Three is magic number for Grooves community festival

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Grooves on the Green

Ashley Cross

Friday 21 – Sunday 23 June 2024

Fri 4pm – 9pm
Sat 11am – 9pm

Sun 11am – 7pm


Dorset’s best loved community festival is counting down to its first ever three-dayer!


This year’s Grooves on the Green sees the popular weekend of family-friendly live music, food and drink expanded to include an 80s Night to open proceedings on Friday 21 June, before the familiar all-day line ups on Saturday and Sunday 22 and 23 June.


“It’s going to be the best Grooves ever – more music, more food, more stalls and more fun for all the family,” says Jan Crump, who started the festival in 2000 to provide a summer focal point for the Ashley Cross neighbourhood.


“Every year we’ve been asked if we can do more Grooves, so we have added one more day with something a bit special for loyal locals and visitors alike on the Friday. But out of respect for our neighbours we’ll still finish at 7pm on Sunday.”


Opening night is an 80s special – with full fancy dress encouraged – and headlined by well-known Queen tribute Majesty with support from local outfit BH-Rock. Other attractions include a 360° photo booth with 80s props and DJ Allan Turner-Ward overseeing the action.


Saturday headliners The Decatonics are a gutsy, female-fronted eight-piece ska band who have played a host of festivals and supported ska legends The Skatalites, The Beat and Neville Staple, as well as The Undertones. Also on the bill are local favourites Brass Monkeys, Soulhole and All Rocked Up, with the Killerz tribute act and a rare outing for Volatile Agents, the medical marvels whose line-up includes doctors, surgeons, theatre medics and a member of the judiciary.


Sunday gets underway in the company of everyone’s favourite ukulele party starters, the Mother Ukers with big-voiced rocker Chris Payn, energetic covers band The Few and ska regulars Rat Race lining up before south coast rockers SOS take the headline slot.


“I think everyone’s in the mood already,” says Jan. “It’s the weekend before Glastonbury and people just want to have a good time. Grooves has always had a real community vibe to it and this year feels like that will be stronger than ever with all the local businesses helping create that special Ashley Cross atmosphere.”


As ever, there’s a strong emphasis on local food producers at Grooves on the Green with mouth-watering highlights including The Bao Beast, Greek Catering 4U, Chicken & Blues, Bratwurst UK and Funky Fries, not to mention the sweet treats of South Coast Sweet Delights and Ice Cream Bournemouth.


Drinkers will find a Pimms and cocktail bar, the Electric Bear Brewing Company, local cider and, of course, Ashley Cross’s favourite pub The Bricklayers bar on site; while Groovers in search of some comfort will find a VIP bar, seating and bathroom facilities at the famous Groove Garden.


Grooves never forgets the younger audience and a strong family programme features the madcap talents of Krazy Kev, Squidge & Pop’s bubble show, Little Gizmo’s Meet and greet, Jamie Jigsaw and a fire show, as well as circus skills workshops.


With so much quality entertainment on offer, it’s easy to overlook the importance of Grooves on the Green as a fundraising event and in recent years it has seen more than £45,000 raised for Diverse Abilities Plus to continue its invaluable work supporting children and adults with physical and learning disabilities.


"Grooves brings out the best in people," adds Jan. "It's where Ashley Cross comes to relax and have fun in the sun and it’s all in a good cause. This is where we celebrate the community spirit we're famous for."


Grooves on the Green runs from 4pm on Friday and 11am on Saturday and Sunday with bars closing at 9pm on Friday and Saturday and 7pm on Sunday when the park will be opened to the public again.