"Rock in the Park" - 2023

      Another RITP! .....
King George V Playing Fields
Part of Stevenage Day

Between 1996 and 2007 'Rock in the Park' was a much loved Stevenage event. Taking place in Fairlands Valley Park, it grew from a small concert with about 200 attendees to a yearly fun day for thousands of people enjoying a free family day out. Many local bands performed on the bandstand stage and many local people worked hard as volunteers to make the event happen.

Sadly the day became a victim of its own success when it proved impossible for volunteers to continue to deliver such a popular event, within the physical constraints of the Fairlands location, to the public safety standards demanded today - and to keep it free too. But many people, including the Festival, have never given up on being able to bring back something like Rock in the Park to Stevenage. For the past three years Stevenage Borough Council has worked with local recording studio The Practice Roomz to introduce a music stage to another well-loved local event - Stevenage Day. And last year Stevenage Festival has joined with them to inject a bit more of the old Rock in the Park magic. Although the Festival only runs every two years we have supported Rock in the Park each year it has run as part of Stevenage Day.

So, as ever, this year it was in a park (albeit a different one than the original park), it was still free and it did have a great rock line-up. We bring together the best of our local music talent on two great sound stages, finishing with a great headliner to close the event. This year it was be Hot Mess.

The hope for the day is always -
"So come along and spend a lazy June Sunday afternoon sitting on the grass with your friends and family with a cold drink in your hand, listening to Stevenage bands old and new. Bring a picnic, enjoy the stalls, kids rides and entertainment that Stevenage Day has to offer and have a great day out."

This year too we had Great weather (DRY!) and great music on two stages.

We'd like to get bigger and better in future years - more bands, more facilities, but we can only do this and keep it free if we all work together. If you loved Rock in the Park this year then please support us with this step towards building it back to its past glory. If you think Stevenage needs events like this then tell your friends, tell your local Councillors, tell everyone! And, of course, come to as many Festival events in the Gordon Craig Theatre as you can - any money we make gets ploughed back into things like RITP and better events.

Bands and artists on the stages

Main Stage (aqua) - Acoustic Stage (yellow)

  12:00       The Oscar Nominated - Facebook
  The Oscar Nominated are a five piece guitar band from Hertfordshire/Essex who create hook laden, vibrant, indie rock. They set about crafting songs that move seamlessly between New Wave, rock, folk and skiffle. Powered by infectious melodies and full of sharp, observational lyrics the band are currently working on their debut album.
  12:40     Mel Quinn - Facebook Page - Instagram page - Soundcloud - Youtube
  Melanie describes herself as a singer/songwriter, upbeat acoustic cover artist and Bass player.
  13:00     Emergency Break - Website - Instagram - Facebook
  Emerging from London. Emergency Break put a fresh spin on Indie Garage Rock.
  13:40     Rob Tutty
  He is a singer/songwriter and performs covers. Among those songs covered on the day were: Beatles, Tears for Fears and Kim Wilde songs in the set.
  14:00     WARD IS HYDRA - Facebook page
  4 piece band based in Potton that performs in our area (3 guitars, one drum). They performed some covers like: The Man who sold the world by David Bowie, There she goes by The La's and Losing my Religion by R.E.M.
  14:40     Why Not
  2 Singers and 1 guitar. Performed covers and their own songs. Covered Meet me on the Corner by Lindisfarne.
  15:00     Cian Downing - Facebook page - YouTube - Website
  Hailed for bringing “a vintage sound refreshingly up to date” by indie promoter This Feeling, singer-songwriter Cian Downing is emerging onto the British guitar music scene with his infectious energy and melodic tunes.
  15:40     AER - Instagram page - Spotify page - Twitter page
  16:00     Steve Young and Real Time players - Facebook page - Twitter - Website
  Steve Young is a globe trotting session guitarist, teacher & entertainer turned Singer/Songwriter from the Isle of Wight. Early TV appearances with Lionel Richie & Peter Andre soon led to full time touring duties with world famous artists - most notably Savage Garden front man Darren Hayes which took Steve on trips around the world performing at the Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Arena, Brisbane QPAC, LA Roxy and many more concluding as co-writer on Darren's last album in 2012. Music Styles include Alt Country, Rock, Pop and Blues
  16:40       Yolanda Gabrielle Music - Facebook page
  Single guitarist/singer. Performed covers of Jolene by Dolly Parton and I started a Joke by he Bee Gees amongst others.
  17:00     Optimist - Facebook page
  A wide range of Rock Music styles from this four piece band.
  17:40     Sam Baird Twitter - Spotify - Instagram
  18:00     Hot mess
  They are a seven piece covers band. Keyboard, Bass, Drums, Lead/Rhythm guitar, saxophone and 2 vocalists.

The set was:
I'm still standing (by Elton John)
Valerie - (by The Zutons, better known from the Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse and Stevie Winwood versions)
Baker Street (by Gerry Rafferty)
Born to Run (by Bruce Springsteen)
Don't you want me baby (by the Human League)
Boys of Summer (by The Eagles)
Ride like the Wind (by Christopher Cross)
Rio, Hungry like the Wolf, Girls on Film (by Duran Duran)
Don't forget about me (by SImple Minds)
Sledgehammer (by Peter Gabriel)

Of course these sort of events take lots of planning and organisation and special thanks go to .... Kriss Lawrence at The Practice Roomz and Geoff Caine at Stevenage Borough Council.

Stevenage Festival

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Page Last updated: 14 June 2023

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