Coxhoe Festival 2017 (June 2017)

By: Thomas Anderson

The frontman of a North East punk-folk band will be launching a new music festival this month in Coxhoe, a small village east of Durham, to raise money for local animal charities.

Rob Jones, of Driven Serious, came up with the idea last year when he proclaimed he was to organise Coxhoe's first ever festival at Active Life, the village's leisure centre. A year later, and his vision has became a reality with Coxhoe Festival taking place on Saturday 17th June.

The festival, which Rob hopes will become a yearly event, boasts seven live acts over eight hours, with bars, craft stalls, a hog roast and vegetarian cuisine also in the vicinity of the event, along with various entertainment taking place until midnight. And all profits from the event will go to Stray Aid - a Coxhoe-based charity that support stray cats and dogs.

It will be the first time Active Life Leisure Centre, a registered charity, has been used as a festival venue. The live music will be hosted within the sports hall, with a 300-person capacity, and parts of the festival will also be located underneath a large marquee to keep the event waterproof.

Rob Jones said: “Active life in Coxhoe is actually an excellent venue for events in almost every aspect. The idea is to bring a festival atmosphere to a village that doesn't tend to experience it. I'm not taking the easy and obvious route of hiring all tribute or cover bands too as I have faith that people will come to enjoy original acts of the highest quality. Music lovers just need to research and see what is going on in the North East and it doesn't take long to find that many are just as exciting and impressive as those on the main stage at Glastonbury. There is only space for a few at the top, but you can find a huge amount of hard working talent that hasn't won the coin toss at the smaller festivals and Coxhoe is an incredible place to start.”

The event will kick off at 4:00pm with 3 acoustic acts, with the first being The Shaw:Clark project - a folk-rock duo from Northumberland. Described as an 'Acoustic Jefferson Airplane meets Fairport Convention', they will be playing a variety of eclectic covers and original songs.

Next up on the acoustic front will be another duo in Mulholland, hailing from York. The two-piece are more on the country side of the spectrum with a great repertoire of original alt-country tracks, packed with guitars, melodic harmonies and violins.

Broken Symmetry will be the final acoustic act. They’re a North East post-punk band, providing a well-needed build up the harder bands playing later in the night. The outfit will be performing a stripped-back acoustic set of their usual, energetic and bouncy punk tunes.

The madness that is The-Dirty-Stop-Outs will also be hitting the stage later on. The wacky punk outfit from Cambridgeshire aim to get the festival bouncing with a hard-hitting punk/ska set that is bound to get everyone moving.

The-Dirty-Stop-Outs will be followed by Ramble Gamble - an alternative gypsy-folk band from Scunthorpe. They’re a band that offers a refreshing, folk-filled wave of guitar, mandolin and double bass; with uplifting and melodically synchronised Mumford & Son-esque vocals.

Opening up for the headline act is Jake and the Jelly Fish, an in-your-face punk-ska group from Leeds armed with trumpets and an anti-establishment attitude.

Headlining will be Driven Serious. They’re a critically-acclaimed Durham folk-rock band whose authentic and gritty style has landed them main stage slots at a range of festivals such as Richmond Live and Consett festival.

Tickets, priced at £15.00 in advance (for over 16s), are available from Active Life in Coxhoe or The price for U16s, unemployed, OAPs and students is £5.00.

Remember, all the proceeds of the festival will go to Stray Aid - a Coxhoe-based charity that support stray cats and dogs.

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