The event, on June 3, was an overwhelming and unqualified success and with 21 mostly local performers, a food market, craft fair and kids zone.
Creating the most amazing atmosphere and community spirit. With many saying it was the best ever event of its kind organised in Bushey.
The number of visitors was estimated at between 1,000 and 1,500, covering all aspects and ages of the Bushey community.
The festival was opened by Hertsmere’s recently elected Mayor, cllr Brenda Batten and Hertsmere’s MP Oliver Dowden CBE and the majority of our councillors attended, many with their families.
Blessed by wonderful early summer weather, the festival began at 1.30pm with a charming version of What a Wonderful World by Bushey Heath’s own Sticks and Stones, part of our junior theatre group, Drama Spectrum.
There followed a near uninterrupted flow of great appearances from both experienced acoustic artists and young performers alike, spread across three stages:
- The main Forsdyke stage in the gardens themselves on which the greatest number of artists performed
- The Mallard stage which not only served as kids’ entertainment area – Punch and Judy and a children’s magician – but later became a busking stage
- The Music on the Lake stage, deeper on Warren Lake, where the stage was on the bank of the lake and a seated audience sat in a natural bowl and watched three cool and jazzy combos play for the whole afternoon looking out to the lake, its islands and, of course its ducks and geese.
The festival was brought to a rousing finale by Drama Spectrum who performed a selection of Ray Davies/Kinks songs before everyone, including the audience joining in a rousing rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Special mention must be made of the help of Hertsmere’s parks division and its officer, Aaron Niblett, and especially Hertsmere Leisure’s events team under Rob Dodkin who tirelessly and brilliantly took care of all the logistic, technical and sound requirements.
So successful was the day and so many asked for it to be repeated next year. The 2nd Annual Bushey Acoustic Festival and Summer Picnic has already been announced for June 2, 2019.
Picture courtesy of Lawrence Stone Photography