This year we celebrate the 5th anniversary of Uckfield Blues & Roots and from humble beginnings when Graham Pope ( Big G! ) whispered to his blues musician friend Stuart Bligh ‘ I feel a Blues Festival coming on ‘ we are now well and truly on the UK Festival map and whilst talking of humble beginnings we are delighted that Rory Graham aka Rag’n’Bone Man who played at our first festival has now obtained the recognition he deserves for his truly amazing talent and he has an open invitation to our festival whenever and if ever his schedule, his agent, his management , his label etc. permit !
Over the last 4 years our festival has become very popular and well received by the audiences and the performing musicians for it’s warm and friendly atmosphere and not least the quality of the music. We have seen a great variety of musicians ranging from young and not so young local artists to award winning and internationally acclaimed artists.
This year the festival will take place over three days from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 July and with the help of our generous sponsors brought together by Graham Smith (TOG!) we are delighted to announce that one of the UK’s most celebrated blues musicians, the incredible IAN SIEGAL will be headlining on the Saturday evening at Uckfield Civic Centre. Ian, the British Blues Acoustic Artist of the year for the last three years is somebody that we have been trying to get to the festival for some time but the pennies did not quite allow it. Joining Ian on the Saturday bill will be one of our headline acts from our first festival the amazing SPIKEDRIVERS who are celebrating their 25th anniversary, plus the immensely talented GREG COULSON.
The opening evening Friday 28 July also at Uckfield Civic Centre sees the return of one of the festival’s favourite acts the stunning JO HARMAN, together with her band, following on from the release of her long awaited album ‘ People We Become ‘ recorded in Nashville and currently occupying the playlists of the national radio stations both here in the UK and abroad. Joining Jo on the bill we have one of the success stories of the last 18 months in the shape of award winning band CATFISH and also two highly respected musicians JOEL WHITE from the UK and HEIDI BURSON from the USA teaming up with their own special line up.
On the Sunday the festival moves to the wonderful setting of The Highlands Inn where there is a free afternoon of live music outside in the gardens (weather permitting!) followed by a ticketed event in the evening when we take over the restaurant area. Confirmed acts for the Sunday evening include ZOE SCHWARZ and ROB KORAL performing a set of Billie Holliday classics and MILLER ANDERSON (he was at Woodstock with the Keef Hartley Band!) with BOB BROOKES DESPERATE DAN BAND.
If that’s not enough to whet your appetite on Sunday 9 July, in conjunction with the Uckfield Festival (yes we do have two festivals in Uckfield!) we have the amazing BILLY WALTON BAND from New Jersey (yes New Jersey does have two great bands!) with support from the brilliant local band RED BUTLER.
It looks like this is going to be the best one yet!
Tickets will go on sale from early March (precise date to be confirmed) with all details shortly to be posted on face book at https://www.facebook.com/uckfieldbluesnroots and on the festival website, currently undergoing a makeover http://uckfieldbluesandroots.co.uk/