Live Music: Homegrown festival spreads its wings

A homegrown festival gone public for the first time will have a flavour of Reading and Leeds festivals when it kicks off in a field near Stevenage next month.

Wilkestock, set up by brothers Tom and Olly Wilkes on family land between Watton-at-Stone and Walkern in 2007, has spread by word of mouth to become a fixture on the summer music scene for those in the know.

Now open to the wider public for the first time, this year’s event on Saturday September 4 is the biggest yet with Reading and Leeds festival act Rotating Leslie among the 12 live acts and 13 DJs playing across two stages.

Created in honour of Tom and Olly’s brother, Matthew, who died in a climbing accident, profits from the festival go to Keswick Mountain Rescue as well as Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Tom, 24, said: “It started as a private party and more and more people came and it just grew. Last year’s festival had around 400 people and we are expecting more this year.

“We’ve got bands from 12 in the day onwards, and we run it quite late into the night with DJs. We’ve got some really good local bands. There’s a good mix of music from rock, blues, reggae, ska and indie as well as DJs.”

Tom said there will also be lots of other stuff going on including an artificial beach, rodeo bronco, sumo suits, chill out areas, a bar and food.

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Tickets for the all-ages event are �14 from

A map will be posted on the website nearer the time and signs erected on the day.

Full line up:

Main Stage: Stereo Decade, Rotating Leslie, New Groove Formation, Danny Bryant’s Red Eye Band, The Branco Heist, Katty, Trouble With Tuesday, Thekidisfireworks, Mice With Glasses, Thinking For Tuesday, Harry Houseago, The Tubries

Mutual Party Stage: Daddy Genius & Swiss, Minerva & Cynical, Foul Matta, Hevy Gooders, Max Wisker, Chris Kaoz, The Monkey DJ & Muff, Shox, Rydermike, Redz, Jooka, Aberration

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