New festival for central Beds

A GUITARIST who found fame with Booker T. & The MG’s and appeared in cult classic The Blues Brothers will bring his virtuoso fret work to a sleepy central Beds village later this year.

Steve Cropper & The Animals have been confirmed for the Rhythm Festival, relocated from Clapham, Bedfordshire, which will by held at the Mansion House, in Old Warden between August 26-28.

Festival director, Jim Driver, said: “The Mansion House at Old Warden Park is a really beautiful and well-equipped site and I’m pleased we’ve found such a great new home.

“After consultation with the Mansion House staff, we’ve decided that Rhythm Festival will be held there over the Bank Holiday Weekend from 2011 onwards.”

Steve Cropper, described by Keith Richards as “perfect”, was rated by rock’n’roll bible Rolling Stone as the 36th greatest guitarist of all time and co-wrote the Otis Reading smash Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.

The guitarist will be joined on the bill by Sandi Thom, whose debut single I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker topped the charts, folkies the Oysterband and The Blockheads.

Mr Driver, a veteran promoter and music writer, said: “I aim to make Rhythm Festival 2011 the best yet. I look forward to welcoming friends old and new to The Mansion House, Old Warden Park.”

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The festival will feature three stages and fringe events, with more artists to be announced closer to the event.

More details, including information on ticket sales, are available from www.rhythmfestival.com.

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