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Hanwell Hootie 2017. Photo by Paul James

The Hootie is back…and even bigger

London’s largest, free one-day music festival is back. On Saturday, 12 May, as many as 24,000 music fans could flock to hear more than 90 bands performing at 15 different venues at The Hanwell Hootie.

There are three outdoor stages, including the 5,000-capacity Viaduct Meadow opposite Ealing Hospital (which successfully debuted last year). But there are also nine local pubs, a school and even a church opening their doors to host an amazing mix of emerging and established bands. And, if you do not fancy walking between the venues, there will even be a free bus service to transport you around as you take your pick of the talent.

You can watch our short video of last year’s Hootie for a brief taste.

For the first time this year there will also be a musical comedy stage headlined by Rich Hall; and, adding to the family-friendly atmosphere, a food festival too.

This will be the sixth Hanwell Hootie. The event was launched in 2013 by local people, with the support of local organisations including Ealing Council and the Ealing Club – and Marshall Amplification, now a global company but with humble origins in Hanwell. The festival grew so fast that its management became the job of a community interest company (CIC). You can read more about this later…

In the meantime, take in the headline music acts for 2018, which include:

  • Fizzy Blood, who have had rave reviews from BBC Radio 1 and Kerrang! magazine
  • Rews, described as “Stupendous – if you get a chance to see them, go” by BBC Radio 6’s Mark Radcliffe
  • Du Bellows – already firm favourites of the Hootie, who Led Zeppelin’s legendary guitarist Jimmy Page spoke of as: “One of the most interesting and musically adept bands I have seen recently.” Lead singer Jade Williams is also a finalist in The Voice TV show
  • Desert Mountain Tribe – and their “Catchy, driving rock anthems,” according to Drownedinsound.com
‘Really excited about the line-up’

One of the Hanwell Hootie CIC directors, Andy McRobbie, said: “I’m really excited about the line-up we have this year. We thought it was important to focus primarily on the type of music the Marshall amp had a direct effect on, in all its wonderful forms.

“Not every band will be for everyone, but that’s the beauty of the festival. If you don’t like it, just walk five minutes to the next venue or to the next one and you will soon stumble across a band you will fall in love with. It’s not all rock of course; we have a nice sprinkling of funk, jazz, Afrobeat and other such things to get your groove on.

“Personally, I can’t wait to see Fizzy Blood and Desert Mountain Tribe. Expect some big riffs, anthemic choruses, and mind bending visuals.”

So, why is Hanwell the home of this music festival?

It is the birthplace of the mighty Marshall guitar amplifier. Jim Marshall, who later was given the moniker ‘the Father of Loud’, opened his first shop there in 1962 and sold his own amplifier – in response to demand from the growing number of blues and rock musicians looking for a louder and more powerful amp. It quickly became the ‘go-to’ destination for some of greatest names in rock to buy equipment – and to rehearse. The company went on to become a world-renowned brand.

Jim Marshall died in 2012, and the Hootie’s founders vowed to keep his legacy going by establishing a music festival. In its first year, just 13 bands played in three venues. By last year, the attendance topped 21,000, and for the sixth annual festival the Hootie expects to welcome even more music fans to the ‘Home of Loud’.

Jon Ellery, managing director of Hootie sponsors Marshall, said: “Our philosophy with the festival is celebrating our roots, bringing fantastic live music to Hanwell and putting the area back on the music map.”

Faye Hamilton, Hootie director, added: “The festival aims to build a strong community focus and is open to a wide range of people, all ages and ethnicities. It is important for us to keep the festival as a free-entry event because it helps to break down social barriers and allows people to attend on an equal basis.”

Want more information?

Keep an eye on Ealing News Extra for band interviews and more details in the build-up to the big day.

For full details of the line-up, timings and the list of venues go to www.hanwellhootie.co.uk

For other updates, visit www.facebook.com/TheHanwellHootie or follow @HanwellHootie on Twitter.

Photos copyright of Paul James, and used with the permission of The Hanwell Hootie.

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