as phenomenal 10-piece Cumbia band, Baila La Cumbia takes you right back to the dance halls of Colombia, and Sunday they’ve a walk, and a free fringe event at the British Lion; Rip It up with Rockin’ Billy, one big sounding three-piece Rock’n’roll Rockabilly band from Somerset, from 1pm.

Leonore Piano Trio starts the week off on Monday 13th June. The Leonore Piano Trio brings together three internationally acclaimed artists whose piano trio performances as part of Ensemble 360 were met with such enthusiastic response that they decided to form a piano trio in its own right

London based, five wheeled, funk fuelled, open top, custom paint job, rock ‘n’ roll jalopy, Tankus the Henge at the Corn Exchange on Tuesday 14th June, and Wednesday sees Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope with Mark Farrelly in the Merchant Suite, a solo show which has toured the UK ever since it was first previewed in Edinburgh in 2014. Starting in the late 1960s Quentin surveys a lifetime of degradation and rejection in his filthy Chelsea flat. Repeatedly beaten for being flamboyantly gay as early as the 1930s, but also ostracised for daring to live life on his own terms.

Borealis Saxophone Quartet on Thursday 16th June at St Andrews Church, and what was promised prior to lockdown for 2020, The Scummy Mummies Show is at the Corn Exchange.

The Homing, an up-and-coming London band riding the wave of the alt-Country revival, wave it into the Conservative Club on Friday June 17th, and you can Meet Nicci French, the pseudonym of husband and wife writing team Nicci Gerard and Sean French, British fiction’s most famous double-acts at the Town Hall on Saturday 18th June.

Our good Liverpudlian friend, Asa Murphy presents The Song-Writing Years at the Corn Exchange on Saturday too. Asa now sets out on a tour which focusses on his own unique song-writing talents, backed by a fantastic live band. While Sunday has a free fringe event at Three Crowns, astonishingly accomplished jazz guitarist Florian Felcitta.

Onto the final week of the festivities, and there’s An Audience with Adam Frost Monday 20th June at Corn Exchange, Britain’s leading travel commentator Simon Calder on the Tuesday.

Paying tribute to his father’s music in the jazz master’s centenary year, pianist and composer Darius Brubeck teams up with saxophonist Dave O’Higgins, bassist Matt Ridley and drummer Wesley Gibbens for their Devizes debut after critically acclaimed international tours and sold-out shows at major jazz houses in London, on Wednesday 22nd June at the Corn Exchange.

The Second-Best Bed with Liz Grand is in the Merchant Suite on Thursday 23rd June, a frank, humourous and revealing monologue where the audience gets to know Shakespeare like never before, through the eyes of his wife.

BBC Radio 4’s cop-turned-comedian Alfie Moore brings his latest stand-up tour show to the Corn Exchange, Friday 24th June. And the grand finale is an Organ Recital with Claudia Grinnell, Saturday 25th June at St John’s Church and a Celtic Party Night, Absolute, at the Corn Exchange. Absolute are an Irish party band bringing their own unique mix of traditional and modern Irish favourites, with a few classics thrown in for good measure.

Tickets go on sale online on April 29th and from the ticket office in Devizes Books on May 3rd.


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DOCA Step into Christmas!

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Singing Bishop with Stories to Tell Comes to St. Mary’s Devizes

If there’s one venue I’m delighted to pen an event preview for, this new year, it has to be St Mary’s Church in Devizes. The Invitation Theatre Company showed us the potential of this disused church way back when, when Jemma and friends aptly dressed as nuns for Sister Act, if I remember rightly?!

Since it’s been on the cards to convert St Mary’s into arts centre, and must be said, it’s been a rocky road to get this far. Now the venue is ready for singing Bishop of Ramsbury, Andrew Rumsey to showcase his musical and literary talents.

The event is in aid of the church regeneration fund, as Wiltshire Council and Salisbury Diocesan Authorities have given the go ahead for an extension to house additional facilities and the necessary changes to the interior.

On the evening of Saturday 22nd January, Andrew will be sharing songs and readings from his new book English Grounds: A Pastoral Journal in the 12th Century Church.

Appropriate for a Grade 1 listed venue, which has been a place of worship in Devizes for the best part of nine hundred years. Dr Rumsey’s new book is rooted in the Wiltshire landscape, exploring themes of place, spirituality and belonging in a series of short essays and photographs.

As well as being an author, whose writing centres on themes of place and local identity, the bishop is also a musician, with a longstanding interest in song writing and popular music. Former Literary Editor of The Times, Erica Wagner, describes his latest title as “a marvellous book, lit by faith, love and imagination”.

The event will be the first of a number planned at St Mary’s for 2022, as the innovative plans to transform the church as a hub for arts in the community take a step nearer, which is exciting news for Devizes.

Entry is £10, you can book at Devizes Books, or pay on the door.


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Wiltshire Museum; A Gem in our Town

Our rambling reporter, T.B.D Rose, hangs up her walking boots for a moment, to enjoy a guided tour of our town gem, The Wiltshire Museum….

Opened in 1873, Wiltshire Museum, on 41 Long Street Devizes, isn’t much to look at from the front but holds a nationally renowned world of wonders in its walls.

Walking me through the basics of the museum’s most famed collections was its director of over 12 years, David Dawson.

David often finds that although the museum is the major attraction for visitors, the reception with locals is a different story: they often take a “oh yeah, I went to the museum 30 years ago, there’s not much there, it’s not for me” attitude, and that it’s as simply “a tiny museum full of cobwebs and it’s stuck in a part of town they don’t go to.”

As the age-old adage goes, it’s easier to look at the outside than it is the inside.

The Assize Court

For these reasons and to save another treasured part of local history, the museum is working with Assize Court Trust in a long-term plan to make the abandoned Devizes Assize Court the new home of Wiltshire Museum.

Following a consultation this time last year, a hundred-page report of what could engage visitors was produced. It doesn’t differ much from the current set up of the museum but will probably make it worth £2,000000 to the local economy, more than twice it’s worth currently.

Although he sees the enormous potential once the museum moves to the Assizes Court, David wants people to visit the museum now and hopes to reach our local readership.

So on to the museum!

Stonehenge and the Bronze Age

Having started our interview in a part of the building that was once a Georgian grammar school, it turns out the museum is in fact five buildings knocked together, including two Georgian town houses and a link building.

We begin on the ground floor covering the Bronze Age which was once a 1980s art gallery extension, the floor having originally been converted into the museum in 1872.

David gives me the rundown.

“What we’re best known for is our prehistory collection, particularly the Bronze Age, so that’s the time from about 2200 BC to 1500 BC, and what everyone thinks of at that time is Stonehenge.” The world-famous monument that needs no introduction.

For people looking for something closer to home, “Stonehenge seems a long way away, we do have objects from a burial on top of Roundway, Roundway down, which has the largest copper dagger ever found in Britain. And that’s a much earlier burial that’s about 2300 BC. And we think he, the chap who was buried there, probably grew up on the continent. But came across and was buried here.”

The objects he was buried with are currently in a traveling exhibition in the US, having been at four venues so far it will eventually be going to New Zealand and Australia.

“At the moment we’re also lending to two exhibitions in Germany, and that’s Stonehenge and the Bronze Age. And come early next year we’ll be lending some of our stuff to the British museum for a major exhibition about prehistoric Europe, because we have the best Bronze Age collection in the country.”

“So other museums have to come to us to cover the Bronze Age.”

As it’s important to note, David eloquently explains away a common misconception about our ancestors: “Most people think people at the time were like Fred Flintstone bashing each other over the head with clubs, no! These guys were really, really sophisticated.”

I won’t spoil it any further for you but this part of the museum is certainly the place for archaeology buffs.

The Kingdom of the Saxons

Here you can learn all about the Saxon people and the coming of Christianity and the branches of the Church, the most often noted one founded by St. Nicholas and brought to our shores by St. Augustine.

In addition to this often-referenced part of our religious development, David points out a less commonly known factor, “what everyone forgets is that the Irish Church survived from the late Roman period and there were missionaries coming across from Ireland, and so in Malmesbury for example there was an Irish monk who founded a monastery, before the St. Augustine type of missionary arrived.”

Among many other colourful characters, you can also learn the life story of a Christian woman of high status, who may have been an Abbes and possibly even the daughter of a King of Wessex.

The Story of Devizes

An aptly named section which, as David put it, “does what it says on the can.”

Beginning from, well, the earliest beginning to prehistory and the Romans (there having been Roman settlements here) through to Medieval town and castle, and a wonderful quirkily constructed model by John Girvan (our local tour guide, history buff and ghost walk host) of what the town may have looked like.

And also on show is a book of charters given to the town and made in the Tudor Period, which you’ll see is beautifully illustrated.

“We also talk about the story of The Battle of Roundway, and we’ve also got some cannon balls found in the town, musket balls found in the battle site,” etc.

There’s also a section on the old Prison (the museum even has one of its thick wooden barred doors) and the Asylum.

“There’s going to be a Channel Four program that’s going to dig up bits of the Prison from people’s back gardens,” says David, that the museum is involved in, which will start essentially in the second week of September.

Then you can see the majestic mayoral robe from the 1880s, we probably had our first mayor around 12000.

Fun fact if you’re a Devizes School Student: you’ll see a mourning ring in the cabinet beside the robe, it contains a lock of hair from the lady in the portrait that hangs in the school entrance.

In the next room David told me the heart-warming story of a boy and his toy submarine (now on display in the cabinet), made by prisoners of war who had befriended him while they were in Swindon building houses.

“This toy submarine was made by guys in the camp and given to a young lad in Swindon. The guys in the camp were being taken to Swindon to help build houses and they made friends with this lad and they gave him that as a present.”

The Library

With over 20,000 books and 20,000 archaeological journals, 30,000 photos and lots of archival material, and working with “over 30 postgraduate researchers every year and over 10 universities,” it’s not only a Library but also a research hub.

For anyone wanting to look through the archive, “pretty much everything we’ve got is searchable through our online database, it’s got images of everything, I think we’ve got about 15-20,000 images.”

The library’s archive of books, some donated by authors and others bought by the museum, covers the entire county.

I bid David adieu and thanked him for the informative tour: Bear in mind this was only a tour of the highlights, there’s far more in store for visitors.

Wiltshire Museum is funded by £12,780 in grant from Wiltshire Council and £4,000 from our Town Council, but they’re worth 3 quarters of a million pounds to the local economy, because as David illustrates, “when people come here, most of our visitors are making a special visit to Devizes to come to the Museum. Then of course they’re staying in B&Bs or hotels and spending money in pubs and shops and restaurants.”

Believe me, it’s not the boring, fuddy-duddy cobwebby museum you may remember. So, I for one reckon it’s time to show our support and appreciation for Wiltshire Museum!

Us locals ought to pay our prized museum a visit now and then, especially families so our kids can engage with the exhibits and have a sense of their history.


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What’s Happening in September?

That’s it, one big blowout of a bank holiday weekend and August is kaput. Nights drawing in, the fall will be here before you can say “was that it, summer?” Given last years blazing heatwave, while we were couped up, this summer’s been comparatively damp, you could’ve have made it up. There were lots of great things to do, and that doesn’t show signs of slowing through next month.

So, check in and scroll down to see what’s happening this bank holiday, where’s there’s more than enough just in Devizes alone to keep us busy. Awesome, firstly, to see Swindon’s indie-pop stars, Talk in Code will join our favourite Daydream Runaways, for the first Friday night of music down at The Southgate. Then the town goes festival crazy, for three solid days! Full-Tone Festival hits the Green, Saturday and Sunday, and Monday you have to get down to the Market Place for our wonderful, Devizes Street Festival and the Colour Rush.

September 2021Once you’ve gotten over that, September then, here’s the highlights:

Running now until the 4th, Four artists exhibit at Trowbridge Town Hall. A selection of 2D and 3D works by local artists Deborah Clement, Sonja Kuratle, Jennie Quigley and Jane Scrivener.

It was in August 1979 that arguably Swindon’s greatest-ever band, XTC, released their first commercially successful album, 42 years on, original drummer Terry Chambers pays tribute as EXTC, at Swindon’s Victoria on Thursday 2nd.

Following night, Friday 3rd, the Pink Floyd-Fleetwood Mac double-tribute act, Pink Mac will stand on the same stage, at the Vic, while The Wiltshire Blues & Soul Club presents an evening with Sloe Train at Owl Lodge in Lacock, and Corsham’s Pound Arts has comedy with the brilliantly titled “Rescheduled Rescheduled Rescheduled Time Show Tour 2021” by Rob Auton.

Burbage celebrates their the 24th Beer, Cider and Music Festival, with Humdinger and Kova me Badd.

Saturday 4th and there’s a Greatest Showman Sing-a-Long with the Twilight Cinema at Hillworth Park, yet it will be loud down Devizes Southgate, with a welcome return of NervEndings, Fangs & The Tyrants sound equally as loud, they’re at Swindon’s Vic. For a more chilled evening, Cara Dillon plays the Neeld. An extraordinary, captivating Irish singer Mojo magazine claims to be “quite possibly the world’s most beautiful female voice.”

It is also good to see the Melksham Assembly Hall back in the biz, they have Travelling Wilbury tribute, The Unravelling Wilburys! And there’s a unique blend of melodic folk-pop blowing out from Trowbridge Town Hall as Bristol band Sugarmoon come to town.

One to overshadow the lot, is The Concert at the Kings at All Cannings, happening over the weekend. Great line-up for Rock against Cancer, as ever, with Billy Ocean headlining Saturday and 10CC on Sunday, albeit they seem completely unresponsive to messages from us. While I accept the strength of booked acts alone means they need no local press presence, it’s a shame they won’t care to respond; it would be great to cover this.

Ah well, Sunday rocks anyway, with an incredible booking by The Southgate, mind-blowingly awesome US blues outfit of Well-Hung Heart, with a local twist, Beaux Gris Gris & The Apocalypse play. Not to be missed. Westwards, Schtumm presents Will Lawton & The Alchemists with support by Hazir at the Queens Head, Box, and north, Syteria play the Vic, with Adam & The Hellcats and Awakening Savannah.

Oh, and The Lions Clubs of Trowbridge & Westbury have their White Horse Classic & Vintage Vehicle Show on Sunday 5th too!

Second weekend of September and things just get better, from Thursday to Sunday, the place to be is Swindon. The free roaming festival is back, with a line-up across too many venues to list, see the poster. The Swindon Shuffle is truly a testament to local music, everyone who is anyone will be there, in the words of Zaphod Beeblebrox.

It’s time for Jesus Christ Superstar to magically appear in Devizes, as the Wharf Theatre showcases the retro musical, opening Friday 10th, running until 18th.

A hidden gem in the heart of the Wylye valley, the Vintage Nostalgia Festival begins too, running until Sunday at Stockton Park, near Warminster. Sarah Mai Rhythm & Blues Band, Great Scott, Shana Mai and the Mayhems all headline, with those crazy The Ukey D’ukes and our favourites The Roughcut Rebels also play. Lucky if you’re off to the Tangled Roots Festival in Radstock, all sold out.

Closer to home though, Saturday 11th sees the Stert Country House Car Boot Sale, for Cancer Research, the Corsham Street Fair, Women in Rock at the Neeld and The Rock Orchestra by Candlelight at Swindon’s MECA. Eddie Martin’s solo album launch, Birdcage Sessions, at the Southgate, Devizes and the awesome Will Lawton and the Alchemists are at Trowbridge Town Hall. Two Tone All Ska’s play Chippenham’s Consti Club.

Staying in Trowbridge, Rockhoppaz at the Park for an Alzheimer’s Support Gig on Sunday 12th. Meanwhile it’s Hillworth Proms in the Park with Devizes Town Band, and the incredible homegrown guitar virtuoso, Innes Sibun is at The Southgate.  

Third weeks into September, find some jazz with Emma Harris & Graham Dent Duo at Il Ponte Ristorante Italiano, in Bradford-on-Avon. By Thursday 16th, The Derellas play the Vic, and a welcomed reopening of the the Seend Community Centre sees our good friends Celtic Roots Collective play on Friday 17th.

Also Friday, in Swindon, Road Trip play The Vic, and Hawkwind, yes, Hawkwind at MECA!

It’s Dauntsey Academy Scarecrow Trail and there’s a Happy Circus in aid of Nursteed School in Devizes on Saturday 18th, and the welcomed return of Devizes Long Street Blues Club, with the Billy Walton Band. People Like Us are playing The Churchill Arms in West Lavington, ELO Beatles Beyond at Melksham Assembly Hall, and the amazing Onika Venus is at Trowbridge Town Hall.

Sunday 19th sees the Rock The Rec for Macmillan Cancer Support, free fundraiser at Calne Recreation Club.

On Thursday 23rd Antoine & Owena support the The Lost Trades at Komedia, Bath, Steve Knightley plays the Neeld, and there’s ‘An autobiographical journey of a deaf person trapped in a hearing world’ calledLouder Is Not Always Clearer at Pound Arts.

Tom Odell is at Marlborough College Memorial Hall on Friday 24th, and Fossil Fools play the Vic in Swindon.

Sat 25th sees the opening of the Devizes Food & Drink Festival, with the market. A Full Preview of everything happening at HERE. The HooDoos do The Southgate.

Meanwhile, Melksham Rock n Roll Club presents Johnnie Fox & The Hunters, Juice Menace play Trowbridge Town Hall. Wildwood Kin at Christ Church, Old Town, Swindon, and, this will go off; Talk in Code, The Dirty Smooth & The Vooz at the Vic, while tributes to Katy Perry vs Taylor Swift @ MECA.

Award for the most interesting thing to do this Saturday goes to Pound Arts. Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats is a production which contains distressing themes, images covering topics including migration and political assassination, plus a dog onstage; make of that what you will!

By the end of the month things look a little sportier, with bookworms, Sunday 26th is The Hullavington Full Marathon & 10K, travel author and TV presenter Simon Reeve talks at Dauntseys on Wednesday 29th, Thursday sees the opening of Marlborough Literature Festival.

But this list is by no means exhaustive, stuff to do is coming in all the time, making it near impossible to keep up, you need to regularly check our event calendar. Help me to help you by letting me know of your events, and if you’ve the time, write us a preview or review, I can’t be everywhere at once, and sometimes get so overloaded I just want to slouch on the sofa watching Netflix!

Have a good September!


Trending….

Anyone For Table Tennis at Hillworth Park?

Yep, it’s true, Devizes’ wonderful Hillworth Park is to get an all-weather outdoor table tennis table, installed over the coming weeks, agreed at a Devizes Town Council recreation and properties committee meeting yesterday…. Funded through…

Wiltshire Against the Badger Cull Expresses Outrage as Farmer Buried an Active Badger Sett

Amidst the number of other suspicious, much less futilely brutal activities, in the pursuit of rural blood sports, we’re currently knee-deep in the badger cull, set to run until 2025 at least, and Government’s dodgy…

Dakar Audio Club; Exeter’s African Secret

Such is the universal beauty of Bandcamp, one goes exploring music from another continent and discovers something sublime, from only ninety miles down the M5! If it’s unlikely there’s an Exeter Audio Club in Senegal,…

As Cool as an Eddie Martin; Blues at The Southgate

It was a typical, standard Saturday night at Devizes Southgate, but a typical and standard night at the Gate equates to an absolutely blinding night in most other pubs…… Amidst friendly faces, welcoming staff and…

Devizes Opendoors Starts Regular Woman’s Group

Good to hear homeless and sheltered charity Devizes Opendoors is planning to open a new session every other Tuesday, for women only. Promising coffee, crafts and pamper sessions, as well as health and wellbeing awareness,…

Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts; A New Chapter

Threw my cards on the table, and pitched being Father Christmas at Devizes Winter Festival, but was informed that was arranged by the Town Council…. so, that’s that idea well and truly quashed! It was…

Song of the Day 45: Funkin Hell

Corporate decision made today with our board of directors to bring back our song of the day feature. Once a regular thing here at Devizine, where rather some in-depth analysis review affair, I just waffle…

Local Supergroup Fundraising Event for Superhero Carmela

Here’s the thing, did you realise Monday marked the second anniversary of when Wonder Woman joined me on my milk round?! Yeah, true, and we raised some wonga for her alter-ego Carmela’s fund and fight against muscular dystrophy. And now Carmela is not only a tiny best friend of mine, but huge inspiration to us all and something of celeb now too.

Star of her own fun children’s book you can buy in Devizes Books to raise funds for her campaign, as well as hobnobbing with the stars, I’m delighted this evening to hear, some other of my favourite girls are reforming their supergroup to raise some funds in her name too.

Pre-lockdown, girl members of six bands annually joined for a fundraising one-off gig, and it was always something explosive, fun and a darn awesome night. Nicky Davis from Warminster based People Like Us and The Reason, Glastonbury’s Julia Greenland from Soulville Express & Delta Swing, Frome’s Claire Perry from Big Mamma Banned & The Misfitz, solo artist Charmaigne Andrews from Melksham, and Julie Moreton from Trowbridge’s Train to Skaville and Jules & The Odd Men, will come together once again, at the Melksham Assembly on 16th October, for a show not to be missed.

This, for me, is all too much to take in, girls, girls, girls, I’m not sure I can control myself. The Female of the Species raised just over £3,000 in 2018 for the fantastic youth community project, Young Melksham, and for all their efforts, they were selected for a Community Civic Award.

This time all of your pennies from the tenner tickets will go to Carmela’s Fight Against Muscular Dystrophy, and those tickets are here.

Support will come from Melksham rock, blues and alternative covers and original band Plan of Action. Seriously folks, put this is your diary.


Hotting up for August 2021: Things to Do Across Wiltshire and Beyond

If July saw the gradual return to normality, and cautiously events crawled back with a welcomed but awkward feeling, while it may be hugely debatable if we’re doing the right thing, or not, August is warming up to be stonker. Events of all types are flung up each day, it’s hard to keep track and up-to-date, nevertheless I try.

Fingers crossed it doesn’t go Pete Tong. Such a divided issue with good arguments on each side, I’m not about to start ranting for either, but I salute everyone organising events, at great risk to themselves financially. All I will say is, it is vital for the success of any event and the continuation of them in general, that we still apply certain rules, restrictions set by the organisers, and adopt the necessary etiquette when attending them. We know what the precautions are, they’re second nature now. The government passed the buck, it is up to us, each and everyone of us to think for ourselves, respect other’s decisions on how to act, but I appeal, act responsibly and long may this continue.

Without further-a-do then, here’s what we’ve found on Devizine for August. It’s far easier to knock this article up with providing too many links, they can be found at the event calendar, and for family events throughout the school holidays, check here; but please do check for updates, it’s never an exhaustive thing, new events are being added. Said that bit before, but it is even more vital to check ahead, to ensure events are going ahead as planned, and what restrictions might be in place at them individually. Have a great August, stay safe.

Week 1:

Kicking off on Monday August 2nd with the +5 Holiday Club at The Farm Cookery School. Tuesday 3rd and running until Thursday 5th August, RW Football School Summer Football Camp are at Green Lane, Devizes, ages 6-11.

Wednesday August 4th, then. Chippenham Museum host a Children’s Art Walk. Take a walk, through Monkton Park for this fun arty session. You will receive a pack with pencils, crayons and plenty of paper and join local artist Kirsty Jones to explore the wonderful setting of the park.2pm – 3pm. £4 per child. Recommended age 6 and above, all children must be accompanied. Meet at the town bridge entrance to Monkton Park. There’s also the +8 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School.

Wednesday also sees the first Junior Actors with Lucia, for school years 6-9, for the Youth Theatre Summer Workshop at the Wharf Theatre, Devizes.

Thursday 5th and the Summer Kid’s Art Club at Wiltshire Scrapstore starts on Bowden Hill, Lacock. Sessions from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm, run every Thursday and Friday through August.

Our first August festival starts Thursday, Wickham Festival in Hampshire, where Van the Man headlines, and the Love Summer Festival at Plympton, Devon starts Friday.

There’s an interesting-sounding new family musical written and produced by Mel Lawman staged at Bath’s Forum on Friday 6th -Saturday 7th Miss Red. Devizes folk support this, because our homegrown talented twelve-year-old, Jessica Self from Centre Stage Academy of Dance in Devizes and Stagecoach Trowbridge is in the cast, playing Daisy Blewitt. We wish you all the best, Jessica.

Friday 6th also sees the Salisbury Comedy Festival start, Black Sabbath tribute, Supernaut play the Vic in Swindon, and HoneyStreet’s Barge will be kicking as the Mid Life Krisis Collective head down there.

On Saturday 7th time for Sheer Music to put aside their lockdown TV presenting skills and get on with what they do best, hosting gigs. And what a way to start, it’s Frank Turner at the Cheese & Grain. Also, catch the amazing Kevin Brown the Southgate, Devizes, and those mods, The Roughcut Rebels play the Greyhound in Trowbridge.

The wonderful Strange Folk are at The Three Horseshoes in Bradford on Avon. Concord Drive, Transfer Window and Man in Vest play Swindon’s Vic, Jive Talkin’ perform the Bee Gees at Chippenham’s Neeld Hall and it’s The Bath Festival Finale Weekend, where McFly headline.

For Sunday chilling, on the 8th, get down to the Queens Head in Box where Schtumm presents The Lost Trades with support from Lee Broderick, alternatively the Neeld play The Rod Stewart Songbook.

Week 2:

Monday 9th August there’s a +8 Holiday Club, The Farm Cookery School and +11 on Tuesday.

Wednesday sees another Youth Theatre Summer Workshop, at Devizes, the Wharf Theatre, check their website for details. Chippenham Museum also hosts a Writing & Performance Workshop with performer Ruth Hill, for ages 8 and above. More Summer Kid’s Art Club at Wiltshire Scrapstore on Thursday and Friday, and The Cake Lady takes The Farm Cookery School’s +8 Holiday Club.

Friday night, I’ve got Stop Stop playing Swindon’s Vic, and that’s it so far.

Saturday 14th, Cobbs at Hungerford have a charity Emergency Service Day, should be fun for the little ones. For the grownups, cider fest at the Civic in Trowbridge with the Mangled Wurzels.

Lewis Clark is at The Southgate, Devizes, Shepard’s Pie at Wanborough’s The Harrow, and Webb, formally known as Ryan Webb has this EP launch party at Swindon’s Vic, with Broken Empire and Land Captains in support. Hope to get a copy of this for reviewing, some clog in the pipeline at the moment. But hey, it’s also Buckfest at Marlborough The Roebuck where the loud and proud Humdigger headline.

Bedpost, Transfer Window and Pool play the Vic in Swindon on Sunday.

Week 3:

+11 Holiday Club at The Farm Cookery School on Monday 16th, and the RW Football School are in Melksham. Suitable for ages 6+, Pound Arts welcome Scratchworks Theatre Company’s joyful and mischievous show to Corsham Almshouses, for an outdoor performance of The Grimm Sisters.

A welcomed return of events at Melksham Assembly Hall on Thursday 19th, with Neil Sands Bringing Back the Good Times; ol’ time favourite show tunes from the 40s, 50s & 60s and a heart-warming tribute to Dame Vera Lynn.

Friday 20th and Jack Dee’s new show, Warm Up is at Chippenham’s Neeld Hall. I’ve nothing else for Friday night yet, but Saturday21st, woah, festival time!

First up, is where I plan to be, Mantonfest, near Marlborough, with Blondie tribute Dirty Harry, Dr Feelgood, Barrelhouse, Richard Davies & The Dissidents and many more. Over the downs, OakStock at Pewsey’s Royal Oak is another safe bet; Amy Winehouse, Rag n Bone Man tributes, alongside the brilliant Illingsworth.

Meanwhile the rescheduled Bath Reggae Festival takes place, with Maxi Priest, Aswad, Big Mountain, Dawn Penn, Hollie Cook and more. Anne‐Marie, Dizzee Rascal and Clean Bandit headline Live at Lydiard 2021.

Howlin’ Mat plays The Southgate, Devizes, while Sex Pistol’s tribute Pretty Vacant are at Swindon’s Vic, with support by The Half Wits and Subject Ex.

Week 4:

Monday 23rd August is +8 Holiday Club at The Farm Cookery School, and Tuesday is11+.From Tuesday until Thursday, The RW Football School Summer Football Camp returns to Green Lane, Devizes, for ages 6-11.

Chippenham Museum has a one-hour workshop to create your own simple mini scrap book inspired by their latest exhibition on Wednesday, for ages 6+.

Thursday and Friday it’s Summer Kid’s Art Club at Wiltshire Scrapstore. And Thursday 26th August sees an Olympic Gold Medallist, Alex Danson running a Hockey Masterclass at Devizes Hockey Club. Open to all hockey players aged 11-18 – you don’t have to be a member of DHC.

All weekender at The Barge on Honeystreet, when Honey Fest kicks off Thursday, with a grand local line-up, including The Lost Trades, The Blunders, and Chicken Shed Zeppelin, to name but a few.

The Southgate is the place to head towards on Friday in Devizes, where my personal indie-pop favourites, (not that I should have favourites) Daydream Runaways are booked in. Also, the highly anticipated FullTone Festival returns to Devizes Green, all weekend, with the Full Tone Orchestra and Pete Lamb’s Heartbeats appearing Sunday.

A theatrical outdoor re-telling of Kenneth Grahame’s classic, Wind in the Willows on Saturday 28th August at Corsham’s Pound Arts. And Sunday, a Magical show where beautiful Princesses become Pop Stars, Pop Princesses comes to Wyvern Theatre, Swindon.

Meanwhile, it’s the welcomed Triple JD Band at The Southgate, Devizes and HarrowFest at Wanborough’s The Harrow, featuring Jamie R Hawkins, The Blind Lemon Experience and more…


Fun Things to Do in Wiltshire During the School Summer Holidays; 2021

Oh yes, it’s coming, you can feel it in the air; or is that more rain? Take a deep breath, because here’s our lowdown on stuff to keep your darling princesses and special little guys busy during the summer break, across our area, to retain some of your sanity and keep you from maxin’ your Wine Warehouse loyalty card.

Ongoing and regularly updated, bookmark this, mums and dads, and check back from time as more stuff will hopefully be added. Please note Devizine cannot accept responsibility for the safety of links outside of this site, the cancelation or failure of organisers to maintain events listed. Thanks, enjoy your summer holidays, and stay safe!

Submissions: use the contact form at the bottom to tell us about your event, and I will add it onto our list!



JULY

From Saturday July 10th: Wild World Heroes Summer Reading Challenge @ Devizes Library

Join the Wild World Heroes Summer Reading Challenge for four- to 11-year-olds from Sat 10 July. The fun free challenge helps children improve their reading skills whilst having fun, it’s also great for good mental health. Children are challenged is to read six library books over the summer (including eBooks), so come into the library from this Saturday and pick up your bag of materials (including a map of Wilderville and stickers) while stocks last! Medals and certificates for children who complete the challenge will be available for collection after Monday 2 August.


Tuesday 13th – Saturday 17th: Collected Grimm Tales @ Wharf Theatre Devizes

Running from Tuesday 13th until Saturday 17th July, The Wharf Theatre in Devizes presents Collected Grimm Tales, by the Brothers Grimm, directed by Debby Wilkinson.

Familiar and less known stories from the Brothers Grimm are brought to the stage in this acclaimed adaptation. Using a physical and non-natural style of performance, these are stories that will journey into the warped world of imagination. We will see Hansel and Gretel, Ashputtel, Rumpelstiltskin and others, all performed by a small, adult cast on a simple set. The audience will be required to use their imagination and fully embrace the living power of theatre. Suitable for adults and children alike!


Wednesday July 14th: Starcrazy – Open-Air Theatre back again at Ogbourne Maizey

WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY BILL SCOTT, WITH ORIGINAL MUSIC BY TOM ADAMS

October 1957: the world lives in fear of nuclear war, Russia has launched Sputnik 1, UFOs are cropping up everywhere, MI5 is on high alert and Stanley is building something in his garden shed.

He may live in suburbia but, in his mind, Stanley is voyaging through outer space. He hopes to make contact with other life forms. His neighbour, Gwen, thinks he should be exploring the unknown much closer to home…

A cosmic comedy about obsession and the rekindling of love, hope and possibility

Estimated running time: 1hr 10 mins, no interval

Everyone welcome, but as a guide we recommend the show for age 7+


Saturday July 17th – Saturday July 24th: Charlie & Stan @ Theatre Royal Bath

Show your kids the brilliance of the silent movie comedy greats at Bath’s Theatre Royal.

In 1910, the then unknown Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel set sail from Liverpool to New York as part of Fred Karno’s famous music hall troupe. On the voyage, they shared a cabin, they shared comedy routines and they shared laughter. Inspired by real life events, Told by an Idiot’s acclaimed production is the remarkable story of the greatest double act that nearly was and is a hilarious and deeply moving homage to two men who changed the world of comedy forever. Tickets from £23. Children best seats £22.50 at all performances.


Friday July 16th: Under 5’s Coffee and Craft Morning @ Wiltshire Scrapstore

Bowden Hill, Lacock. https://www.wiltshirescrapstore.org.uk/


Friday July 16th: King Arthur at Manor Farm, Upton Cheyney

Local theatrical tour of a fun and farcical family adventure by The Last Baguette. Suitable for ages 5+

Somewhere in England, a long time ago, a very, very, very long time ago. So long ago that nobody quite knows whether it happened or not. Or where it happened or not. A boy pulled a sword from a stone and became King. A story of the old world, with knights, wizards, mist and magic. This fun and farcical adventure is deliberately anarchic and anachronistic re-telling of the Arthurian Legend with live music, physical comedy and lo-fi acrobatics. And some silly jokes…

This is an outdoor production, please bring your own chairs, blankets. The field at Manor Farm will be open from 6pm for picnics, prior to the 7pm performance. The tour continues, courtesy of Pound Arts, see below for other venue dates.


Saturday July 17th: Food Glorious Food Photography Day: Cricketts Lane & Lords Mead Allotments, Chippenham.

Join the Photo Club and Chippenham Museum at a local Chippenham allotment to learn how to capture portraits of fresh produce. These free sessions take place on Saturday 17 July at the following times: Time: 10am – 12pm Ages: 9-14years. Location: Cricketts Lane. Time: 12:30-2:30pm Ages: 15-18 years. Location: Cricketts Lane.

These free sessions are part of a celebration of locally grown and seasonal produce by The Food School have been made possible through funding from Chippenham Borough Lands Charity.


Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July: the Southern Counties Organ Festival on The Large Green Devizes.

 Sunday July 18th: King Arthur at Kington Langley Recreation Ground.

See above (Friday July 16th)


Monday July 19th: The Farm Cookery School

Kids who can cook, well, I say, have to be the best kind of kids ever! The Farm Cookery School at Netherstreet Farm near Bromham has a great summer programme, in a kitchen divided into 6 Covid-Safe Acrylic ‘Cookery Pods’. Each pod is suitable for 2 children to share.

Starting Monday 19th July with a Cookery Camp, for children aged 11+  where the young chefs get to come along for 2 days (8.30am – 4.00pm) to learn all about food; make breakfast, lunch & snacks to eat at the school, then make tea and desserts which they will take home with them. The camp includes 2 days of tuition, ingredients, recipes & meals.

I’ll list the events here, simply with a brief title, as there’s so many good ones!


Monday July 19th – September 12th: Under the Moon @ Longleat

Discover the wonderful creatures of the dark who have inhabited The Longhouse under the light of the Moon. Then explore Longleat’s nocturnal wildlife with dramatically enlarged straw sculptures in the open air.

Experience the astounding astronomical work of art by UK artist, Luke Jerram, titled the Museum of the Moon, as you wander up close to the orbital illuminator of the night. This 6 metre suspended replica of our Moon was created using detailed NASA imagery with each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture representing 6km of the moon’s surface!

Then observe the fascinating flora and fauna of the dark such as bioluminescent algae, blind cave fish, and the slender loris. Discover the mysterious creatures of dark with illuminating insights on their adaptations like why the blind cavefish have no eyes and emperor scorpions glow a bluish-green under UV light.

Step outside of The Longhouse and the wildlife exploration continues with a focus on the native animals active around the Park at night. Discover more about the barn owl, fox, mole, snail and others as we celebrate our nocturnal wildlife with huge straw sculptures.

Join us for a summer of exploration of new and native animals

Need to know

  • This exhibition is designed to be a sensory, calm experience, utilising the wide space of The Longhouse.
  • The Longhouse is fully accessible.
  • The number of guests in the Longhouse will be monitored and managed throughout the day to maintain safe social distancing and guest comfort.

Tues 20th

Wednesday July 21st: +8 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Thurs 22nd

Friday July 23rd: King Arthur at Sherston Village Hall

See above (Friday July 16th)

Saturday July 24th: Bromham Teddy Bear Trail

Bromham Carnival may’ve been cancelled but there will be a Teddy Bear Trail on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th July. This year’s theme will be ’60 Years of Family Films’ with 40+ Teddies around the village, created and generously sponsored by local businesses and individuals. See how many you can guess – and enjoy a walk round the beautiful village of Bromham. Refreshments available. Entry forms £2.50 each available from the Social Centre in New Road.


Sun 25th


Monday July 26th: +5 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Monday July 26th: PH Camps begin


Tuesday July 27th: +8 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Tuesday July 27th: Devizes Tennis Club Holiday Camp

Anyone for tennis? Summer camps start on 27th July at Devizes Tennis Club, ongoing sessions from 10am-3pm, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 19th August.


Wednesday July 28th: Youth Theatre Summer Workshop @ the Wharf Theatre

I’ve given details of Devizes’ Wharf Theatre’s exciting ongoing Youth Theatre, which starts the full courses towards the end of September. But, in addition to the fuller workshops the Wharf are also offering two Summer Workshops this year. These will offer an opportunity to have fun and participate in various drama activities.  Whilst they will give you a flavour of the work you could be exploring over the forthcoming terms these are stand-alone sessions and are open to all. The first is Senior Actors with Lou is on Wednesday July 28th, for school years 10-13.


Wednesday July 28th: +11 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Wednesday July 28th: Summer Holiday Workshops @ Chippenham Museum: Make an Embroidery Sampler.

Ages 8 and above. 10.30am – 12.30pm Join Members of the Bath Textile Artist Group to make an embroidery sampler at Chippenham Museum. Once it was only girls who used to have fun with samplers but now anyone can have a go. Come and explore the history of samplers and start to stich your own. You will learn different stitches and can choose a range of motifs to produce your own design or sew a prepared piece. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced stitcher there will be something for you.


Wednesday July 28th: Bath Rugby Summer Camp coming to Devizes RFC

Bath Rugby coaches are back on the road again and coming to a rugby club near you! A full summer of coaching activity has been planned across Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset ensuring that everybody has the chance to get involved. And what’s more, we have a session at Devizes RFC on Wednesday 28th July!  The camp is designed for U7’s through to U16’s looking to hone their skills and is open to all abilities.



Thursday July 29th: Fireman Sam Saves the Circus @ Bath Forum

When all of his friends go away, Norman Price decides to find adventure in Pontypandy and become the star of a visiting circus. But with a tiger on the loose and faulty lights, the adventure soon turns to danger. Can Fireman Sam come to the rescue and save the circus?

Join Sam, Penny, Elvis, Station Officer Steele and Norman in an all singing, dancing, action-packed show. You can become a fire-fighter cadet and then watch the magic of the circus.

So, come along to Pontypandy and watch the adventures unfold!

This event is being sold as a socially distanced event at the present time, but should government guidelines allow, socially distanced seating may not be in place at the time of the event. Book Here


Thursday July 29th: The Cake Lady’s +8 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Friday July 30th: King Arthur at The Corsham Almshouse

See above (Friday July 16th)


Saturday 31st July: MFor 2021 @ Lydiard Park

If you fancy taking your kids to a local family festival with acts they’ll enjoy, rather than being dragged along to, check out MFor 2021 at Swindon’s Lydiard Park. Craig David, TS5, Sigala, Raye, Ella Henderson, Gracey & more! Lots of entertainment is included in the Saturday ticket price and you are promised a fantastic music line-up. Under 5s go FREE.


The Great Poppy Party @ The Crown, Bishops Cannings


August

Sun 1st


Monday August 2nd: +5 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Tuesday 3rd – Thursday 5th August: RW Football School Summer Football Camp @ Green Lane, Devizes Ages 6-11


Tuesday August 3rd: +8 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Wednesday August 4th: Youth Theatre Summer Workshop @ the Wharf Theatre

I’ve given details of Devizes’ Wharf Theatre’s exciting ongoing Youth Theatre, which starts the full courses towards the end of September. But, in addition to the fuller workshops the Wharf are also offering two Summer Workshops this year. These will offer an opportunity to have fun and participate in various drama activities.  Whilst they will give you a flavour of the work you could be exploring over the forthcoming terms these are stand-alone sessions and are open to all. The first Junior Actors with Lucia workshop is on Wednesday August 4th, for school years 6-9.


Wednesday August 4th: Children’s Art Walk by Chippenham Museum

2pm – 3pm. £4 per child. Recommended age 6 and above, all children must be accompanied. Meet at the town bridge entrance to Monkton Park.

Take a walk through Monkton Park with a bit of a difference. For this fun arty session, you will receive a pack with pencils, crayons and plenty of paper and join local artist Kirsty Jones to explore the wonderful setting of the park.


Wednesday August 4th: +8 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Thursday 5th and 6th August: Summer Kid’s Art Club @ Wiltshire Scrapstore, Bowden Hill, Lacock

Sessions from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm at Wiltshire Scrapstore, run every Thursday and Friday through August, starting on the 5th. https://www.wiltshirescrapstore.org.uk/


Friday 6th -Saturday 7th: Miss Red @ Bath Forum

An interesting sounding new family musical written and produced by Mel Lawman is staged at Bath’s Forum early August. Devizes folk support this, because our homegrown talented twelve-year-old Jessica Self from Centre Stage Academy of Dance in Devizes and Stagecoach Trowbridge is in the cast, playing Daisy Blewitt. We wish you all the best, Jessica.


Sat 7th

Sun 8th


Monday August 9th: +8 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Tuesday August 10th: +11 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Wednesday 11th August: Youth Theatre Summer Workshop @ the Wharf Theatre

I’ve given details of Devizes’ Wharf Theatre’s exciting ongoing Youth Theatre, which starts the full courses towards the end of September. But, in addition to the fuller workshops the Wharf are also offering two Summer Workshops this year. These will offer an opportunity to have fun and participate in various drama activities.  Whilst they will give you a flavour of the work you could be exploring over the forthcoming terms these are stand-alone sessions and are open to all. The second workshop for Senior Actors with Lou, for school years 10-13 and Junior Actors with Lucia workshop, for school years 6-9.


Writing & Performance Workshop by Chippenham Museum

9.30am – 3.30pm. Ages 8 and above, please bring a packed lunch.

Come and join writer, facilitator and performer Ruth Hill for a day of writing and performing. In the morning you will write something inspired by the museum’s exhibition which focusses on local Victorian diarist Rev. Francis Kilvert. Using the exhibition for inspiration, you will write stories, poems and scripts. Ruth will help you create a piece of work you are proud of and in the afternoon, you will work together to direct, stage and perform your pieces of writing to a small audience of your family and friends.  You can take part as a writer, performer, director or all three. Come and develop your skills, whether you love writing and performing, or just want to give it a go.

Thursday 12th – Friday 13th: Summer Kid’s Art Club @ Wiltshire Scrapstore, Bowden Hill, Lacock

Sessions from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm at Wiltshire Scrapstore, run every Thursday and Friday through August, starting on the 5th. https://www.wiltshirescrapstore.org.uk/


Thursday August 12th: The Cake Lady’s +8 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Fri 13th

Saturday 14th August: Charity Emergency Service Day @ Cobbs, Hungerford

A police car and van, fire responder car, and fire truck are visiting Cobbs. A free event hoping to raise some money and put a little love back into our emergency services, to say thank you for the incredible job that they do. There will be a raffle. Please note: If you would like breakfast or lunch in the cafe, book a table in advance: www.cobbsfarmshops.co.uk/book-a-table


Sun 15th

Monday August 16th: +11 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Monday August 16th: RW Football School Melksham


Tuesday August 17th


Wednesday August 18th: +5 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Thursday August 19th: +8 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Friday August 20th: The Grimm Sisters @ Corsham Almshouses (outdoor theatre)

Suitable for ages 6+. Pound Arts are excited to welcome Scratchworks Theatre Company’s joyful and mischievous brand-new show to Corsham, for an outdoor performance at Corsham Almshouses. Please bring along chairs, blankets, cushions, afternoon teas and picnics. The venue will be open one hour prior to the performance start time for audience to arrive, settle in and get comfortable.


Saturday August 21st: Live at Lydiard 2021

Another one-day festival at Swindon’s Lydiard Park, with Anne‐Marie, Dizzee Rascal and Clean Bandit headlining. Information is vague on this one, but by the line-up it sounds family-friendly.


Sun 22nd


Monday August 23rd: +8 Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Tuesday 24th – Thursday 26th August: RW Football School Summer Football Camp @ Green Lane, Devizes Ages 6-11


Tuesday August 24th: 11+ Holiday Club @ The Farm Cookery School


Wednesday 25th August: Simple Scrapbooking at Chippenham Museum

10am / 11.30am / 1pm / 2.30pm. Ages 6+ (under 8s accompanied)

In this one-hour workshop create your own simple mini scrap book inspired by our latest exhibition. Use words, photos and your own drawings to explore this popular Victorian pastime.


Thursday 26th – Friday 27th: Summer Kid’s Art Club @ Wiltshire Scrapstore, Bowden Hill, Lacock

Sessions from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm at Wiltshire Scrapstore, run every Thursday and Friday through August, starting on the 5th. https://www.wiltshirescrapstore.org.uk/


Thursday 26th August: Alex Danson Hockey Masterclass @ Devizes Hockey Club

Olympic Gold Medallist Alex Danson runs a hockey masterclass.  Open to all hockey players aged 11-18 – you don’t have to be a member of DHC.


Fri 27th

Saturday 28th: The Fulltone Festival 2021 @ The Green, Devizes

The highly anticipated FullTone Festival returns to Devizes Green.


WIND IN THE WILLOWS, 28 August, 6.30pm @ Pound Arts.

A theatrical outdoor re-telling of Kenneth Grahame’s classic, performed in The Pound arts centre car park. Calf 2 Cow wowed a sold out crowd here at the arts centre back in June with their outdoor theatrical extravaganza “The Wave”, and now they’re back! This time they’re retelling a classic children’s tale, known the world over, with a modern gig-theatre twist. https://mailchi.mp/poundarts/wind-in-the-willows-a-theatrical-outdoor-experience

Sunday August 29th: Pop Princesses @ Wyvern Theatre, Swindon

A Magical show where beautiful Princesses become Pop Stars! This is the children’s pop concert with a big difference. A musical spectacular starring four fabulous Fairy tale Princesses who just love to sing! It’s the perfect mix. Featuring a soundtrack of top pop hits from artists such as Little Mix, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, and internet sensation, JoJo Siwa, plus songs from all your favourite Films and Musicals.


Mon 30th

Tues 31st

September:

Wed 1st

Thurs 2nd

Fri 3rd

Saturday 4th September: Twilight Cinema in the Park @ Hillworth Park, Devizes

Ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Hillworth announce this year’s Twilight Cinema film is the Greatest Showman Sing-a-Long!! Pre-film music, pop-up bars, and food. Tickets.


Saturday 4th September: Horrible Histories Live @ Bath Forum

We all want to meet people from history! The trouble is everyone is dead!

So it’s time to prepare for Horrible Histories live on stage with the acclaimed production of Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians!

Are you ready to swing with a Georgian king? Can you see eye to eye with Admiral Nelson? Does the Duke the Wellington get the boot? Dare you dance the Tyburn jig? Will you be saved by Florence Nightingale? Find out what a baby farmer did and move to the groove with party Queen Victoria!

Don’t miss this horrible history of Britain with the nasty bits left in!

BOOK HERE.


Sun 5th




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