RivFest 2018: The next big festival giving small bands a chance

This July ‘RivFest’ is being held in Warrington, in memory of the Viola Beach guitarist River Reeves who tragically died on tour in 2016.

RivFest, which debuted last year, has a brilliant line up including many local bands and the popular Fickle Friends – proceeds from the festival will be donated to the River Reeves foundation.

River’s father Ben organised the festival in honour of his son and his bandmates who died when their car careered off a bridge in Sweden. Kristian Leonard, Jack Dakin, Tomas Lowe and their manager Craig Tarry.

The event will simultaneously raise money for the River Reeves foundation, also founded by Ben.

Alongside Fickle Friends, other bands include No Hot Ashes from Stockport, plus many more up and coming local bands such as Saytr Play, The Strawberries and Dantevilles, as well as The Voice winner Mo Jamil.

It’s set to bring together bands from all over the North West into Warrington, rather than their usual neighbours Manchester and Liverpool.

So if you love to be the first to ‘discover’ a new band, RivFest is perfect for you.

The promise of hot weather and the multiple food and craft stalls make the festival a perfect day out for families and music enthusiasts, and adult ticket prices starting at £15 make it one of the more affordable festivals on the market.

The River Reeves foundation intends on levelling the Plainfield of success in the music industry – every year donating £500 to an up-and-coming artist to help those struggling or disadvantaged to create “alternative futures,” and the festival itself gives smaller acts a chance to shine.

This year’s proceeds specifically will be channelled into a scheme called ‘Mind Bus’ which gives support to vulnerable young children in Warrington, in the form of a fleet of buses which offer trained professionals in mental health support.

If you’re interested in visiting RivFest or the work of the River Reeves foundation, visit

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