Popular local acts complete line-up for Swanbourne Music Festival as competition winners are announced

The line-up for the Swanbourne Music Festival - headlined by Toploader of Dancing in the Moonlight fame - has been announced, as have the 10 lucky winners of tickets to the event.

Over at the pretty Buckinghamshire village of Swanbourne, the idea of the summer holiday would appear to be a thing of the past. Local village pub, The Betsey Wynne, has just shut its doors for five weeks – not for a chance for the team to get down to the beach - but to carry out some exciting renovations and improvements.

In fact, the only buckets and spades you’ll see there will belong to the scores of builders and associated trades who are working around the clock adding a new extension and fitting a huge wood-fired oven for their new hand-crafted pizza menu.

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But that’s not all, as the Betsey Wynne’s Manager, Jack Ashmore, is not only overseeing the new building works, but he is also responsible for co-ordinating the revived Swanbourne Music Festival which the pub is organising to benefit three local charities on Sunday 27th August – the week after the pub’s reopening.

The Betsey Wynne in SwanbourneThe Betsey Wynne in Swanbourne
The Betsey Wynne in Swanbourne

“Fortunately, I managed to get a couple of days away with the family before the work started so I’m fresh and fired up for what promises to be a brilliant Summer,” said Jack.

“The preparations and planning for the Swanbourne Music Festival are well under way and the last of the popular local acts have now been agreed to make this year’s Festival a great feast of music, food, fun and fizz which the whole family can enjoy.”

Headlining is Toploader, one of the definitive bands of the Britpop era whose global hit, “Dancing in the Moonlight”, spent over a year in the European Airplay Charts.

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The majority of the support acts will be familiar faces within the Bucks and Milton Keynes area and Jack and his team have been to see every one of them live to ensure that they produce the right mix of familiarity, fun, and talent. They are: The Fabulators, The Buckley Collaboration, Hannah White, Fraser & Toots, Sam Deed, Cortes & Jackson, Irene Skylakaki and Palmerston.

The Betsey Wynne in SwanbourneThe Betsey Wynne in Swanbourne
The Betsey Wynne in Swanbourne

While Jack and The Betsey Wynne will be ensuring a steady supply of tempting food and drink offerings throughout the day, festival-goers will have the chance to browse stalls with independent jewellery makers, goodies for pets, handmade fudges and treats, health and beauty services, local crafts and produce while face painting and fabulous inflatables will entertain the kids.

The Swanbourne Music Festival will be championing three charities that are dear to the Swanbourne Estate’s heart. These are:

Medical Detection Dogs - Training dogs to help people with life-threatening health conditions

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The Puzzle Centre - providing education, support and research for early years autism

Help Olivia Walk - helping Olivia, daughter of Palmerston’s founder, with mobility support in order to gain her independence.

Tickets are selling well but discounted Early Bird tickets are set to rise on 1st August.


The Fabulators

Well known locally and often seen at dances, hops, balls, weddings, this four-piece band has a wide repertoire spanning the decades, with the emphasis on rock, rock ‘roll, pop and blues and play music that makes everyone look good on the dance floor – whether it’s inside or out. We’re expecting them to shimmy the shack as they play favourite covers with passion and precision!

The Buckley Collaboration

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Led by singer songwriter, Tim Buckley, the band has always had something of the movable feast about it with a line-up of gifted experience supplied by the eponymous leader, steadfastly and brilliantly assisted by bass player, Chris Crooks. The pair are then supplemented by gifted collaborators - currently Callum Mangold-Jackson, lead guitar, Elliot Smith, keyboard and Matt Manning on drums. Catchy folk-rock, heart-rending ballads and good old-fashioned foot stomping rock songs mark the sound of The Collaboration.

Hannah White

Hannah was once described by Country Music People Magazine as “...the Amy Winehouse of UK Americana.” She has a loyal following of fans around the UK whilst maintaining a wholly independent approach to her career. Her music is influenced by country, blues, folk, pop and soul but remains distinctly her own. With a voice that can switch from a sweet Nashville croon to a bluesy holler, her songs draw from a rich well of life experiences. She’s performed for Whispering Bob Harris and at many major festivals and has been heard on the national airwaves including Radio 2, Amazing Radio, Chris Country Radio as well major regional UK radio shows.She’s also wowed audiences at shows with multi-Grammy Award winning Tim O’Brien, Thea Gilmore, Laurence Fox, Judie Tzuke and Ben Haenow.

Fraser & Toots

Fraser (Guitar, Vocal, and StompBox) and Toots (Accordion), are songsters and tunesmiths who play a huge mix of their own songs, acoustic folk, and jazzy ragtime blues - which they call Rag’n’Roll. These are the foot-tapping, finger-snapping, cat-swinging, scat-singing, bunny hugging songs from the 2O’s, 30’s and 40’s (think Fats Waller, Fred Astaire, Louis Jordan & friends) that everyone can rock to. Well-known locally, the pair are often heard on BBC local radio, and Fraser and Toots are regular performers at folk and acoustic clubs and festivals.

Sam Deed

At 16, Sam is the Festival’s youngest performer. A singer/songwriter from Dunstable, he’s currently studying music performance at Milton Keynes College in the hope of becoming a great stage performer. He started performing about four years ago and within the last year these performances have been growing significantly. He can be seen at open mic nights every week with new opportunities showing up more and more frequently. He really enjoys performing at pubs due to the friendly community of performers who network around the area.

Cortes & Jackson

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Cortes & Jackson are a song-writing duo (Elliot Smith - Piano/Vocals and Callum Mangold-Jackson - Guitar/Vocals) who have created a distinctive sound, drawing from influences as diverse as funk, jazz and even ragtime. The pair have developed a style which is both intensely rhythmic and theatrical, bringing a fresh twist to modern pop culture. Currently based near Milton Keynes, the pair met at university and a few jam sessions later discovered their unique individual playing styles blended perfectly, to create a powerful chemistry. Pianist, Elliot, takes his inspiration from a primarily classical and rock background, whilst guitarist Callum’s musical style is more rooted in traditional blues, soul and rock ‘n roll. Together they are already generating excitement wherever they play.

Irene Skylakaki

A singer-songwriter from Athens, Irene Skylakaki is now based in the UK and has performed in support for Beirut, Daughter, Cass McCombs, Archive, Jessie Ware &Macy Gray, amongst others. Irene is on tour promoting her third album, Matterless, which has been produced by Danton Supple (Coldplay, U2, Morrissey, Patti Smith, Ed Harcourt), and features musicians including Richard Jupp (Elbow). With a velvet voice and a gift for building catchy folk-rock songs teeming with astonishingly beautiful melodies, Irene is often compared to artists like Laura Marling and Regina Spektor.


Local band Palmerston are a firm favourite in Buckinghamshire. With inspired song writing by Alan Rondeau, Palmerston will be sure to be making magic music when they take to the stage before Toploader. With plenty of vocal harmonies, country fiddle, a slice of banjo, mandolin, harmonica, guitars and fun, they recently toured with Albert Lee who commented: “The gentlemen of Palmerston guarantee you an exciting evening of music which involves styles past and good times galore. But the music is fresh, invigorating, all theirs and a must-see-and-hear.”


Since forming in 1997, Toploader have over two million album sales to their name and a string of top 20 hits both home and abroad. Their debut album ‘Onka’s Big Moka,’ sold over one million copies and remained in the Top 5 of the UK album chart for over six months earning them four Brit Award nominations. In 2000, the single ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’, became a global hit spending over a year in European Airplay Charts which transformed Toploader into a household name. Toploader are currently on tour promoting their fourth album ‘Seeing Stars’, which includes the singles ‘Roll with the Punches’ and ‘Boom Song’.


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From 452 entries in total and 10 winners - who each get two tickets to the event - were chosen at random. Congratulations to:

1) Emma Jones

2) Kirsty Shanks

3) Lucy Major

4) Jamie baker

5) Ashly Ellis

6) Denise Batts

7) Joanna Hybert

8) Honor Brady, 07715864106

9) Lianne Cooper

10) Debbie Evans