Wickham Festival News

Wickham Festival supporting The Big Walk

The host of the multi-award-winning Folk on Foot podcast, Matthew Bannister, will set off from Wickham Festival on a 180-mile sponsored walk to raise money for the charity Help Musicians.

The former controller of BBC Radio 1 and presenter of Radio 4’s weekly Last Word programme will start his trek at the picturesque Hampshire site on Friday, August 4 and finish two weeks later at the FolkEast Festival in Suffolk which runs from August 18-20. Click here to donate.

Matthew Bannister will set off on his Big Walk from Wickham Festival.

Matthew, who launched Folk on Foot in 2018, has invited myriad folk musicians to join him at pubs where he is staying along the trail each evening for informal, morale-boosting gatherings of songs and tunes. Confirmed artists include some of the finest names in folk The Young’uns, Martin Simpson, Bella Hardy, and Show of Hands’ Steve Knightley joining forces with Johnny Kalsi (Afro Celts, The Dhol Foundation).

There will be a rich mix of duos, from Peter Knight & John Spiers to Megson, Honey and the Bear, Janice Burns & Jon Doran, Rowan Piggott and Rosie Hodgson of The Wilderness Yet and Sid Goldsmith and Danny Pedler of Tarren.

Others joining Matthew will be flautist Eliza Marshall (Ranagri/Freedom to Roam) and traditional folk musician Jon Wilks, singer-songwriters Kirsty Merryn and Katie Spencer and Brighton band Bird in the Belly.

The route will take him from the rolling countryside of Hampshire’s Meon Valley to a finish line in the grounds of Suffolk’s glorious Glemham Hall where the FolkEast festival is staged, traversing Berkshire, Greater London, Hertfordshire and Essex en route.

Steve Knightley will join Matthew Bannister’s Big Walk

He will pass novelist’s Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, Hampshire, traverse Colne Valley Park on the western flank of London, stay in picturesque Eton with its famous college, follow the tree-lined Long Walk at Windsor, cross the great Roman road of Watling Street and walk along stretches of the Grand Union Canal – the principal navigable waterway between London and the Midlands.

Matthew’s final overnight stop at Campsea Ashe, Suffolk, will see him welcomed and entertained by the multi-award-winning patrons of FolkEast, The Young’uns (left).

The next day (Friday, August 18) Matthew is due to arrive at FolkEast where he will be danced over the finishing line by members of Gloucestershire’s Boss Morris. Describing themselves as ‘all-female prog Morris side’ they famously performed alongside indie rock group Wet Leg at this year’s Brit Awards.

Members of the public are invited to join Matthew along the way, leaving their footprint for just a mile or two or a whole day.

Wickham Festival patron Johnny Kalsi is supporting the Big Walk

Matthew said: “During the pandemic lockdowns Folk on Foot listeners raised an amazing £327,000 to support musicians who had lost their livelihoods. Half was divided between the scores of artists who took part in our four online Front Room Festivals and the other half went to Help Musicians.

“The lockdowns may be a distant memory, but the problems faced by musicians haven’t gone away. Many are dealing with mental or physical health issues or financial hardship and Help Musicians and its sister charity Music Minds Matter do a brilliant job of supporting them to build secure careers in what can be a very challenging and precarious industry. That’s why I’ve decided to tramp 180 miles across the South East of England to raise money and awareness. Music and musicians have been vital throughout my life, raising my spirits when I was down, helping me to celebrate important moments and bringing me joy every single day. This walk is a small way of saying thank you.” Click here to donate.

The Big Walk will support the charity Help Musicians

Sarah Woods, Interim Chief Executive at Help Musicians welcomed news of Matthew’s quest. She said: “Folk on Foot, and folk music lovers across the U.K, have been true friends to Help Musicians, with significant funds raised to help musicians survive during the pandemic; making a positive difference to their lives and careers.

Music brings so much joy to us all, but sadly those who work in music suffer more than others from poor mental health. Music Minds Matter has seen a 200% increase in calls to its helpline during the last two years, showing how much still needs to be done to achieve positive wellbeing for all those who work in music. Demand for help continues to rise, and as a charity that relies on the generosity of donors to support its work, all funds raised from “The Big Walk” will go directly to funding support and services to support the mental health of those in real need. A massive thank you to Matthew for this inspirational fundraising initiative.”

Matthew aims to take to the stage on the opening Thursday night of Wickham Festival at the end of Show of Hands’ headline set to tell the audience about the walk starting from the site the following morning. Wickham Festival organiser Peter Chegwyn said: “We are honoured that Matthew has chosen to start his Big Walk at Wickham. It’s a great thing to do and a fantastic cause and I hope it raises a lot of money and awareness.

Matthew Bannister is hoping members of the public will join him on the Big Walk

“We have a brilliant crowd at Wickham and I am sure they will turn out in their numbers to give Matthew a good send-off and some donations. It will be a wonderful way to start what promises to be another terrific event for us. I am just sorry Matthew won’t get to see much of it as he will be walking while we are all enjoying fantastic music and hopefully the sunshine.

“It’s just as well Matthew is not starting his walk here on Saturday night – otherwise our headliners, The Proclaimers, would have him walk 500 miles – and 500 more! We wish him all the best for this venture and hope to see him at Wickham next year for a more relaxing weekend!”

The Proclaimers would have Matthew Bannister walk 500 miles – and 500 more!

Becky Marshall-Potter, co-director of FolkEast, said the three-day festival was delighted to be part of Matthew’s epic walk and looked forward to cheering him over the finish line.

“Musicians, technical crew, promoters, venues and festivals are working together to build back an industry that was floored by the pandemic and is now facing the effects of the cost of living crisis. By supporting our musicians, we support the whole of this internationally respected industry and those who work within it. So, polish up your walking boots and tramp on!”

You can support Matthew in many ways: – Make a donation at www.folkonfoot.com/bigwalk

– Join him for part of the walk (his route map can be seen at www.folkonfoot.com/bigwalk)

– Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #FoFBigWalk23

– Click here to donate.




Day One of the Big Walk

High Street, West Meon, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 1LN https://www.thethomaslord.co.uk

DAY 2: Saturday 5th August: The Swan Hotel STEVE KNIGHTLEY AND JOHNNY KALSI

High Street, Alton, Hampshire GU34 1AT. https://www.greenekinginns.co.uk/hotels/swan-hotel-alton/

DAY 3: Sunday 6th August: The Winchfield Inn ELIZA MARSHALL; JON WILKS

Station Road, Winchfield, Hampshire RG27 8BX http://www.thewinchfieldinn.co.uk

DAY 4: Monday 7th August: The Royal Foresters MARTIN SIMPSON

London Road, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 8DR 01344596480 https://www.theroyalforesters.co.uk

DAY 5: Tuesday 8th August: The Crown and Cushion JANICE BURNS AND JON DORAN

Eton High St, Eton, Berkshire SL4 6AF https://www.thecrownandcushioneton.co.uk

DAY 6: Wednesday 9th August: The Coy Carp KIRSTY MERRYN

Coppermill Lane, Harefield, Uxbridge, Greater London UB96HZ https://www.vintageinn.co.uk/restaurants/london/thecoycarpharefielduxbridge#/

DAY 7: Thursday 10th August: Moor Mill Pub and Restaurant HONEY AND THE BEAR

Smug Oak Lane, Bricket Wood, Colney Street, Radlett, Herts AL2 3TZ https://www.beefeater.co.uk/en-gb/locations/hertfordshire/moor-mill?cid=GLBC_40015055

DAY 8: Friday 11th August The Practitioner Bar MEGSON

76-78, Fore Street, Hertford SE14 1BY https://www.thepractitionerbar.co.uk

DAY 9: Saturday 12th August: The Prince of Wales SID GOLDSMITH AND DANNY PEDLER OF TARREN Green Tye, Much Hadham, Herts SG10 6JP https://www.facebook.com/people/The-Prince-of-Wales-Green-Tye/100063664595183/?_rdr

DAY 10: Sunday 13th August: The Swan Inn BIRD IN THE BELLY

The Endway, Great Easton, Dunmow, Essex CM6 2HG https://www.facebook.com/people/The-Swan-inn-Great-Easton/100066627468551/

DAY 11: Monday 14th August: The Green Man KATIE SPENCER

3, Church Lane, Toppesfield, Essex CO9 4DR https://www.facebook.com/greenmantopps/?locale=en_GB

DAY 12: Tuesday 15th August: The Crown Hotel KNIGHT AND SPIERS

Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9JL https://www.thecrownhotelmelford.co.uk

DAY 13: Wednesday 16th August: The Greyhound BELLA HARDY

2, Ipswich Road, Claydon, Ipswich, Suffolk IP6 0AR https://www.greyhoundpubclaydon.co.uk

DAY 14: Thursday 17th August: The Duck THE YOUNG ’UNS

Station Road, Campsea Ashe, Suffolk IP13 0PT https://www.theduckcampseaashe.co.uk

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    Newly confirmed. 3 Daft Monkeys will be at our 2024 Wickham Festival on Fri., Aug. 2. Other bands already confirmed inc. Tankus the Henge; Skipinnish; & The Men They Couldn't Hang. More to be announced shortly. www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets ... See MoreSee Less

    Newly confirmed.  3 Daft Monkeys will be at our 2024 Wickham Festival on Fri., Aug. 2. Other bands already confirmed inc. Tankus the Henge; Skipinnish; & The Men They Couldnt Hang.  More to be announced shortly.  www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets

    26 CommentsComment on Facebook

    Great so far! Please get Tide Lines back!


    Excellent 🤘🤘

    Brilliant band! 😊

    Happy days!

    Awesome!!! Got my ticket months ago, so am so excited!! xx

    Can’t wait to volunteer again 😊

    This just gets better and better. When are you going to announce the Second Coming of Warren Zevon, who will be headlining on Sunday !!!!!! Four acts announced, albums by three in my collection......That's what makes Wickham such a wonderful festival and the musical highlight of my year......!!


    I love it when these announcements start. I don't know this band but it gives me a chance to start researching. So looking forward to Wickham Music Festival August 2024. Tickets bought in August 23!

    Can we have the SAS band and Alabama 3 back please 🙏

    Can’t wait

    Another fantastic band! Thank you 🙂

    excellent news three daft monkeys

    How long are the Early Bird tickets on for? I'm trying to round up several others but I don't want to miss out while others dither Wickham Music Festival

    So happy that 3 Daft Monkeys Are at Wickham next year. They were awesome at South Petherton earlier this year 😊

    Yay 😃

    Yessss, excellent, one of my favourites😁

    Great craic are those 3 Daft Monkeys.

    Megan James Astrid must be thrilled with the line up so far for Wickham! All her favs x

    Fab line up already… add Alabama 3 please!!!! 😎❤️

    Dammit Actb Smith looks like I’ll be missing a great lineup next year. Bet you’re glad you got early tickets now!

    3 Daft Monkeys!! Can't wait

    Brilliant festival Wickham Music Festival

    Brilliant 😍

    View more comments

    Pleased to confirm that The Men They Couldn't Hang will be back at Wickham in 2024 as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations. Always a great live band. ... See MoreSee Less

    Pleased to confirm that The Men They Couldnt Hang will be back at Wickham in 2024 as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations.  Always a great live band.

    30 CommentsComment on Facebook

    Great news!!👏👏👏👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

    I would appreciate Graham Nash again, sadly never got to see him in 2018, but completely understand if he’s out of budget

    Excellent news! My favourite band and my favourite festival!

    Great stuff !!! Thanks !! Pamela Horrigan

    Great news!

    Great live act well done

    Thats just great news !!!!

    Always a good slot!


    Fantastic - very much looking forward to seeing them

    Which night are they playing ?

    Great 😊

    YAY - thank you Wickham Music Festival 🥰

    Simon Tremlett ..this year we are going !

    Deirdre Arthur

    Excellent. Have booked for the Shepherd's Bush Gala night and for Barnoldswick but you just can't have too much of a great thing......Must say, it's all going rather well for Wickham 2024, but then we KNEW it would! What delights are to be revealed in the coming days, I wonder...??

    Woo hoo!


    Tmtch and tankus? Looking like its going to be a great year so far

    Any more confirmed yet?

    Ooh amazing news.

    Yay. Well happy.

    Steven C Turner


    Finn Murphy McSweggan

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    Delighted to announce that top Scottish band Skipinnish are newly confirmed for the 2024 Wickham Festival on Sat. 3 Aug. Same day as Tankus the Henge. Lots more artists being announced this week. Earlybird tickets still available via www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets
    ... See MoreSee Less

    Video image

    4 CommentsComment on Facebook

    Hurrah. My favourite

    Superb. One of my absolute favourites......Thanks Peter and Team! Starting to drool already.....

    Saw them at the Brook last month and now looking g forward to seeing g them again at Wickham 🥳

    Please consider Robert Plants Saving Grace, his latest project which is very folk based.

    Seen in East London. We've booked Ronnie Lane's band Slim Chance several times. They're great! Have you any photos of other roads named after musicians? ... See MoreSee Less

    Seen in East London.  Weve booked Ronnie Lanes band Slim Chance several times.  Theyre great!  Have you any photos of other roads named after musicians?

    15 CommentsComment on Facebook

    Here's another. Heinz Burt Close in Eastleigh. Named after Heinz, the former bass player of The Tornados (famed for their hit Telstar)

    Not named after me as such, but I’ve dj’d the silent disco the last 2 years for Bug Beats Events at the Wickham Music Festival! 🤣🤣

    There's Charles Watts Way at Hedge end of course

    Hi Pete. Did you see my email. Croft No 5 have reformed!! 😊

    I saw Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance in 1976 in the Roundhouse, Chalk Farm. What a great band.

    Marylebone, London

    As part of the 'other festival' in Pilton you will find a new road Maggies Farm, not a band member but of course from Bobs tune.

    How come? 😉

    OK - I need to get out more! Here’s a little something to fulfil the request!

    Ash Smither

    Can't remember where this was now but great name 🤭

    Of course its Swansea so it may be the Welsh Dylan

    Spotted this in Partinico, Sicily.

    In his home town of Paisley.

    Not a road name, but Billy Bragg Bicycles sign in Gillingham is one I remember from childhood. Obviously not that Billy Bragg!

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