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A Year in Rock – 2017

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BEAUTIFUL DAYS FESTIVAL - Devon, 18-20 August 2017


The happiness that Bearded Theory is, is a relaxed happiness, a warm happiness, the happiness that comes from being among your tribe, free to be your real self without the constraints of societal norms and everyday life. And with the sun beating down from a cloudless blue sky the weekend looked very promising indeed. (Hollie Latham)

DOWNLOAD (9-11 June)

“The organisers of this year’s event might need reminding that Castle Donington is historically a rock/metal affair.” (Darren Griffiths)

STONE FREE (17 June)

Having satisfied the demands of his rabid fans to return to the rock that made him famous, maybe the Man in Black can now return with dignity to Blackmore’s Night, having scratched that itch both for himself and for all of us. (Andy Nathan)

SUMMERFEST (28 June – 9 July)

Many of the acts I saw won’t be there in ten years time, let alone 50, but this remains a magical festival which is something of a Mecca for all music lovers which I would thoroughly recommend as an experience. (Andy Nathan)


The premise of the Rewind franchise is to tap into the now late forty and fifty year old music fans looking for a reminder of those heady times of big hair and even bigger shoulder pads. (David Wilson)

STEELHOUSE (28-30 July)

It was the early-era Whitesnake songs that everyone revelled in though and, amid cries of “Bernie”, they ploughed into those four classic songs again. Nev (MacDonald) injects the blues soaked passion that Coverdale used to deliver before he discovered the USA. (Darren Griffiths)

RAMBLIN’ MAN FAIR (28-30 July)

The old lady with pink socks and brown sandals next to me, roll-up clenched between thumb and fore-finger, was almost crying as she rang out “What a night to be called to heaven/What a picture to fill your head”. What a picture indeed. A special moment.
(Dave Atkinson)


Perhaps the final line of Frank Turner’s ‘Photosynthesi’s describes perfectly the people that go to music festivals: ‘and most of all I will not grow up’. We all have that itch to scratch and this is our way of doing it. (Simon Dunkerley)

CROPREDY (10-12 August)

To me, Marillion not doing ‘Kayleigh’ at a festival is as daft as Petula Clark not doing ‘Downtown’. Happily the latter obliged. Would I pay to go and see a Petula Clark gig? Probably not. But was singing along to ‘Downtown’ in a field with several thousand others one of those not-to-be-missed life-affirming moments? Absolutely! (Darren Johnson)

BEAUTIFUL DAYS (18-20 August) (pictured)

On Sunday, the heavens opened and after a rather cold, soggy morning with no sign of the rain letting up I needed an injection of happiness; I found it at The Band Stand in the form of The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican. (Hollie Latham)

HAIR METAL HEAVEN (25-27 August)

The line up was a remarkable cavalcade of the bands that dominated the pages of Kerrang! circa 1989 and 1990 – buttressed by a few favourites from the new generation keeping the flag flying for this most maligned form of music. (Andy Nathan)


Proof that Rockingham had pulled out all the stops with their 2017 lineup was the fact a first appearance in the UK for nearly a decade did not even grant Great White headline status.

HRH PROG (17-18 November)

Caravan frontman and founder member Pye Hastings looks like he’s just come in after a couple of rounds on the local Fairways golf range (with “Golf Girl”?) having carefully parked his Bimmer.  But judging by Geoffrey Richardson’s assertion that the band had not always been fully paid over the years (in his intro to ‘Fingers In The Till’) perhaps unlikely.

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