‘It’s the biggest line-up we’ve ever had’ – Mystery Jets and The Subways headlining Wilkestock for 10th anniversary

Wilkestock Festival

Wilkestock Festival - Credit: Archant

A festival which started out as a party in the middle of field to honour the memory of a sibling marks its 10th anniversary this year – with its biggest line-up to date.

Mystery Jets at David's Music and Bookshop on Friday. Credit: @LGCtownwarden

Mystery Jets at David's Music and Bookshop on Friday. Credit: @LGCtownwarden - Credit: Archant

Wilkestock was first held back in 2006 as Tom and Olly Wilkes gathered on family land between Watton-at-Stone and Walkern with friends to remember their brother Matthew, who had died in a climbing accident the year before.

After growing in popularity year on year, the event was opened to the public and expanded to three days – and this year will see Mystery Jets and The Subways take to the stage between Friday, September 2, to Sunday, September 4.

What hasn’t changed is the festival’s not-for-profit approach, which has seen Wilkestock raise a combined £25,000 for Keswick Mountain Rescue as well as Bloodwise – formerly known as Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Known as a ‘small festival with a big personality’, co-founder Tom is keen to keep that independent spirit alive while offering more entertainment than ever before.

The Subways [Picture: Greig Clifford]

The Subways [Picture: Greig Clifford] - Credit: Archant


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“We sold out of early bird tickets in record time this year which was great and is always a good sign,” Tom told the Comet.

“We’ve obviously gone for it a little bit this year with the 10th anniversary and it’s the biggest line-up we’ve ever had.

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“We’re not trying to blow are own trumpet but we’ve been told it’s a good festival so we just try to introduce a few new things each year.”

Among the new additions is a BBC Music Introducing stage takeover, which focus on highlighting local talent from Herts, Beds and Bucks.

Too Many T's will be performing at Wilkestock 2016. Picture: Ben Hopper

Too Many T's will be performing at Wilkestock 2016. Picture: Ben Hopper - Credit: Archant

“It’s a good size stage, but you can only get about 100 to 150 people in the space which means the crowd are really up close,” said Tom.

The eclectic festival line-up includes DJ Luck and MC Neat, The Hunna, Eliza and the Bear, and Too Many T’s, as well as acts which have local connections – including the CC Smugglers, Waste and Roxy Searle.

Reflecting on Wilkestock’s success, Tom, who is one of a small number of volunteers, added: “It’s definitely unexpected – we had no idea it would become what it has.

“It’s still quite a small festival though and we pride ourselves on having a small site. It’s about offering things people expect at the big festivals, but not having to walk far for anything.”

Roxy Searle performing on stage.

Roxy Searle performing on stage. - Credit: Archant

Day tickets start from £12 with the full weekend including camping available for £65.

To find out more and to book visit www.wilkestock.com.

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