Charisworth Farm, Blandford Forum

The Teddy Rocks festival has become a permanent fixture of the South Coast festival season and come the end of April, the event springs up in the Dorset location of Charisworth Farm in Blandford Forum. Instigated by its team lead Tom Newton, who lost his young brother Ted to a rare bone cancer in 2008; the festival since its foundation has raised huge sums of money for a host of Children’s cancer charities, providing financial and emotional support to children and families undergoing treatment for cancer.

The festival seems to just grow and grow each year since its humble beginnings in the Greyhound pub in Blandford. In the week up until the festival’s start Tom and his team of selfless volunteers have battled again the typical British elements. However, as usual; the site is ready and looks amazing with a few notable changes to improve everyone’s enjoyment. The festival features multiple stages including the main Ted Newton stage, Big Man Stage, Vocalzone Stage, two stages in the Transcend Merry Woodland, Hangover Hill Expressions Lounge (Comedy and Acoustic tent), Teddy Raves inflatable Tent and a stage in the Festival’s very own on-site pub.

Over the next three days the Rock Regeneration Team of myself David Chinery (Chinners), Ross A. Ferrone, Lynn Burt and our newest recruit Becky Crothall-Brown will bring to you coverage of many of the acts performing at the Teddy Rock Festival. Our article will be in three parts; including photographs, videos and our thoughts throughout the weekend. With the multiple stages to choose from along with an eclectic mix of acts, we can promise to cover a variety of artists. I’m just off to catch my first band and I’ll leave you with Ross to tell you all about Friday evening’s entertainment…..

Day One…
So, the short (one-hour) trek from Christchurch (via Creekmoor) to our destination in Blandford is easily navigated with little fuss as we enter the Teddy site once more. We grab our passes and proceed to find our first act of the day. The mud is still an issue after heavy rain on Thursday, but the sun shows its face throughout the day ensuring spirits aren’t dampened. And talking of spirits we first head to the bar! There’s music emanating from the Woodland Stage as we catch our first band of the day Kingsfoil. We only catch their last two songs due to WiFi problems at the ticket desk that thankfully subsided.


A short walk across the site takes us to the Vocalzone Stage to catch rising stars in the making, Bournemouth’s Happy Cry. The crowd this early on is sparse, but they still deliver their tortured Indie and the now familiar but popular cover of Tears for Fears “Mad World”. These guys put on a great show with a bigger stage than they are used to, allowing more expansion to their shapeshifting. The few punters who have come to witness them give good applause.

Happy Cry
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Brighton’s Snake Eyes are next up on this stage with their (to my ears) “Gloomy/Indie” – there you have it, a new genre has been invented!! Gravelly, moody vocals; paired to snare-driven hitting in the engine room. The clangy guitars fight for space alongside the throbbing bass which reverberates around the tent. There’s far too much cussing early doors for my liking, which maybe I’ll put down to nerves; but their audience is expanding. “Another World” is their set highlight and they too leave to decent applause.

Our first venture to the Big Top/Big Man stage introduces me to The Outlaw Orchestra which offers a hard, heady mix of Dirty Blues (another new genre) and Dirty RnR. Suddenly I find myself thinking about the famous Patrick Swayze film Roadhouse, it has that kind of vibe. “See You in Hell” is an early highlight as I stick around and enjoy a genre I wouldn’t normally pay much attention to. Their attire suits their sound and they confidently deliver foot-tapping crowd-pleasers to an assorted crowd.

Chinners Here: Ross for some unknown reason forgot to go and see the mighty Saints of Sin on the main stage; Myself, Becky and Lynn have been fans of theirs for quite a while and even with a change of frontman to the mighty JV – Joshua Vaughan (formerly of Rock band Capulus) their live sets are a treat to behold. Tonight the band and the crowd are fired up, kicking off with “Heart Attack”.

The band spring into action; they’re full of youthful energy, and the whole of the first few rows are singing the words right back at the band. They make full use of the big stage and even make a few diversions into the crowd, their wireless guitar systems allow Sparxx and Ash to continue playing while running through the audience – amazingly Sparxx’s bright white trainers magically avoid the mud somehow.

JV also joins in the fun and jostles amongst the audience while still delivering pitch-perfect vocals. We are treated to a brand new song titled “Without U” which infectiously gets into our heads right from the first listen. The fun continues with the band’s version of “Uptown Funk”, which gets the whole crowd singing and I think even if Ross was here he would be singing along too. Saints of Sin have supported the Teddy Rocks festival for many years and even performed a set when it was at the Greyhound Pub just down the road back in 2017. These big-hearted lads are always willing to perform for this cause and for that, the crowd and this festival salute them.

Right, I’m off somewhere to avoid these Welsh Rappers and this well-known rather annoying dance troupe, so I’ll hand you back to the very tall one (Ross), who you would not want to stand in front of at a gig…..!!

Saints Of Sin
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Feeling a bit peckish I fuel up with a chicken burger before heading to the Main (Ted) Stage for Goldie Looking Chain. I have to admit I am neither a big fan or knowledgeable of too many of their songs – that would all change in 40 glorious minutes. Another thing, I didn’t know there were eight of them?! They amble onstage amid a melange of samples and cussing and set out their stall early doors. They have pulled a huge crowd and most seem to know every song. It’s a wonderful mish-mash of faux (Gangsta) rappin’ with adult humour and self-deprecation. No one band member stays still as each and every one patrol every inch of the stage.

Goldie Lookin Chain
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The set highlight for me has to be “Your Mrs Is A Nutter” which is just priceless. The “hit” gets the fanfare and big build-up it deserves – “Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do”, as relevant today as ever. It gets the obligatory singalong and they milk it for every last drop. Just when we think they are about to depart us they bang on some “choons” from back in the day and proceed to encourage us to dance. We all join in before they finally depart. Now that is how to make an entrance…..

As we catch a breath it’s a short walk back to the Woodland Stage where local boy Mischa with his band Mischa & His Merry Men are owning it with a clutch of songs about modern struggle with a Political edge. Along with his band of Merry Men they have pulled the punters not wanting to see the Vengaboys, and are entertaining a huge crowd. “Save Our Souls” takes a distinctly RnR turn and speeds proceedings up somewhat.

Mischa And His Merry Merry Men
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We only catch the last few songs by Clams in the Voacazone; but their stellar Blues/Rock set goes down well with a good sized crowd, powerful and precise with great vocals.

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Over in the Big Man tent Punk On Your Hits have drawn a sizeable crowd with their take on classic cover versions. I have to admit to not knowing any of the songs myself but I am reliably informed that they are indeed classics. When they announce a Vengaboys cover a huge circle pit erupts and out come the beach balls. This was the final bit of entertainment for me as we head home for bedrest and recuperation before a full day’s music ahead.

Punk On Your Hits
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More Videos from the weekend can be found on our YouTube Channel here.


Words & Media by David Chinery (Chinners)
Words – Ross A. Ferrone
Photographs by Lynn Burt
Photographs & Video Content by Becky Crothall-Brown

Teddy Rocks 2023