Sunday, July 14

The Brit Fest – Ashley Hall Showground

One for all the family, The Brit Fest is jam packed with musical legends, fun activities, creative workshops, delicious food – and all with a wonderful summertime ambience!

It felt like only a short time ago that The Brit Fest, sponsored and powered by Myerson Solicitors was announced, a festival to celebrate world-class music and local communities coming together as an exciting summer festival to get in the calendar! Now those summer dates that many had been looking forward to had arrived! The 5th, 6th, 7th July 2024 would see the first The Brit Fest staged at Ashley Hall & Showground in Cheshire and only a mile away from the picturesque village of Hale. The family friendly event hosted by radio presenters Jenny Powell and Mike Toolan, had a top-class line up of acts that included Scouting For Girls, Toploader, The Feeling, Starsailor, Reef, Kim Wilde, Paul Young, Bonnie Tyler, Fleur East, Heather Small, Lottery Winners, Nik Kershaw, Hot Chocolate, and Sonia. The packed programme also featured sets from The Real Thing, Deniece Pearson, Cassidy Janson, Chris Helme from The Seahorses, The Bluetones, Matt Ford’s Big Band, Neeve Zahra, The Christians, The South, Owen Paul and T’Pau.

The weekend long festival saw friends and family travelling in from all corners of the country and I even spoke to a family who had travelled from Norway for the festival. The Brit Fest volunteers greeted everyone with a cheery smile and who themselves are giving back to the community, they were informative, and you could tell were passionate about the event themselves and happy to help like-minded festival goers with any questions during the event. That community spirit is something Olivier-nominated brothers Anthony and Edward Prophet are very vocal about and who came up with the idea of The Brit Fest. The charismatic and effervescent brothers have shared their passion unequivocally that the festival would be one of the best events of summer ’24! The brothers are the team behind The Bowdon Rooms, a Performance and Event venue, Altrincham and have spent two years on plans for The Brit Fest and are incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about bringing together people who also have a passion for live music, local businesses fresh air and community spirit.

There were special guests Timmy Mallet and Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards who the crowd loved and as well as the main music arena stage there was the ABC+ Warranty stage. This smaller and more intimate stage was a great platform to witness some of the best talent and up and coming artists. Up on the main music arena there were some incredible music acts performing over the weekend, and some of my personal highlights were Paul Young, who still rocks it up on that stage and hasn’t lost the art of swinging it around with a mic stand. “Every Time You Go Away” was heartily sang along by the enthusiastic crowd. Sonia singing “Hopelessly Devoted To You” from her time as Sandy in the musical Grease went down a storm and she really gave a magnificent set. The Real Thing really know how to warm a crowd up and get a party started, they had the audience in the palm of their hand and the singing was superb! Nik Kershaw was a hit with the crowd and took us all back to the nostalgia of the 80s and 90s. For me the real treat of the evening I attended was Kim Wilde with her “Kids In America”. This lady has rock goddess written all over her and the performance up there was amazing, she looked as good as she sounded!

The family-friendly event celebrated an entire weekend of British culture, fun activities, the arts, fashion, food and drink, and classic cars. I had a little taste of the ultimate VIP experience where VIP ticket holders could share a smaller private area close to the stage, enjoy wonderful hospitality from The Con Club Altrincham, and dine on various fine food outlets amongst sampling other VIP treats. I have to mention the glorious vegan pasty I tried from The Cornish Pasty Bus out in the main field, it was delicious! Families were definitely kept entertained spanning the 100-acre site. It was a lovely surprise to see The Figaro Owners Club there along with an impressive lineup of Nissan Figaro cars, especially as I in-fact have one! Unfortunately, as a 1991 neo-classic mine needs a little more tlc than the ones on display, and I had some great advice chatting to a member of the club. Other attractions included a vintage fairground, with white knuckle rides, a family cinema, artisan market, garden party, festival village green, and wellness in the wild with yoga and self love workshops. The Brit Fest truly offers something for everyone, and for a reasonably priced extra cost you can glamp or camp it in the adjoining field over the weekend. You can even bring and use your own live in vehicle, which makes for a great mini break. More exciting news has been announced as The Brit Fest 2 dates have already been announced. Yes, The Brit Fest is coming back for another summer festival on the 4th, 5th and 6th July 2025. You can sign up now to be the first to know the line-up and be in for a chance to win VIP tickets. I thoroughly recommend The Brit Fest as a great day out or even weekend away, there is something for everyone and more than anything it is the wonderful community spirit and energy of the organisers that have brought everyone together to celebrate great music, friendships, family, and all in a pretty countryside setting. Well worth marking in your 2025 diary.

For information and to sign up for The Brit Fest Event 2025: www.thebritfest.co.uk   

Reviewer: Mary Fogg

Reviewed: 6th July 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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