A look back on the evolution of Let's Rock the Moor

Shay Bottomley


Let’s Rock the Moor returns next month bringing a retro music festival back to Cookham for the 12th time.

Held at Marsh Meadow, the festival has become increasingly popular since its inception in 2009 where 1,000 attendees witnessed 80s singing legend Nick Heyward take to the stage.

Originally, co-founder Nick Billinghurst alongside Mike Clark planned for the all-day concert to be a ‘musical finale’ to the 12-day Cookham Festival.

Despite some initial teething problems, namely the drizzly weather and the event running an hour over time, the first ever Let’s Rock the Moor was a huge success, paving the way for a return the following year.

“I remember that first concert so well,” said the Haircut One Hundred singer.

“Everyone was in T-shirts, and it was a lovely sunny day. Then, as I was about to close, it got cloudy, and the temperature dropped.”

“Everyone was huddled together like Emperor Penguins to keep warm. Bless them, they were really, really cold. But it was still a great gig.

“At that stage we were still on the village green – we were literally playing by the side of the road, with cars driving past us.”

Ticket sales doubled to 2000 the following year, doubling again the year after that.

In 2012, 6,500 tickets were snapped up as the festival moved to the larger site of Marsh Meadow.

The following year, Nick Billinghurst joined forces with local entrepreneur Matt Smith, and the pair took the festival to Bristol. Further locations were also added, such as Southampton and Leeds, and today the ‘Let’s Rock’ festival is held annually in 14 locations across the UK.

Over the years iconic acts have included Rick Astley, T’Pau, Go West, Nik Kershaw, Chesney Hawkes, Bananarama, and many more, with artists invited back after at least three years to ensure each festival feels fresh and different.

Let’s Rock the Moor also raises money for children’s charities such as The Wooden Spoon, The Link Foundation and Child Bereavement UK, as well as a variety of local charities where possible.

To date, £312,365.14 has been raised by the Let’s Rock festival in Cookham alone.

For more information, visit www.letsrockthemoor.com

The Advertiser has teamed up with the organisers of Let’s Rock the Moor to provide you with the opportunity to win tickets. For your chance to win, please see this week’s edition of the Maidenhead Advertiser.

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