The Bradford Roots Music Festival Returns

I know, it’s hardly festival weather, but this one is all inside! Inside the glorious Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford-on-Avon that is, on Saturday 21st January 2023, and it’s a whooper!

The popular Bradford Roots Music Festival returns kicks off at 11am, and runs until 10pm, for a day of great music to warm away the winter blues and celebrate all Bradford on Avon has to offer.

Building on Lisa and Chris Samuel’s brilliant work since founding the festival in 2012, Bradford Roots’ new team of community programmers will fill the Centre with folk, blues, pop, and rock, as well as workshops for all the family, great local food and drink and the famous Wassail. A true feel-good event, Roots is synonymous with community spirit, local talent, and an inclusive atmosphere.

There’s a huge range of local artists performing across all three stages this year, including the returning Fly Yeti Fly, St Laurence rock band Foxymoron, a Big Sing Workshop to lead participants through the Wassail, and celebrated group and Bradford Roots regulars Holt Morris who will put on a special dance performance.

 Dee Way, one of the new festival programmers shares what makes the festival so special to her: “Roots to me means a music festival under cover to cheer up the winter, to raise money for some very worthwhile charities, and to have a thoroughly good time with family and friends. This is a great opportunity to see and hear a wide range of musicians performing – all who have a local connection. It is also a brilliant opportunity to find out more about Wiltshire Music Centre and enjoy a family day out.”

 As well as music, Evie’s Mac & Cheese will be pitched-up on the front lawn all day and serving delicious grub, sweet treats, and hot drinks. Vegan and gluten-free beers will be available from Bradford on Avon microbrewery Kettlesmith, and scrumptious ciders from Honey’s Cider – both local brands who are proudly sponsoring this year’s festival! Enjoy their flagship refreshments alongside the usual WMC Bar offerings.

 Attendees can also get involved in the famous Wassail, led by Holt Morris, where participants in the Creativity Area can show off their handmade glowing lanterns!

Tickets are now on sale – one ticket gives admission to all the events of the day, and under 12s go free! Price: £22 Adult / £12 U18s + students / Free U12s. Book online: wiltshiremusic.org.uk/whats-on/bradford-roots-music-festival-day-2023

That’s the technicalities out of the way, let’s feast our eyes on all that’s performing at Bradford Roots this year, and, as it’s me and I like favouritism, point out my personal preferences!

To get the ball rolling, one you should never miss, Concrete Prairie are superb, and if you’ve not heard about them yet you must be new to Devizine, cos I’ve been waffling on about them for a while now, and get tremendously excited whenever their name crops up!

Billy in the Lowground, Fly Yeti Fly, It’s Complicated and those Junkyard Dogs all go without saying, and although The Lost Trades aren’t there this year, two-thirds are, the boys Phil Cooper & Jamie R Hawkins will be in attendance.

The ones I don’t know about, but you might know different, are Karport Collective, Big Sing Workshop with Jane Harris & Clara Atkins, Graham Dent Jazz Quartet, Lodestone, Jazz Factory,  Doves, Peace Choir, Zone Club, Z O E, Caroline Radcliffe Jazz Trio, Westward, Timur Dersuniyelioglu, LightGarden, Joe Hunt, Adrian Long, Littlemen, Aqaba, Foxymoron, Mark Green’s Blues Collective, Terry Sheppard’s Open Mic Hour and, and this is a big AND, an and I shouldn’t try but, well, you never know, might have a natural talent for, Wafaa Powell Belly Dancing Workshop!!

 Follow the Festival online: facebook.com/BradfordRootsFestival #BradfordRoots2023


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Devizes Winter Festival

The weekend traditionally for Devizes Lantern Parade, 27th-28th November, there promises to be a huge magical community event this year, because of circumstances beyond their control, DOCA are doing things a little differently, and invites you to be apart of the Devizes Winter Festival. There are plenty of things to do, see, and get involved in.

FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
For your delight, they will have roaming performers and an amazing walking trail for you to visit, suitable for all ages.

Projector Boom Bikes by Sound Intervention

Dan Fox will be bringing his amazing projector bikes which will fill the streets with music and light. Interact with all the strange and familiar creatures the bikes project onto the buildings of Devizes.
Location: Leaving from the yard of the Black Swan
Appearing: Friday 27th 17.00 -17.45, 18.30-19.15 &
20.15-21.00 Saturday 28th – 16.45- 17.30 & 18.00-19.00

Celestial Sound Cloud by Pif Paf

Dance and wave and the Sound Cloud will react to you to create a unique conversation in sound and light. Don’t be shy, it’s your chance to be the conductor to create beautiful harmonies and make light patterns like you’ve never seen before. Access to the SoundCloud will be managed by volunteers for your safety.
Location: Wiltshire Museum’s garden, Long Street, SN10 1NS. Access through the rear car park
Times: Friday 27th – 16:00 – 21:00, Saturday 28th – 16:00 – 19:00

The Bell Orchestra by Beautiful Creatures

This amazing supersize instrument is waiting for you to come and play. Created by Beautiful Creatures Theatre who will invite you to experiment with these giant illuminated chimes. Come and enjoy some safe togetherness and make some beautiful music in this lovely Devizes square. Suitable for all ages and abilities
Location: The Chequers Garden, High Street, SN10 1AT
Times: Friday 27th 16:30 – 18:30 & 19:00 – 21:00

Devizes Town Band

Devizes Town Band will bring the sound of festive tunes that you know and love to the Market Place.
Saturday Morning – times to be announced soon

Virtual light switch on by Father Christmas From his home

Like most of us Father Christmas is having a trickier year than usual! To make sure everyone is safe he won’t be appearing in person at the Light Switch on this year but he’ll do it from his home.
He’s asking children to write to him, to help you he has sent us a letter template which you can pick up from the Shambles Market between the 31st of October and the 14th of November. If you want him to write back you’ll need to tick the box on the back of the letter and post it into the red letterbox in the Shambles by 4pm on the 16th of November. All the letters will be sent to Father Christmas who will be reading out a selection on You Tube at 7pm on the 27th along with a tour of his house and workshop. He’ll also write back to you, your letters will be ready for collection on Saturday the 5th and 12th of December between 9am and 12 noon from the Shambles.
The YouTube channel address is http://bit.ly/DevizesSanta

FOR YOUR SHOPPING NEEDS

Doca have selected the best traders in the area, offering a host of fantastic flavours, amazing tipples, beautiful handmade gifts and more. Explore the expanded festive markets in safety over 3 days at your leisure. Please view trading times below.

Friday 27th
Market Place 4 – 9pm
Corn Exchange  2.30 – 8:30pm
The Shambles 10:00am – 8:30pm
Town Hall 2.30 – 8:30pm

Saturday 28th
Market Place 10am – 7pm
Corn Exchange 10am – 7pm
Town Hall 10am – 7pm

Sunday 29th
Market Place 10am – 2pm
Town Hall 10am- 2pm

BE APART OF THE MAGIC  with Window Wanderland

Doca have invited homes, venues and shops to get creative through this Internationally known event, and hope it will become a new tradition in Devizes. Look on the Window Wanderland website or follow the link from ours for more information.
http://www.windowwanderland.com/event/devizes-2020/
Times: 17:30 to 21:00 each night.

Shambles Festive Makeover

With your help DOCA are attempting to transform the Shambles, the roof will be decked with baubles made by the community. Check their website for details for dates and opening times.
docadevizes.org.uk/make-a-bauble-for-the-shambles-installation

HELPING TO KEEP YOU SAFE

Attendees and audiences will be required to follow safety measure. Please ensure you use our track and trace system, scan the QR code in all venues and register using your smartphone
Use hand sanitizer provided
Wear a mask at all times
Maintain a safe distance from people
Bring your own cups for drinks and help the environment too

For more information on Devizes Winter Festival please visit the DOCA website https://www.docadevizes.org.uk/winter-festival/

A (hic) Festival of Winter Ales

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Call them Ale

Proper quality celebratory glasses here y’ know, no squashy disposable cups; something of a memento. There are flowers in a jar on the table, aroma of hot pie, and a bulky fellow juggling knifes, while straddling our own Ian Diddams while he lies flat on his back on stage. If your preconception of a beer festival is a marquee in a muddy field, think again, this is the prestigious Devizes Corn Exchange and DOCA, our Outside Celebratory Arts association, are holding their annual Festival of Winter Ales in conjunction with the Stealth Brewery Company.

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Splat the Rat

I’ll come clean, I’m breaking my Festival of Winter Ales cherry tonight, and I’m also fashionably late. Friday night was a sell-out, I’m informed, today is near equal in success, but I’d better hurry on in, the beers were running out. Another confession, I be a cider drinker, part of my five a day. Our man Andy cannot report, he’s here in a professional capacity, tending the bar, least lengthy set of tables. I would have kept him on his toes, but he’s attending to the ale end of things, I’m occupying the cider corner. A rhubarb laced cider is my first glassful, despite the event’s name, there’s ciders aplenty, but the choice of ale was extensive and over the whole weekend you could possibly, but unlikely to, pursue them all.

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Vince Bell

With a customary token system functioning, and barrels aligning the length of the grand hall, there’s part of this event which reflects the standard beer festival format, in a grand fashion. Yet it has a civilised angle, prementioned flowers on tables, etc and surrounding the magnificent stage as if it was an awards evening rather than a beer festival. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a complaint but a compliment, twas a splendid arrangement for a splendid evening; no one need a muddy field in a rain drenched February, save perhaps the odd duck.

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Matt Barnard

If I’m honest, which you know I blatantly am, I’m not surprised by the impressive event, Stealth knows good beer, and DOCA know what they’re doing and could arrange a party on a glacier off Antarctica and it’d still be awesome. Winter beanies off to them both, for this inviting and warming occasion which is, essentially, an important fundraising event which will help fund the carnival and massive summer events such as the beloved annual street festival.

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It’s Complicated

Through the three sessions over two days, our best local bands and musicians played, the wonderful It’s Complicated, Splat the Rat and Vince Bell. I was there in time to catch the finale of Matt Barnard, who has amused as compere, and all-round entertainer through the festival. He’s a confident, comical and cheery chap with that unique Saturday Night at the Palladium ability to cover all aspects of showbiz proficiently. Kris Dollimore followed, with an extensive résumé, this member of Del Amitri drove from Cornwall to pick a guitar akin to an illusionist vanishing the Eifel Tower. I pay particular astonishment to his beautiful rendition of Marvin Gaye’s Inner-City Blues.

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Kris Dollimore

What a most splendid event, one worthy of your attention for next year, and priced at a tenner with first pint free in your keepsake glass, you cannot go wrong.

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