PREVIEW: Chase Park Festival in Whickham on 8th August 2015

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For over five years Chase Park Festival has been bringing great music to a not so central location. Whickham is a small-medium sized, semi-rural village, situated just South of the River Tyne – about 4 miles from neighbouring Gateshead. It also happens to have been my home for the last 10 years, so I may be a little biased. Whickham may be small but It has a Tesco AND a Co Op! a church, a secondary school and a decent amount of pubs (now including a huge Wetherspoons). It seems that festival organisers have found an ideal outsider candidate for a great local event.

Apart from its size, what separates Chase Park from other festivals is its proud history of catering for all types of gig-goers and musicians of all abilities. It has received a Gold standard for disabled access in the Attitude is Everything’s Charter for Best Practice (an accolade shared only by Glastonbury and Liberty Festival). This family-friendly, welcoming atmosphere has become the festival’s unique draw, encouraging diversity and acceptance amongst the community, whilst raising awareness for various causes.

After a brilliant performance from The Futureheads back in 2013 and last years’ cancellation due to lack of funding, the open-air mini-festival is back, with a not-so-mini lineup to boot.

                                                                         Cocoon by Ash

In a fantastic coup festival organisers have managed to book Ash. The Irish pop-rockers famous for hits such as ‘Girl From Mars’ and ‘Goldfinger’ will be headlining the one-day event on the 8th of August, alongside some other great local and national talent.

Another top attraction comes in the form of acoustic duo, Turin Brakes, who have been gigging, touring and releasing albums for almost 15 years now.

If that’s not your thing then Hot Sole’s ‘Sugar Beat’ sounds might be for you. The Sheffield based twosome play soul infused rock n’ roll akin to The Black Keys.

Sunderland’s Slug is definitely one to look out for, with Peter and David Brewis’ of Field Music on production duties, it’s bound to be an interesting performance. They head up a strong local contingent that also includes identical twin rockers Gallery Circus and soul singer Beth Macari.

                                                        Heartsrtings (Live) by Beth Macari

As well as a variety of music to get your ears round, there’ll be food and drink stalls to tuck into and children’s entertainment available throughout the day – so there’s no reason to not get involved.

Tickets are on sale now, priced at £10 for family tickets and £6 for general admission.

The event is free for people with disability and their carers and registration can be completed by visiting http://www.keirogroup.co.uk

Previewer: Nad Khan

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