Toploader to headline Newbury Real Ale Festival

BRITISH rock band Toploader will headline this year’s Newbury Real Ale Festival. The band, best known to many for their 2000 hit Dancing in the Moonlight, have sold more than two million albums and had a string of top 20 songs both home and abroad. They are one of a number of acts booked for the one-day festival which takes place on Saturday, September 14, at Northcroft Playing Fields.

Others include Latino band Los Dos Gringos, Newbury-based country and folk duet Colorado River, Tom Allison, Stevie Pearce and the Hooligans, rock band Cluster Truck and Oasis tribute band Definitely Mightbe. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend and there will be a selection of around 250 ales and ciders for revellers to sample, with many of them produced locally. These include old favourites and some Great British Beer Festival winners.

Enborne’s Two Cocks Brewery, Chaddleworth’s Indigenous Brewery, West Berkshire Brewery, Tutts Clump Cider and Silchester’s Wild Weather Ales will be providing ales and ciders on the day. There will be plenty of options for food too, with Newbury’s Ghassan’s selling wraps and chips, burgers and sausages, while there will also be a hog roast, pizza, bratwurst, barbecue food and ice creams. Meanwhile, Vegivores will be providing vegetarian options.

An open mic competition will be taking place during the event in the cider marquee. Hosted by professional compere Oli Hill – a regular on the music Newbury scene – this is a chance for artists to perform poetry, comedy and music. Anything goes.

The winner will then perform their act on the main stage later in the afternoon. The event is sponsored by a number of local businesses including Media Fusion, KickFire, Buildbase, Hogan Music and BJ Champion Scaffolding – which will be setting up the staging. Entry is GBP12 on the door, which includes a free glass and two drinks tokens.

However, if you buy tickets in advance online they are priced at GBP10 with an extra token (three in total). The festival starts at noon and last orders will be called after the last music act finishes. Since the festival started in 2003, more than GBP100,000 has been donated to a number of organisations.

It was set up by Newbury and Thatcham Hockey Club and many of its members help out behind the bar on the day.

Media Fusion founder and one of the beer festival’s organisers, Dave Whittingham, said: “It’s a fantastic day and we’re always looking at ways we can make it bigger and better.

“The addition of Toploader this year is great for us and we can’t wait to welcome people again this year.”

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