An award-winning county music festival taking place virtually this summer, because of social distancing measures, has secured new big-name acts including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Grant Nicholas, from Feeder, and Toyah Willcox.
Woo Fest, which will be streamed live to homes and gardens around Worcestershire and beyond on Saturday 4th July, will feature a mix of live and pre-recorded sets and will be hosted by Richard ‘Hursty’ Hurst. Previously confirmed performers include Nigel Clark from Dodgy, Andy Bennett, formerly of Ocean Colour Scene, Nick Parker and a host of Woo Fest regulars.
The family-friendly festival, which donates every penny to St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester, was set up in 2015 by Luke Simons and his sister, Ria, in memory of their Dad, John. Last year Woo Fest was named Best Small Festival at the UK Festival Awards in London.
Luke Simons, festival organiser, said: “We’ve been blown away by the response from artists keen to take part in a virtual festival this year and support the care that St Richard’s provides locally at the same time.
“With the help of our friends at creative communication agency DRPG, who are streaming the event live on their website, we’re hoping to bring some festival fun to those missing live music events and so much more this summer.”
Since its inception, Woo Fest has raised more than £57,000 for St Richard’s Hospice, which cares for patients and their loved ones facing serious progressive illnesses.
“A Virtual Woo Fest is the perfect opportunity to set up your own festival at home by digging out those tents, barbeques and ice buckets. We’ll bring the music! There will also be a prize for the best home festival set-up on the day,” Mr Simons added.
“It won’t be a ticketed event this year – anyone can watch online for free – but what we do ask is that people dig deep and make a donation to St Richard’s while they watch. Donations can be made quickly and easily online, by text and by phone. Let’s come together to celebrate some great music and make a difference for local people at the same time.”
Tricia Cavell, Fundraising Director for St Richard’s Hospice, said: “It’s a worrying time for charities like us with fundraising events cancelled and charity shops only now beginning to reopen. With three quarters of our funding coming from generous fundraisers and supporters, we’re having to think of new and innovative ways to fund our care.
“When the Woo Fest team said the show would go on in a new virtual format, with help from the wonderful DRPG, we were overwhelmed. Without amazing community support like this, we simply couldn’t continue our care for patients and loved ones when they need us most.”
Woo Fest will take place on Saturday 4th July and will be live streamed on the DRPG Communications website at: https://virtualwoofest.drpg.events
Woo Fest will get underway at 3pm and run until 10.30pm and is being kindly sponsored by Blackpole Recycling, Diamond Windows, Smith’s News, Lowes Garage and The Butcheress.
To find out more, visit www.strichards.org.uk/event/woofest