From one-off show to annual festival

Johnny and the Moondogs
Johnny and the Moondogs
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It all started with a ‘one-off’ party but it quickly became an annual staple on the music diary in Dronfield.

Now, Dronfield Festival is in its 14th year - due to popular demand and organiser John Aspinall’s insatiable appetite for decent live music.

“I just love seeing people enjoy themselves,” he says. “But I personally love real live music. I don’t like shows like the X Factor when there is so much talent out there.”

And part of his job as organiser of Dronfield Festival is to bring in that talent.

“The standard of bands that play at the festival is very high and already we have bookings for next year.”

But of course, organising a festival has its setbacks.

“We’ve already had a band drop out just as we’d had 5,000 flyers printed and one of our main artists, who plays every year, has a sore throat and is on antibiotics.”

On the bill this year are Gonzo, Firecracker, Vida, The Problem With Marie and Johnny and the Moon Dogs.

“I love Johnny and the Moon Dogs because they play a lot of music to the songs of Beatles songs.”

Other artists include Robert Sinclair - Aspinall’s first guitar teacher.

Dronfield Festival is expected to attract about 1,000 people and will raise money for charities including Sincere Support – a children’s charity – Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, St John Ambulance and Dronfield Cardiac Club.

“I had a heart attack a few years ago and Dronfield Cardiac Club are such a big support for people, though they are not a charity.

“Also, with St John Ambulance, many of the events we have been to would not have happened if it wasn’t for them.”

Dronfield Festival takes place this Sunday, August 11, from noon to 11pm at Dronfield Woodhouse Recreational Ground and Dronfield Sport and Social Club, Carr Lane, S18 8XF.