Shutford Music Festival will happen as a drive-in event


Tickets on sale this weekend for village event that has found a way of keeping the music alive

Music fans have been deprived of live performances for much of 2020 but now, thanks to an ingenious plan, villagers in Shutford are offering a lifeline.

The Shutford Festival will this year become a drive-in music festival.   The festival usually takes place in June, but as coronavirus restrictions started to bite during March, rather than cancel, the team decided to postpone to October 3rd.   It was hoped some kind of normality may have returned by then.

Under lockdown the realisation dawned the event would not be able continue as normal, even in October.   One of the organisers, Rita Livesey, told us her partner Simon came up with the idea.   Rita said, “There were drive in events where social distancing was possible.

“I’ve had many nights during lockdown when we’ve been sitting outside in the garden and we’ve gone through it quite a lot”.

On the night the field will be marked out into bays which effectively become social bubbles.   Cars upon arrival will be guided to a bay where they will park up.   Festival goers can either sit in their car or sit or stand anywhere around it within their marked bay.   Social distancing will be achieved by creating 2 metre gaps between the bays.

Confirmed to appear on the night are Jenna H who hails from Brackley, Stuart Layzell and friends, folk band Man The Lifeboats, and headliners The 7 O’clock Junkies.

Rita said, “You can bring your own food and drink but there will also be food and drink there if anyone wants to purchase. Again there will be social distancing put in place”.

“You don’t have to stay in your car, but if it gets chilly you’ve got your car so you can sneak into it!”

There has been a fete in Shutford for many years but around six years ago it changed to a festival. The location moved to Manor Park where activities included archery, shooting, games for the children and a dog show amongst others.   The day concluded with the live music event.

Whilst the revised plans only include the music element from previous years, organisers are pleased that they have received the go-ahead officially.   Rita said, “We’ve been working with Cherwell to get our permit.   I was nervous about whether we would get that, but we did because we’ve been adhering to everything we have been asked to do by the guidelines”.

It is also hoped another postponed Shutford event can be held earlier in the day before the main Music Festival starts.   Organisers had been planning the village’s first trail race for June.   Now it is now hoped allowance will be made soon for events like this one to be held.   Once that happens the Shutford team plan to organise a 5k and 10k race on the day of the Music Festival in October. 

Of both events Rita said, “The profits go back into the village.   We’re all looking forward to having something that’s safe and enjoyable to go to.   The village is very excited”.

Tickets go on sale for the Shutford Music Festival on Eventbrite at 7am on Saturday morning.   They cost £12 per person, with a minimum of 2 people per booking.  Access will be by ticket only.

You can listen to our interview with Rita Livesey here:

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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