The Alresford Music Festival is a one day music event showcasing a diverse range of music styles from both established and emerging local talent. Now in now in its 9th year the festival has grown since its inception in 2010 to become one of the most anticipated events of the Alresford year.
In 2008 with the financial crash fresh in our minds, everybody feeling the pinch and with Cheryl Cole at No1 in the charts – something needed to be done to lift our spirits…
So the idea of a music festival started to germinate. The dream and the idea was forged when Ken Veitch was given an Eric Clapton DVD of the artist’s CrossRoads Festival from 2003 and 2007. Thinking that the principles of the charity based Festival for Clapton’s drug rehabilitation clinic in Antigua could apply here in Alresford.
The plan was to place the new festival in the heart of the community, rather than the countryside and so making it easily accessible for all to feel part of. It would showcase the founder’s passion for great music and offer new, emerging and established talent the chance to play an independent, boutique festival with high standards of musical excellence, sound, lighting, management and full sized stages which offered great experiences from the outset.
Setting out with such ambition, meant finding like-minded people who shared the vision to help make it all happen. It was luck, or possibly fate, which linked Ken with Tim Miller (of Thomas Miller Creative Ltd. in Alresford) and Brian Hayward (Haywards Guitars in Winchester). Together, with a lot of blood, sweat and tears shed, they overcame logistical issues and some resistance, they jumped hurdles, led discussions, persuaded and cajoled, and eventually their sheer hard work started to make a difference. They rode the set-backs and finally with the financial backing from Alresford based First Option, the first AMF became a reality in 2010.
Thankfully our passion for the festival and the vision we had inspired others too. Many artists and bands agreed to play free or for a reduced fee so that whatever profit was made would be distributed to charity. In 2012 after, a successful first and not so successful second year (it poured with rain for two days!), the festival moved to Alrebury Park (its current home) and expanded in size and significance.
In 2014, thanks to our many wonderful sponsors, we introduced camping and free shuttle buses running to and from the festival between Winchester and Alton train stations, so that we were easily accessible from London and the south. In 2015 we established the AMF Foundation our registered charity. In 2016, we added a dedicated family arena and made all the family attractions FREE. We also extended the weekend by offering Friday night music in the town across four venues and two nights camping so festival goers could enjoy an extended weekend of music.
In 2017, we added in the artists VIP area and fifth live stage. We are still evolving and pushing the boundaries with quality of music being central to our ethos. We will never put on bands solely for commercial reasons and everyone who plays at AMF or comes as a visitor, leaves feeling like part of our growing family.
To this day Ken & Tim and their fantastic management team, continue to pour effort, time, energy and passion into the festival. It has become a much anticipated date in the annual calendar as it’s an event that’s kick-off the summer festival season.