ley hill festival
FESTIVAL season is upon us and us lucky people in Bucks have been spoiled already after recently hosting the Penn Festival. Another festival not to be missed is the Ley Hill Beer and Music Festival taking place this August bank holiday weekend.
The event is put on free of charge by the landlords of two of the village’s pubs, The Swan and The Crown, who every year join forces to put on this great community event.
The festival attracts thousands of people every year, and after attending a few now it is not hard to see why.
The event, which has once again been recognised as one of the Top 100 Festivals in the UK by the Daily Telegraph, has something for everyone with music from 11 bands, which offer a variety of genres from R&B, to Rock and Roll, to blues, more than 60 real ales and ciders to sample and things to keep the kids (and big kids) entertained such as face painting and a tug of war competition.
Landlord of The Swan Nigel Byatt said: “This is a great example of two pubs working together to put on a great bank holiday weekend of free entertainment for the benefit of the local community and visitors to the area. Last year was a real success and this year should prove to be even bigger and better!”
The organisers are planning on making this year’s festival bigger than better by having some bands play inside both pubs on the Sunday night, as opposed to just The Crown, and this year in addition to the two pubs’ bars there will be two beer tents, one from Tring Brewery and the other from The Red Squirrel Brewery, based near Hemel Hempstead.
One of the bands playing at the event is Ley Hill Festival regulars Burn, who will take to the stage at 4pm on the Sunday.
Lead guitarist in Burn Rob Sas, who has helped organise the bands, is flying over from his new home in Spain to play at the festival.
He said: “I’m very much looking forward to it. Up until February when I moved to Spain these were my local pubs and I’ve played at them every year. Despite moving to Spain I didn’t want to miss it. It’s a fantastic festival and it’s grown from its beginnings into something quite important in the calendar.
“Playing the festival is absolutely the highlight of the band’s year. You have to enjoy playing an open air festival, especially on home territory.
“It’s the band’s 20th anniversary next year so we’re hoping they will want to have us back again then too.”
Those who remember Burn from previous years will notice this year that they are one band member up, after it lost its bass player/singer Johnny Heywood. It returns this year as a four-piece band after recruiting a two new members. The band is now made up of Rob Sas on lead guitar, Garry Randall on the drums, Phil Crombie on the bass and Luca Ravase on vocals.
Mr Sas added: “He is the most charismatic vocalist I’ve ever known in my life. He will have Ley Hill Festival eating out of the palm of his hand. He’s awesome.”
As well as Mr Sas having to worry about getting his own band ready for the festival, he has also been responsible for organising the rest of the weekend.
So are the other bands as excited as he is about the event?
“Everyone is looking forward to it,” he said. “We have lots of fantastic local bands playing. This year we have The Measures, who are very good. Another local band playing is Grand Central, who was very popular last year.
“Soloist Robin Bibi is also returning, people loved him last year. A new band playing this year is Huggy Flares, who are a 70s band. They look quite interesting.”
As well as having plenty for your ears the festival will also have plenty for your stomachs with a barbecue and hog roast available on the Sunday as well as the usual menus at both pubs available over the whole weekend.
Mr Sas is hoping that the festival draws its usual amount of visitors, if not more.
He said: “It’s a very well attended event and if we get an attendance like the recent jubilee event in Ley Hill that would be amazing.”
Ley Hill Festival will take place on Saturday, August 25, Sunday, August 26 and Monday, August 27. There will be music outside every day, from 2pm till 7.30pm, and there will be music inside both pubs from 8pm on the Sunday.
For more information, call The Swan on 01494 783 075 or The Crown on 01494 783 910.
Saturday, August 25
2pm: The Measures
4pm: Tim Hain Band
6pm: Funky Monkey
Sunday, August 26
2pm: James Lloyd
6pm: Grand Central
8pm: Dr. Giutarz and Diego Roque inside The Swan
8.30pm: Music inside The Crown
Monday, August 27
2pm: Robin Bibi – solo
6pm: Huggy Flares