RAF Music Festival
On Thursday 13th July, the British weather held out and the sun shone (a bit), for this year’s RAF High Wycombe Music Festival, organised by volunteers from the Station and attended by nearly 400 Station staff and their families. Held on the 3 Site Sports Pitches, the afternoon began with a ‘school sports day’ CO’s Cup event (think welly-wanging and three-legged races with a PTI twist), before becoming a full blown festival with 8 acts playing into the evening. Months of planning and hard work by the team of volunteers, led by Cpl Gemma Burns and Cpl Ben Green all paid off, and festival goers were entertained by a variety of bands and activities.
The festival began with an opening address from OC BSW, before DJ Bobby D (who goes by the name of Cpl Rob Dorling when not playing the festival scene) launched into dance classics to set the scene and warm up the crowd. Ken Pike from the Air Media Centre treated the crowd to an acoustic set of well-known rock and blues covers, followed by Abbey Merritt with her own unique acoustic take on some classic tunes. DJ Classic Morris (aka SAC Nick Morris) gave the crowd more festival dance tunes, before Alfred’s Manor, RAF Halton’s own Music Club band, took the stage. With Cpl Kyle Pingree on drums, indie and rock covers built up to the signature piece of ‘Mustang Sally’, which set the scene perfectly for Lead Vocalist, Sharleen Merritt, to take over and get the crowd up on their feet and singing.
The RAF High Wycombe Ladies Choir performed their set next to a great reception from the crowd, perfectly demonstrating both the talent and the community spirit the Station has to offer. A guest band were next up in the form of the White Tips, a three piece from Aylesbury playing their own original songs which were lapped up by the crowd. Forever Dilemma were another guest band, a group from Stoke-on-Trent playing pop and punk covers to a revved up crowd as the light faded. The guest bands provided an excellent variety to the acts and the organisers of the Festival were extremely grateful that they offered to play without charging. The final act of the night was the famous (in some quarters) KB25, a home grown band of mainly RAF High Wycombe Music Club members and fronted by Cpl Ben Green. Their rock and grunge covers provided the perfect finale to what had been a fantastic night and sent the crowd home on a high.
The success of the acts and event as a whole was largely down to the professional sound engineers from Q-Audio who deserve a huge thanks from all of us, and hats off to them for on turning an articulated lorry and a 12×12 tent into a proper festival! Further thanks must got to the Station Welfare Fund and to the Warrant Officer and Sergeants’ Mess, who provided initial funds for the event and helped out with staffing it. The events need volunteers to be a success though, so without listing every name, as there are a great many, thank you and well done to all those who helped out in so many different ways, from the admin in the background to the hard work on the day. All being well, next summer there will be an even bigger and better Music Festival taking place at RAF High Wycombe, so keep your eyes out for the advertisements and if you’d like to be involved, contact the Committee using the email address HWY-SCCMusicFestival@mod.gov.uk.