Forces veteran Graham Stobbs is the brains behind Wiltshire’s inaugural MFor pop music festival taking place at Lydiard Park, Swindon in July.
Pixie Lott is the headline act at the one-day event alongside other artists including Peter Andre, Aston Merrygold and 5ive.
Swindon born local Graham, 46, who lives in the town centre of Swindon says:“The MFOR Festival is going to be a fun packed day filled with entertainment for all the family. The highlight will be a music concert at night set in the beautiful surroundings of Lydiard Park.
“I hope Swindon gets behind it and this will be the first year of many. That’s why we are working with local companies and businesses for the event. Other places such as Reading can support a festival so there’s no reason our town cannot too.
“There were some early hiccups with delays in getting a licence sorted with the local authority – that’s now happened and we’re ready to go.”
Many local businesses have already been brought on board to help with aspects of the event. These include Fiona Scott Media Consultancy for PR, GEL Studios for website creation, Naturally Social for social media support, Bailey Farr & Sons for catering, Advance Insurance for insurance support, Ray’s Ice Cream, Dominos Pizzas, Dotty’s Cafe and Glamorose Cakes. More local businesses are expected to play a role as plans evolve over the coming weeks.
Graham also hopes the family and music event will raise funds for local community groups alongside two national military-related organisations Walking With The Wounded and Combat Stress. There will also be a strong military theme throughout the day.
Graham, who served in the Royal Green Jackets and completed a tour in Northern Ireland, explains: “In the past I have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I have been through counselling and today I am in a position where I volunteer with local groups to help others like me. I sit in with veterans as proof I’ve been there and come out the other side.
“The two charities I’ve chosen to be part of this festival offer vital support to veterans. Combat Stress helps the 8,000 veterans registered suffering from mental health conditions. They also offer evidence based clinical treatment across the UK. Walking With The Wounded helps get veterans reintegrated back into society and eventually gain employment in civvy street.”
The festival on Saturday July 28 will also offer activities for children and adults including a climbing wall and an inflatable assault course. There will be a food area and much more entertainment throughout the day.
“Music has always been a part of my life,” explains Graham. “You get in your car, turn your music on and it’s like therapy. I’ve got a daughter and whenever we wanted to hear decent live acts we’d have to go to London or outside of Swindon. That’s why I’m thrilled this event is finally becoming a reality.”
The MFOR Music Festival takes place on Saturday July 28 at Lydiard Park, Swindon, Wiltshire. Gates open at midday and the finish time is 10:30pm. Ticket prices are £49.95 for adults and children 5-13 pay £19.95, a family ticket is £120. Information and tickets are available on the website at: www.mforfestival.co.uk
Pictured above: Graham Stobbs, founder of MFor Festival