Music reporter Vicki McCarthy previews this plus two upcoming local festivals…
As I write this edition’s column, I’m still basking in a fluffy, warm glow, having attended my first gig since before lockdown!
Yes, it was seated and socially distanced, but it felt so good to be back at one of our amazing local venues, which has managed to weather the storm over the last 16 months.
So, you’d hopefully forgive my excitement at the prospect of some larger, outdoor gigs and festivals on the near horizon.
With stellar line-ups, these local events are looking set to go ahead (provided the government’s rules don’t change) and they really need our support to make them a success.
Here’s my hand-picked list of upcoming outdoor music events that you’d be crazy to ignore.
Ibiza Orchestra Live – 28 August at Campbell Park, Milton Keynes
If dance music with a twist sounds exciting, then Ibiza Orchestra Live is going to be the event for you.
Expect to hear club classics from the White Isle performed by a talented Orchestra, along with Phats and Small who’ve recently been announced as special guests.
Originally set to take place earlier this year, organisers are hoping for some fabulous bank holiday weather, bringing a beautiful, balmy evening, which will guarantee punters will be feeling the hot Ibiza vibes.
Buy tickets – theparkstrust.com/events/ibiza-orchestra
Ampthill Festival – 3 and 4 September at Ampthill Great Park, Ampthill
Another event that has been rescheduled for 2021 is Ampthill Festival. Born out of small and humble beginnings, Ampthill Festival has grown into one of the annual highlights of the local music calendar.
Proceedings have been shaken up for 2021, with a new event taking place on the Friday called Amplify.
On the night, you can immerse yourself in seamless sets from Grammy Award-winning DJ Roger Sanchez, British club legend Judge Jules and Radio One’s Kissy Sell Out.
On the Saturday, the eagerly awaited AmpRocks returns to Ampthill’s Great Park, after its Covid-imposed 2020 hiatus.
Previous headliners have included Scouting for Girls, Razorlight, The Human League, Bananarama, Squeeze and The Happy Mondays.
And this year, the festival’s organisers and raft of fellow volunteers have pulled out all the stops again, with headliners announced as noughties’ four-piece McFly, Northern Ireland rockers Ash and Britpop darlings Sleeper.
Buy tickets – ampthillfestival.com
Milton Keynes Reggae Festival – 14 August at Campbell Park, Milton Keynes
The summery sounds of Reggae will resonate throughout Campbell Park from its amphitheatre on Saturday 14 August, as the Milton Keynes Reggae Festival takes place.
Described by its organisers as a family-friendly music event, the line-up includes Maxi Priest, Collie Buddz, The Maytals Band (Toots’ Memorial Show), Aswad, David Rodigan, General Levy and The Marley Experience to name but a few.
A celebration of Reggae, Dancehall, Dub and Jungle music, the festival is held across two stages, with a Caribbean food market to tempt your tastebuds and keep you fuelled for partying into the night.
Buy tickets – theparkstrust.com/events/milton-keynes-reggae-festival
So, with these great Reggae, Dance, Pop and Rock events on offer, it’s up to us to support them, enjoy them safely and of course, make the most of the end of summer, in what has been yetanother challenging year