Dronfest is a well-established, family friendly, not-for-profit music festival held each year in Dronfield, Derbyshire. Founded on 12th June 1999 to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of organisers, John & Jackie Aspinall, the event has grown steadily, and has now become the main annual event of the local area. Never one to do things by half, John made the decision to host a big party to celebrate his 25 years of marriage, so pulling together help from friends and family, he arranged for a stage to be built on the town’s football ground, organised several bands to play, and handed out 1500 invites to friends and acquaintances to come and help him celebrate with Jackie.
1999 was the same year that John had lost one of his good friends, Kenny Mulcrone to Motor Neurone Disease, so on the day of the event, buckets were sent around collecting donations to generate some funds for the cause, and approximately £1,000 was raised. A wonderful day was had by all, and that was meant to be the end of it!
However………..having received so many positive comments on the events of the day, and with John’s unrelenting passion for organising, The Dronfield Charity Music Festival was born. Following the success of the first event, the focus very quickly shifted towards staging a community festival which would provide a platform for showcasing the abundance of talent in the local area, whilst also raising much needed funds for many worthy charities and groups in the area. Having only missed one of the 19 years since inception, the festival has gone from strength to strength welcoming hundreds of performers to grace its stage and has now raised more than £85,000 for charity.
Over the years, the event has grown and gained popularity and in 2014 ‘The Dronfield Charity Music Festival’ became ‘Dronfest’. In addition to the change of name, the event has seen several changes of venue to accommodate the growing audience, to provide a second stage, and to provide numerous different activities for the whole family. It has also been very proud to welcome well known performers from further afield, with the last few years seeing the likes of Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders, Dodgy, Ferocious Dog and Dreadzone headlining the festival.
The family element remains very important, and as such, you will find plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained for the day. For the youngsters there are bouncy castles, inflatable games, face painting, ice cream and the children’s workstation, as well as a treasure hunt for the young ones. For everyone else, there are various offerings of food and drink along with a variety of stalls, including, Massages, Hair Stylists from Harley’s of Chesterfield, Clairvoyant, Henna Tattoos and Tombola. The festival will also provide alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at the reasonably priced bar, serving up a range of cask beers, cold lagers, wines and soft drinks – all proceeds of which are donated to the supported charities.
2019 will see Dronfest celebrate its 20th Anniversary and the event is lining up to be bigger than ever. Keep watching on here and our social media channels for the latest news on the line up and tickets!
Yet again this year, the focus will continue to remain the same……….
MUSIC! COMMUNITY! CHARITY!