Famous names from 1980s and contemporary chart-toppers will be sharing the spotlight at Tring’s first ever live pop concert this summer.
Headlining the music festival will be X-Factor starlets Little Mix, who became a household name when they won the 2011 series of the TV talent competition.
Chilfest, which will be held in Pendley Meadow on July 5 and 6, is the brainchild of Steve Butcher, managing director of Pitstone-based company Universal Event Production.
Steve says it is a celebration of the company’s longevity in the live events industry, as well as a chance to support local charities.
He told the Gazette this week: “We’re very fortunate to have been in the business for 15 years. It’s a milestone so we wanted to do something really cool for the community to celebrate and raise money for charity at the same time.”
Steve, 47, is hoping to bring in £30,000 for good causes Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care and Aylesbury Women’s Aid through the sale of around 14,000 tickets.
The event promises to be a family-orientated weekend with something for everyone, offering contemporary pop on the Friday followed by 80s nostalgia on the Saturday.
Artists that will be part of the 80s revival include Ultravox frontman Midge Ure, Spandeau Ballet’s Tony Hadley, synthpop star Howard Jones, Never Gonna Give You Up crooner Rick Astley, 1980s icon Hazel O’Connor and T’Pau frontwoman Carol Decker.
Youngsters will be excited to hear that there is a star-studded line up for the Friday evening, including Britain’s Got Talent stars Loveable Rogues and new-talent-on-the-block Tich, who Steve says has an “incredible voice”.
Excitement and interest is mounting in the market town as Steve admits they had 1,500 email enquiries since Chilfest was announced last Friday.
The businessman, who lives in Tring with his wife and son, said: “We’ve had an amazing reaction.
“I’ve had quite a few sleepless nights, wondering whether we’d made the right decision and booked the right acts, but after two months of research, we’re as confident as we can be now that both nights will sell out.”
Adult tickets are currently priced at an ‘earlybird rate’ of £26.50 for each night, with children’s tickets priced at £15 each. A family ticket, for two adults and two children, costs £76, but ticket prices will rise after April 9. They can be purchased from Iain Rennie shops in Tring and Berkhamsted, as well as the Chilfest website, www.chilfest.co.uk.
When questioned about the origin of the name Chilfest, Steve said: “Quite simply, Tring is in the heart of the Chilterns. But we didn’t want the name to have Tring in it, because we thought that might make it sound quite insular and Tring-exclusive. We really want to encourage other people in Hertfordshire to come to Chilfest too.
“Everything’s so doom and gloom at the moment, so we wanted to do something upbeat and hopefully bring the community together.”
To keep up to date with developments, follow @Chilfest on Twitter or search Chilfest on Facebook.