Music lovers Antony Hansen and Charles Worthy have explained why they have launched a new summer festival.

As reported in Saturday’s Oxford Mail, their Shire Fest event at Grove Farms, Harwell, will compete with the Truck Festival just down the road at Hill Farm, Steventon, on the weekend of July 21-22.

The idea for the new festival came when Mr Hansen, 22, hosted a party for 300 people at his parents’ house in Steventon last summer.

Mr Hansen is a former pupil of St Birinus School in Didcot, who works in musical theatre after appearing in the BBC TV talent show Any Dream Will Do in 2007.

He said: “Charles and I threw a couple of parties on a shoestring budget and they went down a storm.

“We wanted to put on a festival which plays the kind of music we like. There’s a limit of 5,000 tickets, so I suppose you could say it’s a boutique festival.

“Even though it’s the same weekend as Truck I think we will do okay – we have already sold about 1,000 early-bird tickets.”

There will be a main stage, a dance tent and an acoustic tent with 60 acts playing R ’n’ B, metal and bluegrass over two days.

An anonymous backer is providing the bulk of the funding.

Acts confirmed so far include The Jukes, AsGods and Unborn Twin and The Indigo Children.

Truck Festival founder Robin Bennett, who is no longer running the Truck Festival, said: “I think it could be tricky for the Shire Festival organisers to attract 5,000 people on the same weekend as Truck, but I admire the enthusiasm.”