THE festival season is truly beckoning, and you won’t need to pinch yourself to know it’s really happening.

With the Covid infection rates plunging, the vaccination programme on track and the sun beginning to shine again, the great days of outdoor entertainment are now within touching distance, as is fine summer weather.

The Mello Festival at Hanley Swan is scheduled to take place from Friday May 28 to May 31, with headliners including the Craig Charles Funk and Social Club, Trevor Nelson’s Soul Selection, The South, Odyssey and Paddy G, among others in an exciting line-up.

Don’t forget the Hidden Valley, near Bromyard, and the Nozstock Festival which will take place from July 22 to July 25.

A stimulating line-up will include the legendary Sister Sledge. Go sister..! But the event is already sold out, so you’ll have to join a waiting list, and keep your fingers crossed.

Also close to home, The Sunshine Festival at Upton on Severn will also be brightening up our lockdown-darkened lives, from Friday, August 27 to August 29, at the Fish Meadow venue. Headliners will include the pure gold of Spandau’s Ballet’s Tony Hadley, and also the plaintive balladeer, James Blunt.

Already spoilt for choice?

Why not head to the Alex James’s Farm in the Cotswolds for The Big Feastival? It will pass by in a happy blur from August 27 to August 29, and headliners will include Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, out on his musical rounds, Sigla, Nile Rogers and Chic.

Ledbury Poetry Festival was cancelled due to Covid in 2020; but it will happen this summer; and that, say the organisers, “is something to celebrate”.

The dates are set for July 2 to July 11, and it will be a landmark event too, with the Festival marking its 25th anniversary.

But it will also be a “hybrid” event, with some events live and others online.

And of course, another big celebration comes to the Ledbury area from August 12 to August 15, when Lakefest arrives at Eastnor Castle.

Headliners include Tom Jones, - not forgetting Echo & The Bunnymen.