Last year we went to Bedgebury Forest in Kent to see the Modfather, Paul Weller. I can honestly say it was one of the best live gigs I've ever been to. The setting, the scenery, the atmosphere, the company and of course the music all made it a night to remember. When he sneaked his old mate Roger Daltry onto the stage and they belted out Substitute and I can't explain the place went crazy and everyone was up dancing from teeny bopper toddlers to ageing mods.
You can see some great footage here, including the moment Daltry duets with Weller on the iconic Changingman track.
There was something about the mix of audience that made it feel like a glorious celebration. Picnic blankets laid out, families enjoying the atmosphere, kids on shoulders and die-hard mods trying to see the stage through their mop-tops. One couple gave up their cool box so a young fan could stand on it for a better view of his hero, and the whole ambience was laid-back and friendly. There's something about outdoor venues which automatically feel more relaxed and festival-like.
This year, Forest Live have a huge range of acts lined up to play at some of the most beautiful locations across the country and we can't wait to go back to Bedgebury this year to see Paloma Faith.
Acts playing this year include The Vamps, Spandau Ballet, McBusted, Robert Plant and Tom Odell and I've got a pair of tickets to see Tom Odell to giveaway to one lucky reader.
Attending a Forest Live concert doesn't just mean you get to experience great music though. Income generated from ticket sales is spent on protecting, improving and expanding England's woodlands and increasing their value to people and wildlife. Over their 14 year history, Forest Live has made a huge contribution to a wide range of projects from wildlife conservation, to access and improvements for visitors.
So do you really need an excuse not to get out there, enjoy some open space and some incredible live music? There's great facilities on site, free parking and lots of refreshment stalls if you don't fancy packing a picnic. Not even the weather can spoil this great night out.
I'm offering a pair of tickets to see Tom Odell courtesy of Forest Live, he's playing at the following:
19 June, Bedgebury Pinetum, near Tunbridge Wells, Kent
20 June, Westonbirt Aboretum, near Tetbury, Glocestershire
25 June, Dalby Forest, near Pickering, North Yorkshire
26 June, Sherwood Pines, near Mansfield, Notts
4 July, Delamere Forest, Cheshire
12 July, Cannock Chase, near Rugely, Staffordshire
The winner can choose from any of the dates/venues above to see this brilliant singer-songwriter.
You will of course recognise Tom Odell from his hauntingly beautiful cover of the single Real Love which was used in last years' John Lewis advertising, but there's a lot more to him that that.
His debut album ‘Long Way Down’ shot straight to number one. Singles from the album including ‘Can’t Pretend’, ‘Hold Me’ and the gargantuan ‘Another Love’ illustrate a song-writing maturity beyond his years and resulted in him achieving the ultimate industry accolade of ‘Songwriter of the Year’ at the 2014 Ivor Novello Awards as well as previously winning the BRITs Critics’ Choice Award for 2013. Following a succession of sold out headline tours and with ‘Long Way Down’ being certified gold, a packed summer of festival appearances in 2014 included V Festival, Isle of Wight and a show supporting one of his idols Neil Young at Hyde Park.
So what are you waiting for? Check out ticket availability for artists including McBusted, The Vamps, Spandau Ballet and Robert Plant on the Forest Live site, and get entering this giveaway to win a pair of tickets to see Tom Odell in the forest for yourself.
This giveaway is open to UK entrants only. Closes at midnight on 31st May 2015. One winner will be selected at random to win a pair of tickets to see Tom Odell at their choice of venue/date as listed above. No alternative will be offered and no refunds or replacements will be offered if for any reason the concert is cancelled. Travel and any associated expenses are not included.
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