The Balstock charity musical festival is just around the corner, with a didgeridoo player and a ukelele group among the acts set to rock Baldock for a raft of great causes.

%image(15651332, type="article-full", alt=""Mother of Balstock" Elaine LaRoche, far right, who tragically died from cancer in April, with Marc Staniford and Becky Miller at Balstock 2015. Picture: John Francis")

The annual feast of free music is set to take over Baldock from Friday to Sunday, September 8 to 10 – and this year’s festival is being held in honour of the “mother of Balstock” – founder G La Roche’s mum Elaine LaRoche, who was the festival’s treasurer.

The fun will start on Friday night, with music at The Engine, Orange Tree, Cock, Old White Horse, White Lion, Victoria, Hen & Chickens, and White Hart pubs – as well as at the Templars Hotel, Baldock Town Hall and at the Khoi Khoi bar in Hitchin Street.

Those bringing the noise include a talented gang of 12 brought together by Folkstock Records to perform at The White Lion during the Sunday afternoon – with Dave Croughan opening the proceedings at 1pm with his didgeridoo.

Other Folkstock acts will include Walkern producer Lauren Deakin Davies or DIDI, the Tritones – former students at Freman College in Buntingford – and A Different Thread, who are travelling from the Midlands to share their own take on pop-folk.

%image(15651331, type="article-full", alt="Balstock supremo G La Roche and committee member Shane Wilson at last year's festival. Photo: Karyn Haddon")

Poet Grant Meaby said: “I’m thrilled to see that once again those lovely people at Folkstock will be running the White Lion stage during Balstock Sunday.

“With its eclectic mix of great music, it’s always a pleasure to drop in and see what’s going on – and oh so hard to tear yourself away once there.”

The Sandy Ukelele Group is also bringing its special brand of bright colours and sunshine to the festival, and will be performing at The Victoria – with country-pop duo Darline set to jet back home from Los Angeles to perform on the ELR Stage in the High Street.

Balstock’s main charity this year is the Addenbrooke’s Breast Cancer Appeal, inspired by the fact that cancer has this year claimed the lives of both Elaine and the father of Balstock committee member Shane Wilson, Tim.

%image(15651828, type="article-full", alt="Cara Beard and Abby Inez of country-pop duo Darline.")

The breast cancer appeal will receive half of all money raised in shakers, raffles and anything else that the pubs, businesses and music festival itself can donate.

The other 50 per cent of the money raised will be split between the North Herts Sanctuary, the Herts Women’s Centre, the Magic Moments Pre-School in Park Drive, Baldock Girl Guides and Baldock Town Hall.

To find out more, see, follow @Balstock on Twitter or look up ‘Balstock Music Festival’ on Facebook.

The full line-up is at