South Woodham Ferrers: Tickets selling fast for this year’s Brownstock Festival

Professor Green, one of the headliners at this year's Brownstock Festival

Professor Green, one of the headliners at this year's Brownstock Festival - Credit: Archant

Starting as a family party with local bands playing on the back of a trailer, Brownstock Festival in Essex is gearing up to welcome 96 acts and 36 DJs this weekend.

If you want to be among the estimated 6,000-strong audience, you better be quick. The event - which starts Friday and ends Sunday - has sold out of all but its last tier of tickets and there will be no tickets for sale on the gate.

Now in its ninth year, there will be eight stages and more than 20 festival areas spread over Morris Farm, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex.

The Brownstock main stage will be headlined by Professor Green and The Fratellis, with supporting performances from singer-songwriter Tom Odell, The Pigeon Detectives, King Charles, Devlin, Hadouken, The Milk and Delilah. There’s also a full dance line-up in the Good Shed tent, which will be headlined by Mark Ronson and Duke Dumont. Many of the 96 bands due to play are local upcoming talent with 1,000 bands applying to play. Festival-goers got to vote for the favourites with the final winners being picked by The Fratellis and The Pigeon Detectives.

Still a rustic overgrown family party, the festival is littered with entertainment and themed areas dreamt up by them and built by Anna, the “arty farmer’s daughter”.

Even ex-art teacher Nanna Brown gets roped in to handpaint the festival signs. So you can take a seat at the table in the fully furnished mock farmhouse in the centre of the main arena or park yourself in front the treehouse stage built into one of the site’s large oak trees.

New for this year is the mussel beach reggae bar with a beach, deckchairs and hot tubs. There’s also the new slippery saddle saloon bar, hosting three days of rip-roaring country hoe down fun; even the bar stools have stirrups.

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Another first is the piano bar cabaret show with comedy, burlesque and more. A sitting room type bar in the festival’s campsite, it’s home to a huge grand piano and will see countless live acoustic and piano based acts over the weekend with open mic slots, pub quizzes and even a delivery of the Sunday papers you can enjoy from the comfort of a sofa with your feet up.

There are always a few surprises at the festival and a secret area is planned for this year. But you’ll have to buy a ticket to find out more about that. Fancy dress always plays a big part of the weekend too, with this year’s theme cowboys and aliens.

The family have one of the largest Aberdeen Angus beef herds in the country, so it goes without saying beef will be on the menu; you can try a Brownstock Burger or sit down for a three-course meal at the festival’s pop up restaurant run by chef Jimmy Garcia. There will be other vendors too, with options ranging from stone-baked pizza in a wood-fired oven to Zebra burgers.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with how popular the festival has become. You only have to look at the festival map to get a taste for what we have in store for this year’s festival,” says Adam Brown, festival director. “We’re delighted with our headline acts but, as always, this is only the start with new areas like the saloon bar which should keep people partying day and night. I think everyone should be storing some sleep in preparation for quite a weekend.“

No tickets will be sold on the gate but a limited amount of tickets can still be bought at www.brownstock.co.uk

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