The concept of Roots Music Weekends developed from the reputation of Bewdley and the Wyre Forest as a thriving music scene. Over the years, Bewdley has attracted a full range of musical individuals to make the town their home. These are not only singers or instrumentalists, but include writers, sound engineers and music producers involved all genres of music.
All music has its roots in history and those roots come from all parts of the world. It was the wide-range of opportunities, musically and geographically, that appealed to us in creating this weekend as a prelude to the main Festival.
We felt that by combining education with entertainment the Roots Music Weekends could appeal to an audience on a national basis, not just locally. Additionally they would provide local businesses with an opportunity to become directly involved with Bewdley Festival and create a marketing story to promote both the businesses and the area.
Our first Roots Weekend in October 2019 was based around the award winning documentary trilogy of films, “American Epic”, highlighting the history of American music and recording. In addition to showing the three films the weekend programme also featured Q and A sessions with the filmmakers, lectures, exhibitions and live music.
Throughout the Saturday the town centre became “Main Street USA”, with a programme of free events featuring ukulele bands, American vehicles, musicians, a opera singer and street artists. Local businesses strongly supported the events and the town bustled with visitors.
Such was the success of this Epic Weekend that our Festival Roots Weekend has earned its right to a place in the Festival calendar every year, with the next one featuring English Roots music.