Just wanted to thank you for organising the best music week-end I have ever experienced. It was my first at Swanage and I have already booked the hotel for next year’s (fully booked for October ’14!)
I have never seen so many friendly people all enjoying themselves and no trouble in the streets, also artists that were more than willing to spend time talking about the blues (even the buskers at the railway station).
Thank you once again for doing such a good job for Swanage business and for us who live for the blues.
Another fabulous Blues Festival in lovely weather. Thank you so much for all your hard work to make these weekends possible.
Quayside was a good first time venue & Zoe was so helpful with table finding. Food was excellent too. It was great to see Back Porch & the view at the same time. We hope that venue continues. Enjoyed time spent at the Grand with the brilliant Saiichi & with the afternoon Finale. That time was so good for us as we have to leave in the evening.
Hope plenty of wristbands were sold but still too many without them. Many thanks Steve.
Lorna Fothergill (Northsyde) said:
Many thanks Steve Darrington and all associated with Swanage Blues Festival - Northsyde had a hoot! Lovely to see so many familiar faces too! Big thanks to the guv'nor of The Legion - proper Gent!
Once again Steve you have excelled yourself! An absolute wonderful weekend, too many bands to mention but if I had to single one band it would have to be the rejuvenated Pete Harris R&B Allstars - Absolutely Outstanding! Thanks again Steve.
Well what a great Swanage Blues & Roots Festival!! Thanks must go to Steve Darrington for his great influence, leadership and organisation. This event gets better and better. We enjoyed all of the acts we saw: Pete Harris All Stars, Saiichi Sigayama (With Hugh Budden), Jawbreakers, Will Killeen, Blue Touch, Robin Bibi, Dan Sowerby Band, Devil Drives, & Robert Hokum. The stars for us was **The Pete Harris All Stars** with the final gig at the Crows Nest "bringing the House down", what a great show and musicians brilliantly led by Pete Harris and with new addition to the band vocalist Jeradine Philippa Hume gaining many more fans. Two notable songs were "Rock Me Baby" and "Dark End of The street" plus many other firm favourites. The final encore was a fun rendition of "Don't Lie to Me" with the punters in full voice along with Pete and the band. Happy days.
Hi Steve, just a few lines to say thanks to you and all musicians who make this festival such a celebration of great music making and some fun and laughter thrown in.
Really enjoyed Pete Harris R&B Allstars Band at the Crows Nest on Sunday Evening, He has a fine vocalist in the Lovely Jeradine, feel sure we will hear her again at the October Blues Festival. Thought Pete Harris sang some great R&B classics which are not heard enough these days; a fine tenor player and rhythm section, a class act in every department.
Thanks again Steve for a great weekend. Here’s to the October Festival!
Harmans Cross Village Hall said:
Another superb festival Steve, superbly organised with such top quality bands and artists. As usual the town was full of visitors, I hope all the businesses that benefit put their hands in their pockets and show their appreciation of all your hard work and efforts !!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks again to Steve Darrington for another fantastic festival... and for arranging such great weather too. All the musicians were superb, so hard to pick a favourite, but for me it has to be the Pete Harris R&B Allstars. Amazing performance at the East Bar on Saturday and at The Crows Nest on Sunday night where they had the whole house dancing and screaming for MORE ....and YES, we want more from this great line-up.
All I can say is Wow! had a wonderful time, meet some lovely people, our first SBF is most definitely not the last :-) Thanks so much, until next time!
Another amazing festival with blue skies to boot. Had some amazing Purbeck walks, fantastic music and atmosphere. I said it feels like coming home every time we arrive. Everyone has a good time, we meet old friends and new and will all the venues and alcohol flowing I have never even seen the sniff of any trouble. Well done Steve and all the organisers.
A & W said:
Thanks so much for a terrific night of blues at the Grand. You were really rocking! We had a great time and enjoyed every minute.
P & A said:
Dear Steve and Co, This was our first trip to The Swanage Blues Festival and I'm asking myself WHY??!! We have had a fabulous weekend in your lovely seaside town surrounded by great blues music. Some of the young talent on display is fabulous to watch. Unfortunately we didn’t arrive till late Saturday afternoon but had a great evening all the same and an unforgettable day yesterday culminating for me in Jamming with the mighty Robin Bibi Band. Can’t wait till the next one we will def come back for more. Many Thanks
Attended our 1st Swanage Blues Festival this weekend, and what a great weekend of music we heard. All acts were great with some great talent on show. Will be back in October and next year. Well done Steve in organising a great Festival.
Big thanks to the festival team, a fantastic weekend. Great music!
Another great weekend. Thank you so much for all your hard work in getting it together. Well done. We heard at The Legion that you were planning some gigs there. Do let us know when it happens. Again many thanks and did you book the weather as well, it was wonderful.
Great Weekend at Swanage Blues Festival! Could only make Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Saw 7 bands including the Robin Bibi Jam Session. Great Venues, friendly atmosphere and all for a tenner. Well Done Steve Darrington and all the helpers, can’t wait for October
The Jawbreakers said:
Another wonderful Swanage Blues. Many thanks to all who attended our shows what a great event! Big thanks to Steve Darrington for organising another great festival!
Jim Reece (Devil Drives) said:
Last weekend The Devil Drives had an amazing time at Swanage Blues Festival! 4 gigs in 3 days and some travelling down there! What an amazing reception we always get and it was good to see some old friends there as well as some new ones!
Carlotta Barrow said:
Thank you Steve Darrington, Swanage woke up from its Winter sleep to music & sunshine! What an amazing week-end. We enjoyed Blues in the garden at the Red Lion and dancing at the Grand Hotel in your Swanage Blues Festival Finale xxx
Tracie Redding said:
Fab Sunday afternoon at the Swanage Blues Festival, watching buddies Steve Darrington & Hugh Budden, along with Dan Sowerby Band & Steve Brooks, fab!.. nice to sit & watch for a change but a bit sad I missed the Robin Bibi jam this time, have only missed one since 2009!
Bill Bebb said:
Steve Darrington did another first class job on the Swanage Blues Festival at the weekend - and there's still another one to come later in the year. Swanage town centre was alive with music, and was bathed in sunshine - what a bonus. Get organising for the next one Steve - and thank you.
Pete Harris said:
Just back from an amazing weekend at Swanage Blues Festival. Three fantastic gigs, blue skies and warm sunshine! Thanks to all who came to the gigs, and thanks also to my brilliant band, Ray Drury, Paul Tasker, Robert Manley, Steve Groves, and the fabulous Miss Jeradine Philippa Hume, making her debut at Swanage and blowing everybody away with her performances. And of course a big, big thank you to Steve Darrington for once again making it all possible! Looking forward to October!
Big thanks to Steve Darrington for another wonderful weekend of music and sunshine.
Lewis Randall said:
I like my Level 42 Tour wristband (£31 - 2 hours) but I also like my Swanage Blues Festival wristband (£10 - 60 hours) but I don't know which one is the best...
Saiichi Sugiyama Band said:
What a beautiful weekend and such a lovely crowd - our friends. It went just all too quickly. Thank you so much for having us again, Steve, and for sending one of your guardian angels to look after us in the guise of Hugh Budden. Took care of the business, he did, which made us play better. Peace and love.
Thanks Steve for another fabulous weekend. Swanage great venue and some brilliant bands, loved Northsyde. See you all in October.
Swanage Blues just gets better and better and this was the best yet! Thank you so much Steve, we had another fantastic time, made some new friends, saw some new bands and can't wait for October. Time off work already arranged and accommodation booked.
My first time at the festival and it was superb - enjoyed playing the Red Lion Open mic and at Robin Bibi's marvellous blues jams at the White Horse.
A & G said:
Another fabulous Blues weekend, thank you. It was our third visit and just as memorable as the previous two, if only we could bottle the atmosphere and bring it home!
We took in Stan’s session at the Legion on Saturday afternoon, although having already taken in Back Porch at the Quayside and then an hour or so at the open Mike session behind the Red Lion we had missed the jamming.
But we arrived just in time for the four Showcase acts. They were all competent and really enjoyed the whole of the two hour session, but thought the Elles Bailey band to be particularly enchanting and Blues Business whose performance would be most fitting at any of the Swanage gigs. We'd like to hear more from both of them, that's for sure.
Along with these we took in Blue Touch, Pete Harris, Riotous Brothers, Tommy Allen & Johnny Hewitt not to mention the Grand Finale on the Sunday evening and of course all of these being so impressive and making the Festival the event that it is.
Thank you once again for organising it all, we aim to come back again in October to soak up more of this amazing event.
Alan Cleaves (Blue Touch) said:
It’s an absolute joy to both play and attend the festivals.
Another great weekend - Highlights for me were the new line-up of The Blues Machine at East Bar on Friday and Stan’s Jamboree on Saturday. Fantastic stuff!
R & A said:
Dear Steve and Hugh,
I just wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know how much we enjoyed the Swanage Blues Weekend. We had booked a long weekend at the Grand Hotel without knowledge of the event you had organised and were pleasantly surprised when the staff at the hotel informed us that it was one of the venues. We enjoyed the live bands a great deal but "the icing on the cake" just had to be the Festival Finale on the Sunday evening, still telling everyone that will listen all about it, live music at its best, thank you.
Would you pass on our thanks to everyone that took part but particularly to Robert and the Dan Sowerby Band. You even managed to arrange some beautiful weather for the event, not sure how you did that but we suppose we shouldn't be too surprised!!!!
Thanks once again, hope to see you in October.
Paul Dubbelmann said:
The Swanage Blues Festival brings together an amazing collection of Blues Musicians, Fans and Friends for a weekend of Jams, Open Mics, and Headline Performances that will have you coming back time after time. And believe it or not, this amazing array of talent will only set you back a Tenner for the whole weekend. Yes, really Ten measly pounds to see 60 gigs in 15 venues across the whole weekend. Where else do you get value like that, eh ???
Rainbow’s End said:
"Brilliant again Steve! Each blues festival adds an extra £1,000 to my till, so here's £100 towards the festival funds and you can count on that amount for future festivals too."
White Swan said:
“Thank you for all your efforts and hard work, it makes such a difference to the town and I can’t speak for anyone else but for us it’s a financial life saver after the long winter months. I hope you know by now that all your work is very much appreciated. Long live Swanage Blues!!”
“I know that your last two festivals brought in £850 extra for me, so I’m enclosing my donation of £85, being 10%. Thank you so much for these wonderful events.”
Bill the Taxi Driver said:
“A really good turn out for the Swanage Blues Festival with excellent weather. Our taxis just about coped with the demand over the last three days. ‘Great event in a lovely town’ was the feedback i got from the visitors who rode in my taxi.”
J & M said:
“We had never been until three years ago, now we have a flat and two commercial properties which we rent out, but without great nights out we may not have returned. This is one of the reasons what you do is so important to us non locals. Could I suggest that you could ask for donations for downloading your what’s on guides.”
Starting from the pier end of the High Street, the first venue is the East Bar (1 High St) and Bar One next door (also 1 High St), then the White Horse (11), Ship Inn (23a), White Swan (31), Anchor Inn (30), *Tawny’s Wine Bar (52), Red Lion (63), Black Swan (159) and a little further on The Legion (150). That concludes the High Street. The lower high street is connected to Station Road by Institute Road opposite the White Swan.
From the Mowlem go along Shore Road with the bay on your right and *Sea Breeze (7 Shore Rd) is on your left; keep on all the way along the bay and at Bull & Boat Bistro (non-venue) bear left up the hill to the Crow’s Nest (11 Ulwell Rd). From the Crow’s Nest, cross over into Burlington Rd for the Grand Hotel.
Herston Caravan & Camp Site is in Washpond Lane and best accessible via the High Street over the road from the Royal Oak (non-venue) at 417 High St.
Corfe Castle Royal British Legion is in Corfe Castle and can be reached by road, bus or train. The last train comes back to Swanage around 4.pm on Saturday and Sunday (to be verified - always best to check yourself).
*Seventh Wave restaurant is situated in Durlston Castle, Durlston Country Park about one mile from the High Street near the pier - follow the brown tourist signs; this is not an easy walk up the hill, so consider a taxi!
* Sea Breeze, Seventh Wave and Tawny’s Wine Bar are restaurants.