Festival History

A few words from Rick Holden, Buckfest mastermind and the "one who cracks the whip!"

I started Buckfest to tie in with Feast Week. There were always things happening on the field on Feast Day, but it all ground to a halt at 5pm. I felt that if we put on a mini music festival then people would stick around longer and continue enjoying the day. It went really well, and soon people were asking, "Are you going to do it again next year?" and I decided that I would. The following year Feast Week was no more, so Buckfest filled the void with a borrowed stage and PA. We started at 2pm and went through until midnight.

In 2012, myself and Scott Kitson decided to operate two stages in an all-day event. Over 500 people attended, and this showed us that we were on to something really good.

2013 was our first year to put both stages outside. We had around 700 people attend, and from thereon we have never looked back. We are now, in my opinion, the best small music festival in Cambridgeshire, and, continue to go from strength to strength.

Without the following people we would not be where we are now; Graham Ling, Scott Kitson, Jon Hill, Nicky Warnock and Garry Plant... My heartfelt thanks to you all!

Supporting Charity


The donation will help fund replacement outdoor play equipment which is desperately needed - previous equipment was installed in the 1990s and was condemned as it was too dangerous to be used. The new equipment is made primarily from recycled plastic bottles and is guaranteed for 25 years; it will be a lasting legacy for Buckfest.


3 Pillars Feeding The Homeless supports homeless people in Peterborough, and would like to be able to serve other towns/cities in and around Cambridgeshire. They visit every Tuesday and Thursday giving out hot food and drink, clothing, sleeping bags, tents and basic personal hygiene products, Usually helping between 60 -80 people each visit.


Malcolm Whales died of Bowel Cancer in 2008. He was a keen fitness fanatic undertaking long distant walks. Following his death his son Damien set up The Malcolm Whales Foundation to support sufferers of and families coping with cancer. They make donations primarily near Huntingdon but where a good cause is identified have donated further afield.


Acorn Cancer Support offer help, support and advice to local cancer patients and their carers, as well as free relaxation therapies and social activities.


Tommy's Wheels is a Buckden-based charity set up in 2016 with the aim of keeping local amputees moving.


Little Miracles is a support group within St Neots and the surrounding areas for families who have children with additional needs, disabilities and life-limiting conditions.


The Elouise Keeling Asthma Trust was set up in memory of Elouise Keeling to fund asthma awareness sessions in schools and community groups.


Magpas supports the Ambulance Service by providing the Magpas Helimedix Air Ambulance and a Magpas specialist medical team, despatched to cases of life-threatening illness or major trauma within the East of England.


East Anglia's Children's Hospices support families and provide care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.


The Woodslands Centre at Hinchingbrooke hospital provides outpatient treatments for cancer patients in Huntingdon and the surrouding areas.


Magpas supports the Ambulance Service by providing the Magpas Helimedix Air Ambulance and a Magpas specialist medical team, despatched to cases of life-threatening illness or major trauma within the East of England.

Committee Members

Rick "The Reverend" Holden

Rick Holden

Founder of Buckfest many moons ago when the hair was darker and the worry lines less visible. Involved in the local music scene for the past 20 years as an Event Promoter, Festival organiser and singer in various bands, the current being the Junkyard Preachers. Loves to cycle and has been raising money for charities for many years now, in particular cancer charities, cycled 500 miles in 5 days last July with Ian Brasher to help raise £8500 for our charity partners in our Covid fallow year.

Nicky "Cider Queen" Warnock

Nicky Warnock

Nicky loves live music, volunteering, beer and cider so Buckfest is a perfect fit! She takes the lead on managing our fantastic band of festival volunteers and sources ciders for the bar (it’s a tough life but someone has to do it)! Nicky also volunteers at local and and other local community events and she fundraises for brain tumour charities in memory of her sister. Nicky has now also worked out how much power lead can fit inside the fuel tank of a generator, just in case!

Scott "One Job" Kitson

Scott Kitson

Buckden resident of over 20 years and Civil Servant for 10 years. Lover of live music, festivals and everything that goes with it. Organiser of the Buckfest Bands Competition and proud to provide something back to the local music scene and local community. Involved with Buckfest Music Festival since Buckfest 2 in 2011 when the band on the roof stage was first proposed. Only has one job which he usually messes up.

Jon "Double L" Hill

Jon Hill

Former biscuit designer and dolphin polisher, Jon now works in further education. Buckden resident since 2009 Jon is the Buckfest Graphic Ninja. A keen drummer, Jon provides the beats for local band Treble Damage, where his skills with the sticks have even been described as ‘average, mediocre at best’. High praise indeed! If you are wearing a Buckfest T-Shirt then Jonny designed it!

Ian "Emotional" Brasher

Ian Brasher

Ian managed the Lion Hotel in Buckden for 5 years and has over 20 years' experience in the Hospitality and Catering industry. Fundraising efforts include cycling from London to Paris in 2015 for the DSA and last summer's Buckfest 500 miles in 5 days ride with Rick. He is currently a football coach for Buckden’s Little Dribblers. Ian has a penchant for stamping on boxes to aid anger management and the occasional potty mouthed outburst!

Simon "Elton" Sherratt

Simon Sherratt

On a permanent sabbatical from work after 40 years of Banking. Lover of music, festivals and the occasional beer. Cycled 100 miles on a Memorable day in 2017 to raise funds in memory of his Dad. Carries a walking stick and limps to avoid manual work.

Ian "The 5th Beatle" Carter

Ian Brasher

Ian has been involved with Buckfest for a while in his former role as treasurer of BVC, but he joined the Buckfest committee full-time in 2019. Ian looks after the cash and can normally be found running around hassling people for money. Or, more usually, asleep by the bar... Currently sporting quite ridiculous hair.


Volunteers are the life-blood of Buckfest, without them we couldn't run the festival. From the organising committee who spend months planning the event, to the volunteers who help out on the day of the festival itself — we are extremely grateful for the time and effort that everyone puts into making Buckfest a fantastic day out for all the family. The festival has grown year-on-year, and with it our numbers of volunteers has grown too — we hope that we make it an enjoyable experience, and we're very lucky to have people who come back and help out every year. (So we must be doing something right!) Buckfest really is very special, and it's the people who make it what it is. Our heartfelt thanks go to all of our volunteers who have been involved over the years.

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering opportunities please contact us at info@buckfest.org.

We ♥ our volunteers!

Announcing Buckfest ‘10’ charity donations

Following on from the huge success of Buckfest 10 earlier this summer, the organising Committee are extremely pleased to announce that they will be making donations in excess of £10,000 to 11 local charities and good causes from funds raised at this year’s event.

Buckfest is proud to be able to support local initiatives where donations can have a lasting impact.

Buckfest’s main charity partner for 2019 is Buckden PTA, they will receive £5000 towards the acquisition and installation of new School playground equipment. The play equipment is made from recycled materials and has a minimum 25 years guarantee which will provide hundreds of schoolchildren with a place to play and exercise for many years to come. This is a fantastic legacy for Buckfest 10.

We will also support the following organisations and individuals:

Buckden Explorers - who work extremely hard at Buckfest each year by clearing rubbish, distributing water and assisting festival goers, will receive a donation of £500. We will also sponsor a barrel of beer at the annual Buckden Scouts beer festival, taking place later this month, for £100.

Buckden residents Ed and Emma Issac will receive £750. Ed suffered a near fatal brain aneurism two years ago and had several major operations to save his life. He now uses a motorised wheelchair and our donation will help fund the purchase of a remote-controlled garage door, to enable Ed to get in and out of his house independently from his wheelchair.

Huntingdon Community Cancer Network (HCCN) provide amazing support to cancer patients in the local area.  Often, their service extends to providing support at home which can require equipment to be installed.  To help with increased demand for equipment, we are donating £500.

Adam’s Rose is a local charity set up in memory of former Buckden Juniors FC Coach Adam Hurst, and provides support to grieving families upon the loss of a loved one. To assist families and their network of helpers, Adam’s Rose provide information packs (prepared in consultation with counsellors and professionals) giving vital information and guidance on help that is available. The cost of the production of the packs - which forms an integral part of the charity support , is something that we are delighted to assist with via a donation of £400.

Buckden Youth Club will receive a donation of £250 towards portable football goals.

Samuel Pepys Special School assist children with special needs throughout the Huntingdonshire area. The school desperately needs a newer, specially adapted minibus.  Our contribution of £400 will give a well needed boost to their fundraising activities and enable the minibus to be purchased.

Buckden Village Club (without whom there would be no Buckfest bar!) require a new kitchen and we are pleased to donate £1500 to assist with this.

Buckden Football Club require a new washing machine to keep their kit spotless, and we are donating £200 towards this.

The Newton Community Primary School in Eltisley are creating a garden and outdoor library area for the school children, and we are delighted to assist with these ventures with a donation of £400.

Finally, you may recall the recent, tragic, story of Jamie Pegram who passed away just before Buckfest following a road collision.  Jamie was a huge fan of live music and a lover of Buckfest.  We are extremely proud to contribute £250 towards a memorial for a young man who will be sadly missed by many.

In total, an amazing £10250 will be donated this year - bringing the total of Buckfest donations from the past 10 years to nearly £60000!! Our thanks go to everyone who has supported the festival to enable us to raise such a fantastic amount of money.

All of these brilliant causes will receive their donations at the annual Buckfest ‘Thank you’ Party on September 28th at Buckden Village Club, where we recognise the efforts and involvement of our sponsors, donors and volunteers – without whom there would be no Buckfest!  Please come along and join us if you can for a night of celebration and thanks, with live music from the Rhythm and Blues band.

If you are interested in getting involved as a sponsor, volunteer or Friend of Buckfest for 2020 please contact us at info@buckfest.org. Plans for next year's festival will start later in the autumn.

With thanks to Fi Stimpson for allowing us to use her fantastic background photo for this update.