Music to your ears

By Mark Elson in Local People

A POSTIE playing her ukulele, a guitar-strumming canoeist, bagpipes in the tower and a steel band deep underground are some of the highlights of a pop-up musical festival tomorrow (Thursday, June 15).

The unusual impromptu showcases are all part of national BBC Music Day, and will lead on to Coleford town centre’s sixth Busking Festival this Saturday (June 17).

Coleford town mayor Nick Penny, who is organising both events, said: “The pop-up event is simply a case of putting musicians into some of the area’s tourist attractions and iconic settings to raise the profile of music throughout the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley. 

“We are delighted that the BBC have allowed us to join forces with them, and even more grateful that they have allocated us a film crew for the day to capture the performances.”

Coleford postie Janice Lightly will be plucking her ukulele to entertain people on her round from 8am to 9.30am.

Acoustic duo Silurian will be performing a short set on Monmouth’s Monnow Bridge at 10am, while singer/ songwriter Kieran Marsh will be canoeing down the Wye from 10.30am armed with his guitar.

Alex Davies and Ben Coulson will be entertaining fellow permanent way workers during track maintenance work at Norchard Steam Centre on the Dean Forest Railway, from 12.15pm.

Then at 2pm, the action goes underground at Clearwell Caves, with firstly Lakers School steel pan band Pandemonium, followed at 2.20pm by Yorkley’s Rob Swannack with a short harp performance.

A “Performance in Puzzlewood” – described as quite possibly the most magical forest on the face of the Earth following filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – takes place at 3pm.

Perrygrove Railway visit Coleford town centre with their vintage traction engine with a musician sure to ‘hitch a lift’ at 3.30pm, before Ron Mudie blows his bagpipes from the Clock Tower at 4pm.

DJ ‘The Wonky Carpenter’ will also be entertaining shoppers and passers-by from the window of Moot Home and Garden in St John Street, Coleford from 3.30pm to 5pm.

Two days later, the Busking Festival, funded by Coleford Town Council, will feature an open mic stage where performers can turn up and book a performance slot, and various ‘busking points’ in and around the town centre.

The stage will be hosted again this year by Coleford singer/songwriter Bexley Terrell.

Cllr Penny says “Over the last few years the event has been a huge success with performers travelling from across the county to perform.

“Musicians of all abilities and genres are welcome to turn up to the event. The Busking Festival was created in 2012 to bring some life back into Coleford and has grown year on year.

“There is also now an annual Monmouth Busking Festival, this year on July 29 as part of Monmouth Festival, and a new event planned for Ross-on-Wye on September 9.

“Anyone interested in performing at the event is encouraged to turn up early (registration is at 9am) and book a slot on the stage, and then just to enjoy the atmosphere and busk around town.

“This event will also be looking for suitable talent to fill the last few slots at the 2017 Coleford Music Festival which takes place in the town centre on the July 22 to 23.”

Full details of the BBC Music Day event, which is being run locally in conjunction with Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association, can be found at

More information about the busking event is available at www.coleford, by emailing info@colefordbusking, by call­ing/texting Nick on 07801 650977 or emailing

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