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Brewood Music Festival in venue U-turn

By Kirsten Rawlins | Music | Published:

Brewood Music Festival has been forced into a U-turn on venue after an inspection left organisers needing to implement a last-minute change of plans.

Brewood Music Festival

The village event, which has top acts The Osmonds and Big Country headlining, was set to move its Saturday afternoon and evening entertainment to Brewood Middle School sports field after it had taken place at the same location of St Dominic's School For Girls for 14 years.

But a health and safety inspection at the new site will now see the festival once more return to the Bargate Street girls' school, after South Staffordshire District Council officials raised concerns regarding access, say organisers.

Bosses had previously hoped the new site would allow them to triple their normal capacity, but organiser Jason Bate says they are now looking to move things around, which would allow them to accommodate up to 2,000 guests, rather than the 1,200 the St Dominic's site had previously been able to host.

"We had a consultation with South Staffs Council, who made us aware of issues which we would not have been able to overcome in time for the festival," said Jason.

"We found out we may have a problem around the middle of last week, at which point we scheduled an emergency meeting for the organisers to look at any possible solutions.

"We are very grateful to St Dominic's for offering us the opportunity to return there. We are confident that with better use of the facility we can meet our previous aspirations of increasing the capacity. There are hopes we will now be able facilitate between 1,700 and 2,000 people.

"The issues surrounded general access, including how emergency vehicles would get to the site should they have to, as well as the number of access points.

"We had made allowances for disabled access and thought we had met the other access requirements, but due to regulations it just wasn't enough.

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"We're very grateful to the council for their help. In fact, they're also going to assist us in making sure we're ready for the event at St Dom's.

"There will be some additional cost due to the last-minute change in plans, but there will also be some savings after what we had planned at the middle school, simply because we know the St Dom's site better.

"We have so far sold around 800 tickets - and have sold more this year than we usually have by this point in previous years.

"We are expecting to sell more than normal.

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"People always wait to see what the weather will be like before booking the tickets, so we're expecting a big rush on tickets coming up."

Sunday entertainment, which in years gone by has taken place in the village square, will also take place at the girls' school - as well as the newly-announced free-to-enter event on the Sunday, with live bands, a craft fair, music workshops and entertainment for children.

Birmingham-based street food attraction Digbeth Dining Club will also be at St Dominic's on both Saturday and Sunday, with Hobgoblin and Morton Brewery selling drinks on each day.

Brewood Music Festival runs from Thursday, July 12, to Sunday, July 15.

On Saturday night, Jay and Merrill Osmond will headline the main show, joined by acts Big Country, Rainbreakers and Sugarthief.

This afternoon and evening live music event, for which tickets are priced at £25 each, will run from 4.30pm till late.

Tickets for the main Saturday show are available from The Mess and Village Flowers in Brewood.

Groups playing on the Sunday will include Fat Man Alley from Bishops Wood, The Icon from Penkridge, The Heavy Beat Brass Band from Birmingham, The Darker My Horizon from Hampshire, and The Lagan from London.

The four days of entertainment kick off on Thursday with Birmingham Community Gospel Choir performing at St. Mary and St Chad's Church.

On the Friday night, meanwhile, live music will be at Brewood Cricket Club, The Three Stirrups pub, The British Legion, The Lion Hotel, The Mess, The Swan Hotel, Brewood Jubilee Hall, The Bridge Inn, and The Oakley Arms. Acts will include a Gary Barlow tribute; blues, gospel and R 'n' B singer Judy Blu; ska band Ricky Cool and The In Crowd; and more.

For more information, click here

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins
@kirsten_native

Online Entertainment Editor for the Express & Star, Shropshire Star and Native Monster. E-mail me kirsten.rawlins@nativemonster.co.uk, or phone 01902 319368

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