Jake Bug, Nottingham, good friends and trees. Forest Live. Now that is a winning combination.
I was so excited to hear that Jake Bugg had announced a gig in his home town Nottingham on Thursday 23rd June, even more pleased when I later discovered he is performing at Sherwood Pines forest and that the Forestry Commission have asked me to review it. This is one of a series of performances by a fabulous range of artists at Forestry Commission sites around the UK, Kaiser Cheifs, Simply Red, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, Tom Jones, Rudimental, Guy Garvey, UB40, John Newman, James Bay are playing in different forests in June and July… I will share all the dates and venues below.
I was straight on the phone to my friend J and, although we can’t convince our boys to come (one is a teacher and it’s a bit of a drive on a school night and the other isn’t a fan), we are super excited for our girls’ night out in the forest. The last outdoor concert we went to together was Glastonbury ’97, so this is going to be a good old reminder of our festival days.
I love the idea of a concert in the forest, being a massive tree hugger, I was even more excited when I heard that Forest Live helps the Forestry Commission to help forests by raising funds and awareness of the need to look after our trees.
I immediately asked my friend Liz, who has been, what to expect:
I’ve been to two events, both at Bedgebury in Kent. We first went to see Paul Weller, then last year Paloma Faith. Weller is a long-time hero of my partners’ so he was in his element. It was a magical evening, made even more memorable when Weller seemed to pluck Roger Daltry from nowhere and they performed My Generation and Substitute. There was such a diverse mix of people there, from tiny tots held aloft on parent’s shoulders, to old-school Mods who’d been around the block a few times, but the atmosphere was so chilled and welcoming.
Unlike the throng of a festival or an indoor gig, people were spread out, each group with their own space. Some had cool boxes full of beers, others full-scale picnics, chairs, blankets and candles. There is something truly amazing about being in such a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy your favourite music. The acoustics are more natural and there’s a sense of openness and space that makes it so much more relaxing.
I also asked Annie, who saw Tom Odell at Westonbirt:
Westonbirt was surrounded as you would expect by tall, commanding trees and was splendid on a sunny Summer’s evening. As with most concerts these days the majority of people had taken folding chairs and the crowd was a nice blend of families, couples and groups. The atmosphere was very laid back and Raye Morris was the perfect act to support Tom.
We have a lovely evening, the event was well signposted, parking was easy and access easy. We really enjoyed it, happy music for happy people.
Now I can’t wait. J and I have met up at Sherwood Pines with the kids, to hire bikes, play and share the best picnics, it is going to be so exciting to be child free, at a great gig and in the forest!
Who can I see?
Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire
Thursday 23 June – Jake Bugg
Friday 24 June – Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott
Saturday 25 June – Guy Garvey
Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
Thursday 16 June – Rudimental
Friday 17 June – Kaiser Chiefs
Saturday 18 June – UB40 feat. Ali Campbell, Astro & Mickey Virtue
Sunday 19 June – Tom Jones
Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent
Friday 17 June 2016 – Tom Jones
Saturday 18 June 2016 – Kaiser Chiefs
Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire
Friday 24 June – Guy Garvey
Saturday 25 June – John Newman
Sunday 26 June – Kaiser Chiefs
Delamere Forest, Cheshire
Friday 1 July 2016 – Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott
Saturday 2 July 2016 – Simply Red
Sunday 3 July 2016 – Kaiser Chiefs
Thetford Forest, Suffolk
Thursday 30 June – Rudimental
Friday 1 July – James Bay
Saturday 2 July – Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott
Sunday 3 July – Simply Red
Cannock Chase, Staffordshire
Friday 8 July 2016 – James Bay
Saturday 9 July 2016 – Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott
Sunday 10 July 2016 – Kaiser Chiefs
How does Forest Live help trees?
Apart from being a brilliant idea, the concerts also help the Forestry Commission in their work. They bring the importance of woodlands to the attention of new audiences, and encourage everyone to value them. We have discovered so many ways to enjoy Sherwood Pines, and it will be exciting to enjoy it on a grown up night out too.
The Forest Live programme is self-sustaining, and provides valuable revenue to plough back into our management of woodlands in a variety of social and environmental projects. In recent years examples include work on habitat creation for endangered butterfly species; health projects to encourage young and old alike to get out and about in the natural environment – from mountain biking to T’ai Chi; installing woodfuel heating systems to help us contribute towards, and demonstrate how everyone can get involved in, the fight against climate change; the regeneration of industrial sites and renewal of disused areas into community woodlands; and many more schemes.