Burton Joyce must be a pretty boring place because its slender Wiki entry boasts it has a civil parish, a population of 4,000 and that it’s home to the Burton Joyce railway station. So thank our lucky stars that this small, picturesque rural community has finally been given something to write about courtesy of the Lively Bird Festival. Now entries should be updated to read: live music, spoken word, real ale and local food 26 May.
Toploader – who are best known for their 2000 global hit Dancing in the Moonlight - will be headlining the festival, alongside 30 plus live music and spoken word acts taking place from 12 noon through to midnight. There’s also plenty of activities being put on for kids such as fire juggler and street entertainer Steve Pike, a circus skills workshop and a bouncy castle, meaning the adults can sample the range of local ales. This will include six of the finest from Nottingham-based Magpie Brewery as well as various lagers and ciders.
Other music acts will include Derby-based Miss 600, an acoustic pop duo with a jazz twist, tribute band Fleetwood Bac, who have enjoyed personal endorsement from Mick Fleetwood as well as being considered one of the UK's top tribute bands; six-piece Nottinghamshire funk, dub soul and triphop group We are Avengers; Afro-beat Salmagundi; jazz, funk and blues ensemble John Scott Set; and the jazz and blues Tom J Trio. The list of performers was being added to at the time of publication so expect many more surprises along the way doing their bit for Wiki entries, such as early Britpop-influenced The Bloogs; 70s soul, groove, funk, acid jazz and disco act Nu Soul Revolution; and local soul band Bluejaks.
The spoken word tent will offer intellectual stimulation in the form of poetry, debates, lectures and discussions. So don’t expect to simply sit back and be entertained, particularly as the Mouthy Poets will be there fresh from the success of their third Say Sumthin all dayer at the Playhouse. Other notable names include; Deborah 'Debris' Stevenson; Roy Bainton, Les Davey and John Berkavitch, whose winning list of wordy titles includes; the UK 2007 Slam competition, the 2007 Glastonbury Slam and the 2006 Backdrop Slam as well as appearing on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Bespoken Word’. Berkavitch gained international notoriety for his storytelling, and has worked in an experimental brand of hip hop theatre.
The festival organisers get a big thumbs up from us for the diversity of their spoken word acts and for bringing in a range of acts that have a little something for all. Our one-not-to-miss is Dead Poets. Formed in 2010 they have been challenging preconceptions towards poetry and hip-hop across the country, performing over 250 shows since their hugely successful Edinburgh debut. You may be one of the 2 million viewers who saw Mark Grist wipe the floor with MC Blizzard in the UK’s most viewed rap battle. If you haven’t seen it yet and want to see a teacher destroy a pupil, check out the video below. This Spring, Mark and Mixy were commissioned by BBC3 to front the online campaign for ‘Free Speech’ - a groundbreaking political debate show for young adults.
There’s an eclectic range of snap to suit all palettes, such as wholesome organic stew, a hog roast, Lincolnshire burgers and sausages, vegetarian dishes and cakes from a local baker. Renowned Nottingham brasserie Tom Browns will also be on site with their new Garden Grill barbecue.
Sam Allison, organiser of the Lively Bird Festival, grew up in the Burton Joyce area and has long held ambitions to stage a local festival in his home town. He said: “I'm delighted to be able to unveil such a strong and varied line-up for our inaugural event. We really do believe there's something for everyone, regardless of age and taste, and are very excited about putting on a fantastic action-packed day for all our visitors.
“What is particularly rewarding is being able to give local talent an opportunity to showcase themselves alongside an established act such as Toploader. We're working hard to make this debut event a big success and anticipate it becoming a highlight of the event calendar for years to come.”
The festival takes place at the Poplars Sports Ground in Burton Joyce, about seven miles from Nottingham city centre, and will run for 12 hours, kicking off at noon. Tickets are priced £20 for adults, £12 for ages 11-17, with free entry for children under 11. Visitors are encouraged to use public transport but there will be car parking available on-site for those of you who can still afford to put petrol in a car.