25th May 2017

Woo Fest returns to wow the crowds

One of Worcestershire’s most popular music festivals is returning to the county this summer.

Woo Fest – which raises money for St Richard’s Hospice – will be held on Saturday 8 July at The Drum and Monkey near Upton-upon-Severn and is suitable for all ages.

Now in its third year, the festival aims to be bigger and better than ever before; the event will have two separate stages with a continuous flow of live music throughout the day, beginning at 12midday.  There will be activities and events for both adults and children, including a music session run by The Worcester School of Rock and a flypast by a World War II Lancaster Bomber.  Games, arts and craft events will also be running.

The event – which is organised by Luke Simons, his sister Ria Simons, both from Northwick and a committee of family and friends – was set up in memory of Luke and Ria’s father John Simons, a local engineer, who was cared for by the hospice before he died in 2013, aged just 66 years.

The Drum and Monkey, a picturesque pub, is set in a beautiful field with spectacular views of the Malvern Hills.  The festival itself offers great facilities including on site camping.

The deadline for advanced tickets at just £15 is Thursday 8 June; alternatively tickets can be bought for £20 after 8 June or £25 on the door; children under 14 years of age are free of charge with an accompanying adult.  Optional pre-booked overnight camping is available at £7.50 per person.

Luke Simons said : “I have first-hand experience of St Richard’s after my Dad spent the last few days of his life there in 2013.  No words can describe how the hospice helped my Dad and my family.  He had his own room, we could stay as long as we liked – and even overnight; we played all his favourite music, watched cricket, spent time with him on his own private patio next to the pond and celebrated his granddaughter’s, my daughter’s’ third birthday.  During all of this, he also had amazing nursing care, as well as a hair cut and even a curry delivery!

“Once Dad had passed away, the care continued with the offer of counselling for as long as we wanted it.  It is difficult to explain how much this all meant to us; through the darkest of times, we all had dignity, comfort, fun and laughter.  In essence, hospices are so important and they deserve our support.”

This year, the festival is hoping to attract up to 500 people and beat its fundraising total from last year of more than £8000.  100 per cent of the proceeds go directly to the hospice, thanks to the sponsors, volunteers, bands and technicians providing their time and equipment for free.

Luke concluded : “When I was walking from the car park to the hospice’s reception for the first time, I remember thinking, this is it, this is where people come to die.  I know now that it’s not; people go there to live, to spend quality time with their families and to get the palliative care they deserve during those precious times.”

Rachel Jones, Fundraising Manager at St Richard’s Hospice said : “We would like to thank the organisers of Woo Fest for their dedicated support and continued generosity.  The funds raised are absolutely vital in ensuring that we can continue to provide care for local families.  This year’s festival looks set to be its best yet and we wish them all the best for a fun and successful day!”

Hayley Wharton, aged 38, from Kempsey and a regular attendee at Woo Fest said : “I’m really looking forward to the third Woo Fest.  It’s getting bigger and better every year and really is a great family friendly event with fabulous music.  We come along with lots of friends, set up for the day and have great fun.  It’s also fantastic value raising money for such a worthy cause!”

To find out more about the event follow Woo Fest on Facebook or call 07740 061453.