Love live music? Here's the low down on the thirteenth Big Bursfest

Bursfest 13 Photo A Frame. 12 Dlugokecki Trio a Frame cropFor lovers of live music, the Thirteenth Big Bursfest Music Festival will be taking place in Bursledon Village Hall on Saturday, February 24. Co-founder and Bitterne Parker Rob Swallow tells us how it all started, and what to expect this year...


We started the Big Bursfest in February 2011 and it has now grown to twenty-two acts playing on two stages.

I’ve lived in Bitterne Park since I was twenty-four years old but was originally from Hamble, which is where I met festival co-founder, Ron May, at secondary school. Ron lives in Bursledon, just a few hundred yards from Bursledon Village Hall, which had started a millennium fund to restore the hall to its former glory and now provides a modern community space for all to use.

It was Ron who came up with the idea for the two of us to put on a one-day music festival in 2011 to help raise funds for the hall. At the first festival, there were around eight acts playing and two open mic slots throughout the day. It was well-attended, and all the proceeds were donated to the village hall fund.

Bursfest 13 Photo A Frame. 12 Dlugokecki Trio a Frame crop

At that time, we only imagined it would be a one-off event but to our surprise we started getting requests from musicians to play at the next festival in 2012. This one generated enough money to donate half the proceeds to a nominated charity as well.

Around six years ago, a first-floor extension was added to Bursledon Village Hall, which has provided an additional space for ten fantastic acts to play in the festival’s ‘Gallery Sessions’ alongside the twelve acts on the main stage. We are ever grateful to the musicians who give up their time for free to support Burfest’s good causes.

Bursfest 13 Photo A Frame

Street food at the festival is provided by It’s a Pizza Thing serving straight from their wood-fired oven. A well-stocked bar is run by Botley Brewery - Hidden Tap, and there are plentiful supplies of tea and coffee, as well as home-made cakes donated to the ‘Let There Be Cake’ table. This is all wrapped up in a lovely, cosy village hall.

Doors open at 11.30am with live music from midday until 10.30pm. Tickets are available on the door - single tickets are £12.00 and double tickets are £20.00 with children under sixteen free-of-charge. Early-bird tickets can be bought from the Big Bursfest website at which also has details of all the acts playing.

Bursfest 13 Photo A Frame. 14 SUKULELEJam. A Frame crop

Our nominated charity this year is Solent Youth Action which operates from Eastleigh, which supports vulnerable young people aged 10-25 with disabilities, mental health issues, young carers and young offenders.

If you love live music, why not join the ‘Friends of the Big Bursfest’ Facebook group for more details about the The Big Bursfest 13 line-up, as well as other local gigs by Bursfest musicians happening throughout the year.

Come along on 24th February and join the party at Bursledon Village Hall, Long Lane, Bursledon, SO31 8BZ!

Rob Swallow

Bursfest 13 Phot A Frame on Poster 1 22 Sunflower WITH lineup running order


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