Devon’s Chagstock 2013 is the first, and could be last, of our new “introducing” feature that looks at festivals that are a bit further away from our traditional boundaries.

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Chagstock is set in 45 acres of farmland on the northern edge of Devon’s beautiful Dartmoor and it’s a truly homegrown festival after early beginnings as a private mini festival for the family and friends of organiser Simon Ford. I stumbled across it for the first time last year when we were looking for somewhere to catch Seth Lakeman, one of my wife’s favourite artists. The idea of a small family friendly festival in a fairly spectacular location sounded ideal so we booked tickets for the full weekend. We weren’t disappointed and this year we’ve decided to return but this time on Inverness Gigs duty, an outreach event if you will!

The two main stages run alternately so there’s no danger of missing out on any of the main artists on the bill. This year’s headliners include The Boomtown Rats featuring all four original members; Bob Geldof, Pete Briquette, Garry Roberts and Simon Crowe, The Boomtown Rats’ Chagstock appearance is their only 2013 UK Festival headline performance, and one of only two UK dates this summer.

Bob Geldof says, “”The second I heard the name ‘Shagstock’ I knew that was THE festival for The Boomtown Rats. Only later when we agreed and signed contracts did Simon, the Rats drummer, point out it was in fact ‘Chagstock’, his local summer Music Fest. Oh well…

I will do my best to personally attempt to do everything in my power to have the name revert to my far better original mistake. “It’s a beautiful part of the world. Billy Bragg is a hero. The Rats are a great band. It will be a pleasure to do the Rat in Devon again.”

Also making an appearance is Billy Bragg, winner of the Roots Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for his latest album ‘Tooth and Nail’. With a career spanning over twenty years and with a keen eye towards political events Billy Bragg has never been shy from tackling current affairs and is well known for his protest songs.

Other artists announced so far include; folk duo Sean Lakeman and Kathryn Roberts, Dizraeli and The Small Gods who play melodic hip hop headed by award-winning rapper and multi-instrumentalist Dizraeli and featuring World Female Beatbox Champion Bellatrix, local flavour is provided by sub-rock band The Aurora Skies from up the road in Okehampton and the Chagstock house band New Crisis.

Chagstock Crowd

Simon Ford from Chagstock Festival says, “We are delighted to announce The Boomtown Rats will exclusively headline our main stage at Chagstock. They are a classic band with a string of memorable hits. Combined with Billy Bragg’s performance immediately before the Boomtown Rats, Chagstock 2013 is shaping up to be our best line up ever – and we still have a number of major artists to announce! We can’t wait!”

Chagstock’s capacity is capped at just 5,000 tickets to ensure that its intimate, family friendly atmosphere is maintained and this year’s fancy dress theme is ‘Circus’.

If you’re on holiday in Devon this year then I’d heartily recommend taking the time out to go and check this little festival out.

Click here for all Chagstock 2013 ticket details.

For information on local festivals.