The organiser of a Somercotes music festival is gearing up for the event’s return next month, and hopes gig fans of all ages will head down to help fundraise for a cause inspired by a local youngster.
Suzy Seabridge, 49, is the brains behind Ey Up Mi Duck Festival, which is back at Amber Valley Rugby Club on the weekend April 28-30, after launching in 2016.
She said: “It looks like being even bigger and better this year, we’ve had a huge uptake from artists who want to play - there are more than 30 bands on the bill.”
A children’s and social care teacher by day, Suzy describes the festival as family friendly with a wide variety of genres and stalls and crafts to suit all ages.
She said: “My abiding memory of last year is seeing someone dressed up as a giant duck leap off the stage into the audience.
“It was just an amazing atmosphere all weekend, with a really lovely crowd.”
The family connection is key, as Ey Up Mi Duck first arose out of Suzy’s daughter’s fledgling career as a touring musician.
Suzy said: “She started playing guitar when she was 15, and very soon people were asking her to play all over the place.
“It gave me an insider’s view of the local festival circuit and how it all worked - plus it was just loads of fun.”
She added: “I realised there wasn’t really anything like it round our way.
“We have a few good rock and blues festivals, but Ey Up Mi Duck has a little bit of everything.”
Suzy’s daughter Paige Seabridge will be among the acts taking to the stage in a line up packed full of up-and-coming talent performing punk, skiffle, folk, pop and indie spread across two stages.
Topping the bill are Gaz Brookfield and Funke and the Two-Tone Baby, who both played Glastonbury in 2016, and The Leylines.
Suzy said: “I’m really excited to have got Gaz coming up from Bristol. He’s an acoustic artist, but his sound can fill a room, and there’s not many who can do that.
“He sings about real stories from his life and growing up, and there’s something really powerful about them.”
Paige also provided the choice of the event’s official charity for 2017.
Suzy said: “As soon as we’ve met all our costs, all the proceeds go to charity. Last year, the festival raised around £200 for Action for Children, and this year we are supporting Meningitis UK.
“Paige went to school with Charlotte Hannibal. I’m sure most people in the area are familiar with Charlotte’s story, and how she has been affected by meningitis.”
Charlotte, from Selston, contracted meningitis soon after starting university in 2015, and had to have both legs and several fingers amputated before starting a long recovery.
Suzy said: “Charlotte now works hard trying to encourage teenagers to get their vaccinations.
She’s an inspiration and now an ambassador for the charity.”
As well as stellar performers and a heart of gold, the festival also boasts a feast of real ales, ciders and foodstuffs ranging from hog roasts to pizza.
There are craft stalls too, selling handmade goods and opportunities for adults and children to try out new skills, while entertainers will be on site all weekend to keep the youngest festival-goers occupied.
The festival capacity is 500, meaning a relaxed and intimate feel for visitors, with professional security and first aiders on hand.
Adult tickets cost £35, ages 12 to 18 pay £20, and under- 12s go free. Some day tickets are also available.
Camping is £5 for the whole weekend and the site has indoor toilet facilities.
To purchase your ticket and find out more about the latest line-up details, visit www.eyupmiduck.co.uk.