The Event

For the past five years Barnard Castle has been host to the Annual Rhythm & Blues Festival attracting some great names such as…..

Dr Feelgood


The Marcus Malone Band

The event usually lasting over two days with the second day offering local bands and family entertainment has always been a great hit attended by up to 2000 people each day. Over the years we have built up great contacts and gained great experience in operating a festival.

So we thought ‘let’s make it better!’, ‘something for everyone’, ‘a weekend of fun’.
So what shall we have on Saturday? The North East has a great Ska following, so we began asking local Scooter Clubs and Ska fans who they would like to see at a festival and we were lucky enough to be able to book Neville Staple, the man who changed the face of pop, not once but twice, with the Specials and Fun Boy 3. So we had our headliner and within days the bands were contacting us! The day will commence around noon with non-stop music from top bands such as The Big and SkavilleUk as well as other great bands (to be announced).

So as we began planning the event the organizers of the Rhythm and Blues festival started their search for a headliner for Sunday. We were pretty confident that we could get Big Gilson to open. Big is Big, especially in Brazil his native county and in the states and is used to playing in front of crowds up to 100,000. We had in mind the Animals and knew that they were available with the original band members; John Steele and Micky Gallagher so we contacted our production team and they came back with some great news. Not only were they available but we could get Steve Cropper with the Animals who are touring this year. We were immediately excited. Most of you will know Steve as the founding member of Booker T & the MG’s, writer and co-writer of some of the greatest classics such as Green Onions, In The Midnight Hour, Knock On Wood and (‘Sittin On The) Dock Of The Bay. With more bands to announce this is going to be our greatest R&B festival to date.

We have been lucky enough to have worked with the production company Viking Sound in the past whose client list is incredible. We have a double stage set in order to provide constant entertainment throughout the weekend. Over a cup of tea with Steve (Director of Viking Sound) I was asking his advice over what we could offer on the Monday. We decided that since we have a great venue and have operated family events before, that we should provide something different and yet something for all…..

And so we signed T-Rextasy, the World’s only official Marc Bolan and T-Rex tribute band, then came Bootleg Blondie renowned as the official Debora Harry and Blondie tribute band. And so we had to have Roxyrama, we couldn’t leave Brian Ferry out after all! Also playing are: The New Age Jam – A Paul Weller Tribute, Atlantic Soule Messenger and Eclipse, a Pink Floyd tribute band, all this and bands are still being booked.

Around the arena there will also be lots going on, with craft and trade stalls. On Monday we have a great free area with lots of inflatable and games. Our aim is to provide for all your needs, we have TWO beer tents this year. A wide range of food will be on offer from BBQ, dogs and burgers to an extensive range of meals and vegetarian fare. Breakfast is available from 8.30 am until 11.30 am. And of course you have to have the ice cream and candy floss man!

Barnard Castle is a great place to stay, with lots of local attractions and so you will find on this site B&B and Hotels in the area. A caravan/campervan and campsite has been developed for the event within a few minutes walk from the main arena. There is secure parking available at the venue. A gated security controlled area for scooters, bikes and motorbikes.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact us.