Feast of tributes at a festival fit for heroes

From left, Ox-Fest director Hadyn Wood, Dave Lewis of Help for Heroes, singer Carly Maria Adams and Steve Head, who owns Shush nightclub

From left, Ox-Fest director Hadyn Wood, Dave Lewis of Help for Heroes, singer Carly Maria Adams and Steve Head, who owns Shush nightclub Buy this photo

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by

A NEW three-day festival of cover acts aims to attracts thousands of people and raise money for Help for Heroes.

Ox-Fest will take place at Carswell Golf and Country Club, off the A420 near Faringdon , from July 12-14 and aims to attract 2,000 people a day.

Impersonators ranging from Elvis, The Beatles and Blues Brothers to Girls Aloud, Take That and The Black Eyed Peas will be performing. Festival director Hadyn Wood said: “There are examples of tribute festivals in other parts of the country but when I moved to Oxfordshire five years ago there did not appear to be any here, only small events.

“I hope it will be popular. Certainly the smaller scale events we put on in restaurants, pubs and clubs around the area appear to be popular.

“The idea behind the concept is to put on a festival that showcases some of the bigger tribute acts that you cannot fit into a smaller venue.”

The Friday night will involve local acts, including from Faringdon Community College, West Oxfordshire Academy Of Performing Arts and The Ox Factor.

Bob Marley tribute act Legend will headline the Saturday night and a Bon Giovi tribute band will headline the Sunday night.

There will also be inflatable rides, market stalls and music, dance and singing workshops.

Mr Wood, from Stanford in the Vale, said: “It’s a family festival and we hope that we will have catered for all ages.”

Organisers, including director Hadyn Wood, auditioned Carterton singer Carly Maria Adams, 23, at Shush nightclub in Wantage for a spot on the line-up.

She has recorded a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird in tribute to Drummer Lee Rigby, who was killed in Woolwich, London, to raise cash for Help for Heroes.

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She said: “Hadyn got hold of the song and ask me to come down for an audition. From there he asked me to perform.

“I am really looking forward to it. It is always nice to have something that brings the community together and that is in support of Help for Heroes. It is a really good thing to have.”

Volunteers from the forces charity will also be collecting donations, selling merchandise and recruiting new volunteers at the festival.

Mr Wood said: “It makes sense because we have a lot of military bases, including RAF Brize Norton and Dalton Barracks, right on our doorstep.

“We wanted to support local groups and businesses but also felt we wanted to support our forces personnel.”

The festival will also offer 10 per cent discount on the £25 adult tickets – £40 for the whole weekend – to service personnel, veterans and their families.

For more information, visit ox-fest.com

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