Marlborough pubs band together and launch new music festival

The Dirty Smooth

The Ocelot was born and raised in the quiet, countryside streets of Marlborough in Wiltshire, the quintessential English market town. So when there is a new music festival being organised in our birthplace, you can be damn sure we are excited by it!

When the internationally renowned Marlborough Jazz Festival announced they were scaling back their 2017 event after arguing with Wiltshire Council over road closures, the pubs and venues of the town decided to band together and host their own weekend of live music, hog roasts and summer fun. So, representatives from The Marlborough Arms, The Roebuck, The Lamb, The Bear, The Green Dragon, The Wellington Arms and The Royal Oak all got together in a secret meeting to hash out a plan.

Just imagine a smoky darkened room, with everyone in suits plotting the best music event Marlborough has ever seen. (It may not have been like that…)

Running from July 14 to 16, the Marlborough Music Festival will feature some of the best local talent from singer/songwriters to cover bands across three days and seven venues. Each watering hole throughout the town will be open to the public, keeping that quintessential element of festival’ing in Marlborough; the ability to trundle from pub to pub soaking up all the best music. And beer.

Here’s just a little taste of some of the things going on over the weekend.

The Marlborough Arms will have the very first act of the festival at 6pm on Friday July 14, playing host to Byron Witchell and Lucy Santana Fernandes, followed by Chip Stick and local jazz star Ben Cipolla. The Bear will be close on their heels with Rohan Ball, acoustic duo Burbank and covers group Toxic to dance the night away, whilst it’s all rockabilly madness down at The Roebuck with The Corsairs. As opening nights go, this looks like a very strong one across the board.

Saturday is where the festival really looks to get into its stride, with the Bear showcasing some of Wiltshire’s best singer/songwriters such as Jamie R Hawkins, Jack Moore, Mike Barham, finishing the night with the ever impressive Echo pumping out popular covers from 10pm.

The Roebuck will be serving up the food on Saturday, so if you find yourself at the edges of starvation but can’t tear yourself away from the bands, you haven’t got far to go!

The Lamb will be weighing in with a trio of covers acts to blow your mind, including The Strays, Kova Me Badd and the brilliantly named and infamous Pants, whilst over at The Marlborough they will have DJ Joe Litherland pumping out the tunes from 1pm before Josie and The Outlaw and Chris Jagger carry you through the night.

The “Hangover Session” will be taking place on Sunday at The Lamb, with some familiar names returning (Mr Moore and Mr R Hawkins for instance) alongside The Dirty Smooth, The Vooz and Meeking to name but a few. With The Bear hosting George Wilding, Sound Affects and Bullseye, Sunday is the perfect way to wind down from a stunning weekend.

For all the line-up details, venue information and enquiries, head to the recently launched Marlborough Music Festival website –