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Festival season

Steven Jump of Badlands casts his eye over what’s happening on the music scene in Cheltenham and beyond.

Before long it will be the festival season and Cheltenham’s own 2000 Trees Festival goes from strength to strength as the years roll on by. This year’s event takes place at Upcote Farm, Withington from July 12th – 14th. Consolidating on their Best Grass Roots Festival award, this is a fabulous local event because they never forget where they’ve come from, supporting their local communities and new music along the way while retaining an independent spirit and resisting commercial saturation. Further details at www.twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk

On the new release front don’t forget to check out Bruce Springsteen’s new masterwork ‘Wrecking Ball’, the blue collar bard of America’s latest. These triumphant songs of hope and dreams will reverberate around Europe all summer including an appearance in Hyde Park on July 14th.

Also gracing Hyde Park this summer is Madonna on July 17th and to close the Olympic celebrations a fantastic line up of Blur, New Order and The Specials on August 12th, a party not to be missed! Great new albums from coolness personified on both sides of the Atlantic by Jack White and Paul Weller will help shape a great year.

Don’t forget to mark Saturday April 21st in your diary. That’s ‘Record Store Day’ when there will be hundreds of new exclusive releases from the world’s bestselling performers including David Bowie, The Beatles, The Who and many more, available exclusively in-store at Badlands, Cheltenham’s longest established independent record store, in St. Georges Place; a great chance to support local ‘Cheltonian’ business, have plenty of fun and concluding with a mega all-night gig at Sub-Tone in the Promenade.

Last but not least, as we go to press, news is emerging that the world’s greatest Rock & Roll Band, The Rolling Stones, are about to embark on a 50th Anniversary World Tour. Badlands will be running trips to see them all over the UK and Europe... and maybe even in the USA. Make sure you see ‘em.....this really could be ‘The Last Time!’

Badlands was established in Cheltenham in 1986 and is owned by brothers Philip and Steven Jump.