Grooves on the Green
15 & 16 July 2023
11am to 7pm
It's Dorset's longest-running community festival and Grooves on the Green is keeping pace with the mood of the moment with its unique blend of fantastic grassroots music and a mouth-watering array of locally produced street food from around the world.
Having expanded the festival site on Ashley Cross Green last year with an increased capacity and more stalls, as well as extra space to sit and chill with a bite to eat or a drink to sip, Grooves on the Green is building on its reputation as the 'friendly festival'.
"It's the same great welcome with the same great family vibe, Grooves is going from strength to strength," says Jan Crump, who started the festival in 2000 as a focal point for the local neighbourhood.
"There's such a very special atmosphere at Grooves - that's the main reason it has lasted so long. It's where Ashley Cross comes to hang out, chill out, have fun and celebrate the community spirit we're famous for - whether it's young families who have recently moved to the area, established locals who have lived here a lot longer, or visitors come to sample it for themselves. They're all welcome!"
Local live music is the heartbeat of Grooves on the Green and back to introduce this year's line up is Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Allan Turner-Ward with appearances from festival stalwarts Pronghorn and a rare outing for the medical marvels that are Volatile Agents whose line up includes doctors, surgeons, theatre medics and a member of the judiciary.
This year's food menu is bigger and broader than ever, a smorgasbord of international cuisine from around the world including Mauritian, Greek, Mexican, Indian, German, American, UK, and not forgetting festival favourites ice cream, candy floss, cakes, sweets and treats.
The well-stocked festival bars include a rum bar, two cider bars, a local real ale bar, Pimms and cocktail bar, the local Barefaced Brewery and, of course, from Ashley Cross's favourite pub The Bricklayers bar; and for those who fancy a low-alcohol refresher, there's the Shandy Shack.
Meanwhile, VIP seating and bathroom facilities with a private bar are available at the famous Groove Garden.
Grooves on the Green prides itself on its family friendliness and the Entertainment Stage is home to a variety of special shows suitable for all ages from the likes of Mr Merlin and Okey Dokey Dragon, Squidge and Pop's Balloons. There's also a bouncy castle, assault course, trampolines and two face painters on site, as well as a host of local stalls with homemade clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts.
"Grooves is a highlight of the year in Ashley Cross and the local people are traders always pitch in to help," says Jan. "We wouldn't be able to do it without our incredible volunteers, the backing of local businesses and the support of our amazing sponsors."
Grooves will again be supporting local charities – in the last seven years, it has raised more than £35,000 for Diverse Abilities.