ORGANISERS behind a county music festival impacted by social distancing measures have vowed the show will go on; ensuring proceeds can continue to support St Richard’s Hospice.

Woo Fest, which is held each year at the Drum and Monkey pub in Upton upon Severn, will be held virtually today from 3pm, with the festival streamed live to homes and gardens around Worcestershire.

The event will feature pre-recorded sets from well-known artists including Nigel Clark from Dodgy and Andy Bennett, formerly of Ocean Colour Scene.

The family-friendly festival will also feature Woo Fest regulars such as Arcadia Roots, Come Together, Killerstream, Loose Lips, Nick Parker and Vincent Flatts.

Luke Simons, festival organiser, said: “We know many people are sad to be missing out on the festival season this year and the chance to listen to live music in the sunshine.

“Then it dawned on us; if people couldn’t make it to the festival, we could bring the festival to them. So, supported by the wonderful team at creative communication agency, DRPG, the show will go on with a virtual festival streamed live today."

Since it was founded in 2014, Woo Fest has donated all its proceeds to St Richard’s Hospice and to date has raised close to £60,000 for the charity, which cares for patients and their loved ones facing serious progressive illnesses.

The festival was set up by Mr Simons and his sister, Ria, in memory of their father, John Simons, who was cared for by the hospice before he died in 2013.

Mr Simons said: “We would like to thank every single person involved in Woo Fest to date. And we’d love you to join us virtually this year by setting up a festival in your own home or garden. You could decorate in festival style, dig out your festival hats and fancy dress, get the barbecue on and enjoy your favourite festival tipples. Woo Fest will bring the music.

“It won’t be a ticketed event this year - anyone can watch online for free - but what we do ask is that people dig deep and make a donation to St Richard’s while they watch. Donations can be made quickly and easily online, by text and by phone. Let’s come together to celebrate some great music and make a difference for local people at the same time.”

Tricia Cavell, fundraising director for St Richard’s Hospice, said: “It’s a challenging time for charities like us with fundraising events cancelled and charity shops having been closed for some time. We’re having to think of new and innovative ways to fundraise for our care and are absolutely delighted that the Woo Fest team are doing the same; delivering their festival virtually.

“Each year, we are blown-away by the team’s hard work in raising money for St Richard’s and are so grateful for their tireless support.

“Without the support of people like this, we couldn’t continue our care for patients and loved ones when they need us most.”

It will be live streamed on from 3pm until 11pm.