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Wickhambrook music festival saved from folding

The team that runs the Greyhound pub in Wickhambrook has stepped in to save the village music festival from folding.

The Meeting Green pub is set to hold what used to be Wickhamstock - but has been renamed Wickfest - from Friday, July 24 to Sunday 26.

Taking star billing will be the Honnington Military Wives Choir, who will sing on the Sunday, but another eight acts are set to perform in the pub’s recently refurbished beer garden.

The pub’s manager, Jack Couzens, said the music festival had been running for a decade before its two founders, John Grace and John Miller - on whose land it as staged - were unable to carry on and so it moved to become part of the Wickhambrook Carnival.

It stayed there for the past two years, but then found itself in need of a saviour after the carnival organisers decided they couldn’t carry on hosting it.

Jack, who runs the pub and its restaurant, Twenty One, in partnership with his partner Damien Pearce and mum and dad Karen and Paul Couzen, said: “They couldn’t continue to run it and we felt we didn’t want to see another village tradition fall off the edge so we’ve got it here for the first time.”

On the first day of Wickfest there will be one live band, Hesh, with a further five on Saturday; Liquid Cosh, Medicine Tree, Stereo Jack, Function Band, Stretch Soul Gang and Tom Robinson and two on Sunday, the Honington Military Wives Choir and Nikki.

Entry is free and the pub is open from midday to 11pm on each day of the festival.

On Saturday Chilford Hall Vineyard will be holding a wine tasting and there will be children’s entertainment from 2pm to 5pm courtesy of Blue Kangaroo Events.

Running in tandem with Wickfest is a beer festival, with more than 20 real ales and seven ciders over the three days.

Jack paid tribute to the previous organisers of Wickhamstock, saying: “I would like to thank the carnival committee for running this for the past two years and the two Johns for running it for ten years.

“Without them this would never have happened.”

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