Photos by Geoffrey Head
Malvern Rocks Logo Square

Returning July 2024

A history of Malvern Rocks

Malvern Rocks is a music and arts festival based in Malvern that ran for four years from 2012 to 2015. The festival took place over three days and featured an eclectic range of musical performances in bars, pubs, clubs, public spaces and pop-up venues around the town.

Malvern Rocks began when a group of musicians got together with an idea to create something special.

They wanted something similar to the successful Worcester Music Festival; a multi-stage, multi- venue musical event running from Friday evening to Sunday night.

The first Malvern Rocks in 2012 was a huge success. The festival had more than ninety performances in sixteen venues. By 2014 that had risen to 120 bands in 20 venues.

With acts ranging from solo acoustic musicians to seven-piece funk bands. Those acts include Tom Hingley from Inspiral Carpets, Dodgy’s Nigel Clark, Loyd Grosman’s The New Forbidden and countless bands and performers from both the local scene and from further afield.

London, Devon, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff, Doncaster . . . . too many places to mention. We got one application from a Japanese band in America. Sadly, they couldn’t make it!

July 12 2011
Naked Remedy

Between 2012 and 2015 there were more than 400 Malvern Rocks gigs. From the Link to Upper Colwall, Guarlford to Stifford’s Bridge. With our town centre venues always full to capacity, some reported that they had never been busier.

With applications to play coming in from all around the UK while managing everything from the website to band and venue liaison, running the festival became a mammoth task which began six months before opening night.

Our aim has always been to promote live music, to nurture new talent and to capitalise on our vibrant music scene. We wanted to make Malvern a destination for music in the way that Hay on Wye is for literature, Wenlock is for poetry or Upton is for Jazz.

It’s difficult to estimate how many people have attended Malvern Rocks events but with reports of full venues (several have actually run out of beer during the festival) we estimate our attendance to be (conservatively) between 2 and 3 thousand people.

Nuns of the Tundra
Nuns of the Tundra

By 2015 we began to get applications to play at Malvern Rocks from Europe and from both North and South America. Malvern was well and truly on the musical map.

However, the 2016 Festival was cancelled when it became apparent that, with work commitments and the amount of work involved, the organisers would not be able do everything that was needed for the festival to happen.

Malvern Rocks became a victim of its own success.

But now it’s back!

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