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A Wonderful Evening.
Clumber Park Concerts (Nottinghamshire)
Member Name: daseaford
Clumber Park Concerts (Nottinghamshire)
Date: 21/09/01, updated on 21/09/01 (4306 review reads)
Advantages: Great Atmosphere., Good Music.
In the heart of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire is Clumber Park. This 3,800 acre country park (owned by the National Trust) is the magnificent setting for some wonderful open air Summer concerts held each year.
We had heard of these concerts from many people who all said what great events they were, but at £16 per ticket we had been a bit loathe to attend the concerts. However, our local newspaper (The Mansfield Chad) held a competition to win two tickets for the concert and I was lucky enough to win the competition. The concert was to feature the music of the seventies with four live performances.
We knew that people normally took along their own food and drink so we packed up a small picnic, a bottle of wine, a couple of folding chairs and headed for the park.
The gates opened at 4.00pm, with the music starting at 5.00pm and the live bands coming on stage from 7.00pm. We arrived at about 4.30pm and were totally awe-struck by the scale of the whole event. We had thought this would be a fairly low key event with a few hundred people there. Apparently the audience was over 8,000 people.
The stage was set up at one end of a very large “V” shaped field forming a wonderful natural amphitheatre, lined with the forest on either side.
After parking your car you just find your own space on the field and set yourself up. At this point we realised that our small picnic was going to look very inadequate compared to some of the groups around us. People had brought along massive tables and set up buffets that would feed masses of people. There was champagne, and every other possible drink being drunk all around. There were candles, lanterns, flags and all together it was obvious that people had gone to a lot of effort to prepare for this evening. People had brought along trolleys and wheelbarrows to transport everything from their cars to the field.
The whole atmosphere was just magnificent and everybody seemed
to be having such a wonderful time. The vast majority of people were in groups and they were all enjoying the great party atmosphere.
A local radio station provided the music between 5.00pm and 7.00pm and this got the evening off to a great start. So many people had come dressed in 60’s and 70’s outfits, many with wigs and false sideburns (and false chest hair!)
The first live group was The Counterfeit Bee Gees. These performed most of the great Bee Gees numbers of the 70’s, but it was obvious that they were not the real thing, although they were still good entertainment.
Each of the live groups performed for nearly an hour, with the radio station providing music during the change over periods.
Next on was The Real Thing. These were pretty good and of course they performed their best known hit “You to me are everything”.
Third on was my favourite group of the night and this was Boney M. Now I know the original Boney M has split up and that there are now a couple of Boney M groups still performing. This was the Boney M featuring Maizie Williams. We had in fact seen this group live a couple of years before when we stayed at Butlins in Skegness. I love the Boney M music and their performance was superb. By this time we had left our chairs and belongings and made our way to the front of the field where there was a massive area for people to dance or just to get close to the stage to appreciate the performance. We clapped, we sung and we danced. This was definitely the highlight of the evening for me. This group must have sung “Ra-Ra-Rasputin” and “Brown girl in the ring” thousands of times before, but they made you feel that this evening was a very special event for them too. This is what I call real professionals.
The top of the bill was Edwin Starr. His performance was outstanding. He sang extracts from so many Motown songs that your mind was just swimming in
nostalgia. In particular were the songs “S.O.S., (Stop Her on Sight)” and “War”.
The evening finished off was a spectacular firework display at 11.00pm.
The whole evening was a wonderful experience and we know that we will definitely be attending any of these concerts in the future, it would be worth every single penny of the £16 ticket price. Next time though we shall be taking much more food and drink and making a decent spread for our picnic. I am not sure if I will be wearing a wig though.
During the evening we met people we knew and it was so lovely to see so many people smiling and laughing and having such a great time. We just knew that when we left our belongings that they would still be there when we returned to our place. There was just this trusting atmosphere everywhere.
If you had not taken your own food there were a small number of drinks and snacks stalls, and an area where the National Trust was selling some items.
The organisation of the event was very slick and everything seemed to work like clockwork. From the signposting to get into the event, the car parking, the layout of the field, and getting away afterwards, everything just went very smoothly.
A can highly recommend these concerts to anybody. Apparently some people do travel great distances to come to the park for these concerts and I can fully understand why.
A magnificent event, in a magnificent setting.