Wickham Festival News

Listen to the Wickham Song from Phil Odgers

The Wickham Festival has been immortalised in song!

Phil “Swill” Odgers from the Men They Couldn’t Hang loves the event so much that he has penned a special tribute.

It was performed for the first time during his superb slot with Bobby Valentino on the Village Stage and the crowd took it to their hearts.

Swill said: “I’m surprised no-one has done it before because this is such a special festival – I love it. I am lucky enough to be invited to perform here most years either solo or with the Men They Couldn’t Hang.

“But if I wasn’t singing, I would genuinely be here as a fan. It really does have a unique feel to it which is why I wrote a song about it.

Phil “Swill Odgers” has written a song in tribute to the Wickham Festival


“I did a folk session at Boarhunt and had written a tune on the way down but I had no lyrics at all. Afterwards I did a workshop and we sat around and people shouted out lyrics – some of which would never get in any song, ever!

“But it all came together in about 15 minutes but I had still had to sing it in the car on the way here to make sure I knew the lyrics including a well-deserved name-check for Peter Chegwyn who puts on this fantastic event year after year.

Swill and Bobby Valentino played a fantastic set on the Village Stage

“He commands a tremendous amount of respect in the industry and has become the standard by which other people measure their festivals – not just for the music and the atmosphere but for the very fair and level way everyone is treated.

Phil Odgers would attend Wickham Festival as a fan – even if he wasn’t playing!

“To meet a festival organiser who has a very important job but remains down-to-earth and deals with things on a personal level is unique – but then it is a unique festival.

“That attitude runs through the whole festival, through all the people who work here and the countless volunteers who do such a great job. A lot of places you go, people are fed up and stressed and too busy to help but all the staff have that relaxed attitude which pervades the whole event.

“More and more people are hearing about it and coming from further afield. I have two friends who came all the way from north Wales just to work as volunteers which says a lot.

“People do it because they believe in the event. I would say it is my favourite UK festival. I’m not just saying that, I really do feel that way.”

Click below to listen to an interview with Phill “Swill” Odgers as well as organiser Peter Chegwyn and many of the top artists.


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