The sun was shining, the bands were playing and the people just loved the 5th Test Fest. This much loved music festival in Taunton truly had the support of local businesses, performers and families.
With its quirky monster designs, new branding and lots of local talent the crowds flocked in and had a really fun day. Children were treated to a free ticket and a tent all of their own to make sock monsters, Pants Bunting and decorated bright orange pants. Close by was The Drumbus which had many drumming workshops all day, this culminated in a fantastic show by our patron, local entertainer Nutty Noah.
For those there for the music they were not disappointed, so much talent all in one day. Richard Huish College Band, Placeholder kicked off the festival with style, before sailing to perform at The Isle of Wight festival on the Sunday. They were joined by many south west bands including: Bliss, The Mayhaps, The Idle Silence and Thomas Kavanagh. The Jamestown Brothers and Filta really got the party started and the festival was concluded with headliners Stereosonics. In between bands, there was an exceptional duo Peck and Peck who really kept the musical momentum going. Artist Dixon Does Doodles provide a signed image of the stage including monster for the raffle!
The music festival is all about awareness of Testicular Cancer, together with the importance of self-checking and early detection. Secondly, to tell everyone what the charity does, and lastly a great get together. Lots of men who have had Testicular Cancer and their families attend to catch up and talk to each other, share news, share a beer, listen to some great music and use the Test Fest as a wonderful place to celebrate survival.
Event organisers Sue & Bill Brand from It’s in the Bag
“We are so lucky to have not only generous bands and artists who donate their performances but also this year 24 fantastic volunteers. There is also the much appreciated support from local vendors, some of whom have supported the event and charity for years, even in the difficult times. We were however blessed with the weather which played its part too. Thank you to sponsors G&H, Sheppy’s Cider, Astra Security and The Graphic Mill. A special thank you to Bridgwater & Taunton College Creative Arts Department students for their dedication and designs for the very large letters TEST FEST which have featured in many photos”.
Volunteer and Testicular Cancer Survivor Andy Whitehead says:
“Test Fest was so much fun and it was great to be part of wonderful team of volunteers. This was my first big event volunteering for It’s in the Bag and it was good to get the message across. These events are vitally important to spread the word about testicular cancer and how common it is in young men. We all encourage the message of regular self-checking and what to look for. It could save a life!”
The aim of the Test Fest is to encourage people to attend from all over the South West. To watch bands, eat, drink, catch up with friends and have a good time. The team in the background talk about the importance of self-checking, sell merchandise with the charity’s messages on them.
The charity volunteers talk to attendees about what the charity does and how it helps men and their families in the West Country. By the end of the day, there were many festival goers wearing the charity’s T-shirts and bright orange pants on the outside. Test Fest is like a mini testicular cancer family.
Test Fest is a music festival with a message – the only one of its kind in the UK and maybe the world! Most testicular cancer awareness campaigns focus on sport, colleges, universities and workplaces. However, stats reveal that young men are the largest group of attendees at music festivals, so why not focus on music to encourage awareness.
Testicular Cancer is the most common cancer in young men, so to get young people involved in the festival is great. It’s in the Bag’s aims are to support men at diagnosis and during treatment, raise awareness to encourage early detection and celebrate the 98% survival rate from Penzance to Worcester.
Headliners are Stereosonics (Stereophonics Tribute) were supported by much loved local bands Filta and The Jamestown Brothers. From Plymouth The Mayhaps and much more. Patrons Downsy is MC, Nutty Noah on the stage.
This fun filled festival was definitely the place to be.
Test Fest 2024 on sale soon! Keep checking www.testfest.org.uk
All in aid of It’s in the Bag