Shane Filan revealed first appearance on summer music festival10/11/2017 17:18
THE first acts for a planned music festival organised by a British Army veteran to celebrate the military have been revealed. But organisers have yet to apply for permission to stage the concert at Lydiard Park, despite now announcing their headline acts.
Singer and former Westlife member Shane Filan and Coldplace, a Coldplay tribute band, will be two of the many acts playing at the MFor Festival, which organisers have said will take place at Lydiard Park on July 28, although they have not yet approached the council for permission to stage the event.
Festival organisers are keeping quiet about other acts until the contracts have been confirmed but they promise that big names are in the pipeline to perform in front of an expected 18,000-strong crowd.
Local musicians Bradley Cowtan, Jarid Clark-Bound, Tayler McNally, and The Sulks will be supporting the headliners.
As well as 11 hours of live music, the ambitious military-themed day will feature charity fundraising, an Army Cadet band, military vehicles, displays and exciting free activities, including a 110ft inflatable assault course, 35ft bungee run and climbing walls.
The festival is the project of one local veteran, who does not yet wish to reveal his identity but who wants to bring big pop stars to Swindon while paying tribute to the work the Armed Forces do and raise awareness of the support they require when they return from combat.
He said: “Many Swindonians are frustrated that they have to travel to music venues all over the south to see big stars.
"This family fun day will hopefully be an annual event that brings together music and the military.
"I’ve suffered with PTSD for years, as well as suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety and vivid nightmares.
"Imagine walking down the road with 12 friends and suddenly an explosive blows up or gunfire rattles down on you.
"The sounds still ring in my ears, the loss, the fear, the judgements made and choices taken, they’re all part of a daily battle to survive and see another sunset.
"It’s no wonder that so many soldiers come back with mental and physical scars, they need help and understanding to get them on the road to recovery.
“This help they need is not cheap and not paid for by the Government.
“Combat Stress, Help For Heroes and the Veterans Charity are some of the charities who have taken on the job of supporting these heroes.
“MFor was born to give back to these brave souls and pay it forward for the sacrifice army personnel make to protect others. While enjoying the music we bring you, you are helping others.”
But some uncertainty surrounds the event.
Coun Garry Perkins, the borough council’s cabinet member with responsibility for Lydiard Park, said: “The MFor Festival looks like a great event, but the organiser has yet to apply for a premises licence and there are a whole raft of issues that would need to be addressed as part of the application.
"Holding an event for 18,000 people presents a number of safety and logistical issues. We know this through our involvement in organising the very successful Radio 1 Big Weekend a number of years ago.
“The organiser has engaged with us as part of the event safety advisory process but this is still at an early stage.
"The organiser needs to satisfy our licensing, highways, emergency planning and heritage teams, not to mention our strategic partners such as the Police and Fire and Rescue Service, that everything is in place.
"If this does not happen, the council would not be able to support or permit the event in its role as both the licensing authority and landowner.”
Responding to this, the organiser said: “We are applying for the licence in the next two to three weeks and we are confident that the event will go ahead.” For information visit facebook.com/mforfestival.
Credit/Source: Swindon Advertiser