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Rock Ridge Round Up

Starts: 29th Jul 2016

Country Music Festival


Start Date

29th Jul 2016

End Date

1st Aug 2016


Burdon Plain, Gateshead, Newcastle Upon Tyne


Garth Brooks UK, Danny Landon band, Henry Smith, Jess & The Bandits, Outlander, Ash Cooper, Acoustic Journey, Like & Mel, Gary Quinn, Ade Payn


Anyone reading through a line-up of bands for a Rock Ridge Round Up festival would be forgiven for thinking ‘who the heck are they, I have never heard of half of these bands…’. That folks was exactly our aim when we began to resurrect Rock Ridge. We decided to stick our neck on the line and delve deep into the country scene, sometimes outside the scope of the normal clubs and festivals, to find new and exciting bands, who quite often take a chance themselves and dare to write, and play, their own material. These bands struggle to get their music heard and are always looking for an opportunity to be seen and prove themselves, as nobody seems willing to take the chance and let them show what they have to offer.

With this in mind, we dangled our toes into the pool of young singer/songwriters. At the start of each afternoon, we have invited an artist along to play acoustically and sing a selection of their own self penned material, often giving a rare insight into the origin and meanings of the songs. Last year these sessions proved very popular and we received a lot of positive feedback from both audience and the artists. The songwriter was grateful to be given a platform to perform their labours of love, and the audience felt as though they had had an intimate half hour with the artist.

Now I know this subject is always a little taboo, but if you take a look at the USA country music charts you will find that the music has moved on a long way from that of Hank, Merle, Willie and Dolly. However, here in the UK people will argue that if it’s not the traditional style then it’s just ‘not country’. We so desperately need to bring the music we love into line with a more modern approach if the music is going to grow, or even survive in the UK. We need to introduce the younger generation and allow them to run alongside the more traditional style of country music. This is coming to fruition with the likes of Ward Thomas, The Shires, Jess and the Bandits being given national airplay on both TV and radio, and we need to embrace this.
That said, we understand that there is still a need to stick to some of the more traditional, well known acts, that everyone knows and loves. We have tried to come up with a list of bands whereby we feel there is something for everyone to enjoy.

As well as enjoying a diverse line-up of music, we like to have fun too…. We have a good group of ‘red coats’ who organise all the western activities on a daily basis. This includes games such as horse shoes, axes, knives, bow and arrows, as well as the daily shoot-out competitions. If you prefer you fun to be a little more ‘dangerous’ we have the Rock Ridge challenge. Last year we played host to the water slide. Although it was great fun, especially for the large audience, we did end up with a few minor casualties (sorry about that Aiden). Watch out for this year’s challenge!

So, if you love your country music to be a little bit ‘down and dirty’, along with ‘safe and sound’, and you are up for a laugh, dust off your glad rags, get yourselves along to join the crown, and ‘Prepare to Party….’


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