Forest ready as Cannock Chase Forest music festival returns

The stage is set up and the natural arena ready to welcome thousands of gig-goers to four nights of entertainment.

Rob Lamb said he was excited about seeing people enjoying the shows inside a beautiful natural setting
Rob Lamb said he was excited about seeing people enjoying the shows inside a beautiful natural setting

Birches Valley at Cannock Chase Forest will be the setting for the latest instalment of Forest Live, the popular music series which sees top acts performing in forests and wooded areas across the country.

The 2023 Forest Live at Cannock Chase will see shows by Ska legends Madness, the Modfather Paul Weller, Irish singer and songwriter Tom Grennan and acoustic virtuoso Jack Savoretti played out on the stage at the bottom of the natural amphitheatre.

It follows the successful return following the Covid-19 pandemic of the show last year, which saw Texas, Sam Ryder, Keane, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Rag 'n' Bone Man perform to large crowds in warm weather.

Tickets for Madness on Thursday and Paul Weller on Friday have already sold out, while tickets are going fast for Saturday's Tom Grennan show and Jack Savoretti's set on Sunday.

Ahead of the opening night, members of Forestry England have been busy setting up the staging area, getting the lighting and audio set up and putting in place the fencing around the arena, while food and drink providers were setting up their pitches for the four days.

Forestry England national events manager Rob Lamb was helping out on site and said he was excited about the four days of the event and loved the setting.

He said: "It's great to back here after a year to do Forest Live and I'm really excited that we're going to have more than 25,000 people back again to enjoy live music in such a beautiful outdoor setting.

"I think this is one of the most perfect outdoor music settings in the country as it's an absolutely perfect natural bowl with a great viewing from wherever you are and a beautiful tree backdrop."

Rob Lamb is pictured on the big stage, which will be graced by the likes of Madness and Jack Savoretti

Mr Lamb also said that the line up was a good one, mixing older acts with newer performers and said he hoped the event would also teach people about the nature of the area they were in.

He said: "We try and get the mix right with artists to suit all tastes, catering for the older crowd and younger fans, all in, hopefully, really nice and sunny weather.

"We just want people to come and enjoy themselves in this natural setting and learn a bit more about climate change as there might be people coming here for the first time and we want them to really enjoy their time here.

"I'm looking forward to seeing all the acts as they are all diverse and everyone can enjoy them."

Madness will be the headliners on Thursday night, with Paul Weller on Friday night, Tom Grennan on Saturday and Jack Savoretti on Sunday at Birches Valley at Cannock Chase Forest.

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