Northants airfield to host retro weekend
AIRFIELD FEST SET
FOR 2014 TAKE-OFF
The team behind the ATOMIC Festival are Rockabilly Rave supremo Jerry Chatabox, Miss Mary Ann and Rhythm Riot duo Robin and Colette Weathersbee.
They're promising "exciting features not seen at other vintage events", including an open-air drive-in movie screen, a rock’n’roller rink with central DJ booth, a ‘poodle parade’, hot rod races on the runway and a breathtaking air display by a genuine Sabre jet.
That's on top of an international line-up of bands and DJs, covered dance floors, a vintage clothing market, classic and custom car show and dance classes.
Classic American magazine will be holding one of only seven heats of their prestigious 'Car of the Year' competition at ATOMIC. And radio DJ and TV personality Mark Lamarr will be hosting one of the venues, introducing his favourite bands and playing some of his collection of records.
The festival will run for two days - the Saturday and Sunday of the 2014 May Day Bank Holiday weekend - at Sywell Aerodrome. On-site camping will be available.
“We are really excited about ATOMIC,” said Robin. “We started working on this idea two years ago and can’t wait to see it come to life. We’ve secured the ideal venue, and are working closely with an enthusiastic team of experts. Drawing on our own, and other people’s passion, we can already feel how ATOMIC will be a unique and very special event.
"With datelines of 1946-1962, ATOMIC will embrace the glamour and excitement of this golden era and is set to be a thrilling, all-action celebration of mid-century style."
Between them, Jerry Chatabox and Robin & Colette have run many of the UK's biggest 1950s events during the last 25 years, including the Rhythm Riot, Rockabilly Rave, Hot Rod Hayride, Rockin’ Ranch Parties and Jiving Jamboree, plus Maddy’s Jiving School.
BombersSywell Aerodrome near Northampton already hosts its own bi-annual charity airshow and has been used as the venue for Music In Flight, which combines flypasts with a classical concert. The site also has an art deco hotel and an aviation museum, which opened in March this year, telling the wartime history of the site and the airmen that used it.
The airfield opened in 1928. During the Second World War, as RAF Sywell, it was used as a training facility for pilots of the Tiger Moth, and later as a centre for the repair of Wellington bombers. Extensive sheds from the time still remain on the site.
Many aerial shots for the film Battle of Britain were taken over the airport and nearby area.
1000 discounted 'earlybird' tickets for the ATOMIC Festival will be released soon to those who register at www.atomicfestival.co.uk.
Huge festival moves venue... and brings in Chas & Dave
AMERICANA GOES MAINSTREAM
Americana International is set for major changes as the festival moves to a new venue with a racetrack, and brings in mainstream acts including a T-Rex tribute band and Chas & Dave.
After 33 years spent mainly at the County Showground in Newark, the huge weekender will move to Prestwold Hall near Loughborough next July. The site is seven miles from the M1.
Organisers say security is a prime concern, following complaints about crime at the 2011 and 2012 events. "The venue is easy to get to and to keep secure including the campsites," said festival boss Chris Jackson. "Security presence will remain key for the future of the Americana." Camping zones will be designated as standard, family, quiet and disabled.
Jackson is exploring ways of using Prestwold's 1.8-mile purpose built racetrack, which is on the site of a forner airfield. "There is a huge race track on-site, which we hope to utilise in the future to please all our petrolheads. We are currently in talks on how we can work together on this area," he said. The track already hosts a range of driving experience days and courses.
Tribute actsIn another shift, the music policy is being broadened from country and rock'n'roll to include mainstream pop, with Chas & Dave and tribute band T-Rexstasy booked for next year. Chris (pictured) explained: "The Americana umbrella encompasses so much. 2014 will include all the usual genres of cool Anglo-American music and stars from across the globe. From the 1940s to modern day, country, r'n'r, rockabilly, hillbilly, r'n'b, 60s and 70s, and now we will be introducing some Motown and stars from the mod era to the mix. The line-up will be dependent on our early bookings and support."
Other bands in the line-up are Carmen Ghia & The Hot Rods, Si Cranstoun, the Alley Cats, Al Kilvo and Johnny Pat, Almaboobies, the Black Cat Trio, Kelly & The Railroaders, Cool Cat Cry, Country Cattin', the Drugstore Cowboys, Greggi G & His Crazy Gang, the Doggone Honkabillies, The Hayriders and The Wanderers.
Other attractions include a 'kidzone', a dedicated area for fashion stalls, annual fashion show, beauty parlour, a larger craft fair area and other related trade stands and food vendors, custom bike shows, displays of American and pre-1975 European and British classic vehicles, 50s style fairground, face painting, street entertainers, native American Indians, tattooists, evening burlesque shows, free line dance and jive lessons, the return of the settlers encampment and a Wyatt Earp Western-style shootout. Early bird booking fees will apply until the end of September. The show will take place from July 10th-13th.
American dreamDescribed as the "largest must see festival for fans of the American dream", Americana International grew from humble origins in a pub car park in Bramcote, Nottingham in 1980. It was founded by classic car and bike fans Chris and Bev Jackson and is still a family affair, with daughter Letitia taking on much of the behind-the-scenes work.
Despite occasional excursions to Donington Park and Wollaton Park in the 1980 and 90s, the Newark County Showground has been the festival's main home for most of its history.
Things turned sour in 2011 when the festival was hit by a spate of thefts and outbreaks of disorder. Regulars bombarded Americana's online guest book with complaints about tents being slashed open, thefts from stalls, damage to show vehicles and thefts of generators and bands' equipment.
"I too am disgusted with what was allowed to happen and a serious re-think on our long serving security group is now on the cards," said Chris Jackson at the time. "We pay out a hell of a lot of money to the security group and I and my daughter feel very let down by them."
A new contractor, Definitive Security Services, was brought in for 2013, promising a "zero tolerance policy", with the removal of "any persons who commit or attempt to commit a crime, are abusive towards staff or others, display any sign of intimidation or anti-social behaviour".
The tougher approach won general praise from those posting messages on the event's Facebook page following the 2013 festival... apart from one visitor who complained he had been ticked off for spending too long in the toilet.
Strollin' Steve's Bournemouth Rock'n'Roll Party no.13 takes place at Heathlands Hotel, Grove Road, East Cliff, Bournemouth BH1 3AY from November 22nd-25th with The Kingcats, The Inteli-Gents and The Downtown Daddyos.
From February 7th-10th 2014 it's the
1950s/60s Tributes Weekend at the Sefton Hotel,
Babbacombe Downs Road, Torquay TQ1 3LH with music from Rockin' The Joint, The Heartbeats, the Temple Brothers and Billy Curtis.
From April 25th-28th it's the
Allways Music 10th Anniversary Party at the Royal Hotel, Beach Road, Woolacombe, Devon EX34 7AB with the Downtown Daddyos, The Heartbeats and the Henry Smith Band.
• From March 14th-16th there's an 'It's All Rock'n'Roll To Me' weekender at the Holiday Resort Unity, Brean Sands, Somerset TA8 2RB with Rocky Burnette, son of Johnny Burnette, Ray Campi, Shane Fenton, Alvin Stardust, Linda Gail Lewis, Matchbox, Jets, Firebirds, Paul Ansell's Number 9, Dominic Halpin & The Honey Bees, The Bobcats, The Kingcats, Lights Out, Play it Cool and Class of 58.
• From April 25th-27th the Amazing Jive Weekend hits Beverley Park Holiday Centre, Goodrington Road, Paignton. There's music from The Firebirds, Kingcats, Blast Off, Bernie Woods & Forest Fires, The Unconditionals, Colin Paul & The Persuaders, Jive Street, Joey & The Jivers, Jets, Class of 58, the Dough Boys, JJ King & The Coolers and Livestock Davies & Low Down Snakes.
• From May 16th-18th it's Summertime Blackpool Rock at The Imperial Hotel, North Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire FY1 2HB. Bands are The Firebirds, Jive Street, Colin Paul & The Persuaders, Joey & The Jivers, The Heartbeats and the Dough Boys.
• From July 4th-6th at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool it's the Billy Fury Weekend with Colin Paul & The Persuaders plus Colins solo show, Joey & The Jivers, The Graduates and Paul Da Vinci.
From August 29th-31st at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool it's Jive Weekend 4 with Colin Paul & The Persuaders, The Unconditionals, The Kingcats, The Firebirds, The Bobcats and Jive Street.
Folkestone Jive Weekend 5 takes place at the Grand Burstin Hotel from September 5th-8th with
Si Cranston, Earl Jackson, The Bobcats, Kingcats, Good Rockin' Tonight, Bernie Woods, Johnnie Fox and The Heartbeats. More info on 01733 324283.
it jumps, jives, bops or strolls we want to know about it.
or call 07833 703189.