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A tent staging live music at night, with the stage lit up against the darkness and the audience of people milling around

Hanwell Hootie returns, with a slight twist

The Hanwell Hootie is back for the 11th time on Saturday 11 May. This time it is a little different to usual, but will still have the same rock and roll spirit.

Since it was first held in 2013 as a free music festival by local people, the Hootie grew in renown and popularity. And 2022’s event was possibly the biggest yet, across 2 days. It included bands performing on outdoor stages, in a big top tent and, of course, at a lot of Hanwell’s pubs.

It has showcased hundreds of new, young and emerging bands from across the UK, supported local musicians and also brought back some popular and famous ‘oldies’.

However, this year, the event will be a little bit smaller in scale – but will still stretch across the town and feature a wide selection of top-notch music.

‘Putting Hanwell firmly on the musical map’

Andy McRobbie, one of the event’s directors, said: “Our fundamental ethos remains the same. We want to nurture young and emerging artists, celebrate the area’s rich musical heritage and create a sense of pride in our little corner of west London, putting Hanwell firmly on the musical map. We have always paid all artists a good fee whilst keeping the festival free to attend and we are continuing with these core values.

“Since our inception in 2013 we have been entirely volunteer led, run by a very small team of directors. This has always been a labour of love for us. We have poured huge amounts of our time and energy into making the festival the best it can be year-on-year. And, 11 years on, this tiny core group of directors remain. Inevitably, as our individual circumstances have changed over the years, we simply don’t have the capacity to put as much of our time and energy into running the festival. This is why the Hootie this year will be slightly different to previous years.”

Crowd of people in outdoor venue, drinking and eating, with tent  stage behind decorated with bunting and with a band playing inside
Enjoying the Hanwell Hootie

Earlier opening…and a boat

“The Hootie team will be curating and fully organising our 2 most iconic and unique venues, the Sandy Park stage (pictured above) and St Mellitus Church, both opening earlier than previous years,” continued Andy. “And we will also have the youth stage at Hanwell Library. But there will be no Viaduct Meadow this year. Oh, and who remembers the Busking Bus? Well, we are very excited that we have a new replacement – the Busking Boat on the canal.

“We are lucky to have so many fantastic pubs and venues in Hanwell that we have curated at all previous Hooties. However, this year, the pubs will be curating their own music with some support from the Hootie team. They will be part of the ‘Hootie day’ but will be acting independently. Our aim here is to foster the legacy of the Hootie day experience and keep it as inclusive as we can.”

Local bands wanted – and volunteers too

Bands can apply to play through an application process due to open shortly.

Applications will be open for a few weeks. Applying through this process will also allow you to apply for various other festivals throughout the UK with a few clicks.

Anyone who wants to be a part of this year’s festival can contact the Hootie’s volunteers team on volunteers@hanwellhootie.co.uk

For general inquires you can contact info@hanwellhootie.co.uk

Multiple different colour light displays inside a church, with live music and an audience
Music at St Mellitus Church during the Hanwell Hootie

Backed by a giant of music

Marshall Amps opened its first shop in Hanwell in 1960 and then, in 1962, launched the revolutionary and now world-famous Marshall Amp for guitars. The shop’s early customers included Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Ronnie Wood, Jimmy Page and other, now-legendary rock guitarists.

The Hanwell Hootie was started in 2012 by local people, with the support of the company, to celebrate the life of Jim Marshall (or ‘The Father of Loud’, as he became known) who died that year. And the first festival was held in April 2013 to mark the year anniversary of Jim’s passing – beginning with the unveiling of a plaque by the art deco Hanwell clock tower to honour him.

Also backed by Ealing Council, the 2013 Hootie showcased 13 bands in three ‘official’ pubs, but such was the enthusiasm for more music that the ‘Hootie Fringe’ was introduced and every bar or pub in Hanwell was involved. Over the subsequent years, the festival has grown and become an intrinsic part of the London music scene.

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