ABC, Embrace, Howard Jones, Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, and Jennifer Paige are among names for 2017 event.

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One of the finest new additions to the boutique festival circuit, the delightful Walled Garden Music Fest, has unveiled the star-packed line-up for its third year, with an array of chart-topping acts.

This year’s bill includes headliners ABC, Thompson Twins’ star Tom Bailey, Embrace, Howard Jones, Jennifer Paige, with Toploader and Beverley Craven also among the draws, with just a few more acts to be added for the weekend of Friday July 14 to Sunday July 16.


Staged in the beautiful and historic grounds of 550-acre estate of Brightling Park in East Sussex, the event goes from strength to strength with its high-calibre guests. Whilst still limiting its comfortably relaxing 2000 capacity, the unique setting and rave reviews, have certainly made word spread.

This year’s crop of artists includes ABC, whose album The Lexicon Of Love was one of the defining releases of the early 1980s, performing a greatest hits selection. Embrace have achieved three number one albums over their two decade career with hits such as Come Back To What You Know and Gravity. Thompson Twins, led by Tom Bailey, were a staple of the top 10 in the 80s with timeless tracks such as Hold Me Now, We Are Detective and You Take Me Up, while Howard Jones built a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic for classic songs such as What Is Love, Like To Get To Know You Well and New Song.

Others on the bill include Crush singer Jennifer Paige, Promise Me singer Beverley Craven, Dancing In The Moonlight hitmakers Toploader, The Illegal Eagles, Wildwood Kin, The King’s Parade, Talk In Code and Emma McGrath, with more to be added.

The walled garden dates back to the 19th century and was used as the main source of vegetables for the nearby village of Brightling, designed to attract optimum levels of light with its south-facing aspect, while its slope and 14-foot high walls created the perfect growing environment. It is also highly effective as a natural theatre with its sturdy towering brick walls now helping to provide particularly good acoustics, as well as being the perfect location to kick back, enjoy a picnic and soak up the relaxed atmosphere.


The event was the brainchild of photographer Mel Fordham and racehorse trainer Gardie Grissell who hit upon the idea of using the 2.7-acre walled garden for a small festival in late 2014. They tested the water the following summer with their inaugural two-day show, largely tribute acts with a nod to prog rock, but by 2016 this had expanded to three days and a line-up featuring the likes of Go West, Nik Kershaw, Marc Almond, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel and Tom Robinson.

Co Promoter, Mel Fordham says “This is a pretty unique music festival. With fabulous music from truly great artists ranging from the 80’s, 90’s to present day, there’s something for everyone. An unparalleled setting and a relaxed family-friendly atmosphere, 2017 looks set to be the best year yet for the Walled Garden Music Fest.”

Visitors can book by the day or purchase for all three days with family tickets available and concessions for children. Camping is also available, and there are glamping options.

More details are at the website: