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Interview: Forest Live

Posted on Saturday 11th February 2023 at 12:00

Jimi Arundell

Written by
Jimi Arundell


Escape to the natural beauty of the English wilderness and look forward to thrilling performances from premier artists with Forest Live. The series of outdoor shows is managed by Forestry England and invites revellers to enjoy the music whilst appreciating the grandeur of such spectacular locations as Cannock Chase Forest, Delamere Forest, Thetford Forest, and Westonbirt Arboretum.

This year, the dazzling array of headliners includes Madness, Paul Weller, Tom Grennan, Anne-Marie, Richard Ashcroft and Jack Savoretti.  CLICK HERE to see the full Forest Live listings, book your tickets with Gigantic!

We spoke to Forest Live ahead of their Summer 2023 shows to discover how their fantastic concerts help improve the environment, how they ensure their shows are open to all and what to expect in the coming months.



What can we expect from a Forest Live show?

Held in beautiful forest locations across the country, Forest Live is a major live music series managed by Forestry England.

With everything required for a great night out, our concerts are renowned for their relaxed atmosphere and spectacular forest backdrops.

The whole event literally takes place in a stunning, forest location and the arena is complete with plenty of bar and food options.

Income generated from ticket sales helps look after the nation’s forests sustainably, for people to enjoy and wildlife to thrive.


How do you pick your top tier performers?

This year sees a remarkable roster of headliners, including Paul Weller, Anne-Marie, Madness, Richard Ashcroft, Jack Savoretti and Tom Grennan. We are very fortunate that so many great artists want to work with us and help support our vital work to protect and expand the nation’s forests.


Which shows have been the most memorable?

We have had many incredible acts over the years – some of the most iconic names in music, such as Tom Jones, some of the world’s biggest current stars, such as Ed Sheeran, and so many diverse and inspired support acts which have themselves been absolutely captivating.


How does the money raised from Forest Live go towards maintenance and improvement of the natural environments? Can you tell us about some of the projects you’re currently working on?

Forest Live is the biggest single engagement event we do each year, so the proceeds and the booking fee from tickets sold from our own ticket office all go to help support Forestry England in its work to protect and enhance the nation’s forests. We are constantly working on a whole range of conservation and public access improvement projects across our 1,500 forests, so there will be something happening wherever your local forest is.


Is there any negative impact on the wildlife and the area from so many people attending your shows?

All our large events like Forest Live only happen as part of our long-term management and custodianship of the forests. We ensure that the forest environment and surrounding areas are protected during the event and take special care to make sure we leave the place exactly as we found it. All our event spaces across our forests are planned to take into account any potentially sensitive habitats or species and we work hard with many statutory agencies and voluntary groups who help us monitor and protect our sensitive habitats.


How do you ensure that guests with mobility disabilities can access and enjoy your shows?

We provide specific easily accessible parking areas at each venue, with dedicated arena access and the option to book a space on a raised viewing platform for those who need to remain seated throughout and a ground level grass viewing area for those who have health conditions or other disabilities and need a less crowded area. Customers requiring use of any of the accessible facilities are asked to request and book these well in advance of their visit, ideally as soon as tickets have been secured.

Customers should buy the number of standard full price tickets they require online and then request a personal assistant ticket and/or use of any accessible facilities using Forestry England’s Online Accessibility Booking Form.  Bookings can also be made entirely by telephone via 0300 068 0400.  However, phone lines can be busy during peak periods. Online booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.


Who would you like to play Forest Live in the future?

The list of people we’d like to play Forest Live is endless. Live music sounds so great in our beautiful locations that we’d like to have as wide a range of artists as possible to give everyone the chance to see their favourite acts in such unique locations. There are lots of acts who we think would work perfectly in a forest, but it is often the ones that don’t instantly spring to mind that surprise everyone and turn out to be amazing experiences. Whoever is playing, it is always magical to see live music on a summer’s evening as the sun goes down in a beautiful forest...


Check out this year’s Forest Live line up below, plus where you can see them around the UK in 2023:



BRIT Award nominee Anne-Marie teamed up with electropop sensations Clean Bandit and drum and bass legends Rudimental before striking out on her own with Top 10 debut album Speak Your Mind. Her success continues with second album Therapy hitting No. 2 and reaching Gold certification.  


📆 May

27-28/05   Neighbourhood Weekender (Anne-Marie) – Thetford Forest, Suffolk


📆 June

16/07   Anne-Marie – Thetford Forest, Suffolk

Anne-Marie tickets are currently available with Gigantic.



Jack Savoretti

Indie folk songwriter Jack Savoretti has released seven wildly popular studio albums, including his No. 1 hit record Singing to Strangers. Always an amazing performer, make sure you book tickets with Gigantic for his exciting summer shows with Forest Live.


📆 May

28/05   Jack Savoretti – Bute Park, Cardiff


📆 June

10/06   Jack Savoretti – Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury

11/06   Jack Savoretti – Cannock Chase Forest, Rugeley, Staffordshire

17/06   Jack Savoretti – Delamere Forest, Northwich

18/06   Jack Savoretti – Thetford Forest, Suffolk


📆 July

13/07   Jack Savoretti – Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, London

29/07   Jack Savoretti – Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow

Jack Savoretti tickets are currently available with Gigantic.




British ska legends Madness have enjoyed a devoted following ever since their arrival onto the scene in the late 70’s. Look forward to such classic hits as "One Step Beyond", "Baggy Trousers" and "It Must Be Love"!


📆 June

08/06   Madness – Cannock Chase Forest, Rugeley, Staffordshire

09/06   Madness – Albert Park, Middlesbrough

15/06   Madness – Delamere Forest, Northwich


📆 July

21/07   Madness – Singleton Park, Swansea

22-23/07   Splendour Festival (Madness) – Cannock Chase Forest, Rugeley, Staffordshire

Madness tickets are currently available with Gigantic.



Paul Weller

After fronting mod revivalist / punk band The Jam; Paul Weller grew to become one of the greatest solo artists of all time. DO NOT miss out on seeing this living legend play live!


📆 June

08/06   Paul Weller – Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury

09/06   Paul Weller – Cannock Chase Forest, Rugeley, Staffordshire

17/06   Paul Weller – Thetford Forest, Suffolk


📆 July

28-30/07   Y Not (Paul Weller) – Pikehall, Derbyshire

Paul Weller tickets are currently available with Gigantic.



Richard Ashcroft

Indie icon Richard Ashcroft found fame as the singer of The Verve, and has penned such colossal anthems as "Bitter Sweet Symphony", "A Song for the Lovers", "The Drugs Don't Work" and "Break the Night with Colour".


📆 June

15/06   Richard Ashcroft – Delamere Forest, Northwich

Richard Ashcroft tickets are currently available with Gigantic.



Tom Grennan

Fresh faced Tom Grennan is the new sound of indie pop. The Bedford boy first appeared as a guest vocalist on the Chase & Status single "All Goes Wrong" before smashing into the Top 10 with debut album Lighting Matches and hitting No. 1 with follow up record Evering Road.


📆 March

17/03   Tom Grennan – Delamere Forest, Northwich


📆 June

09/06   Tom Grennan – Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury

10/06   Tom Grennan – Cannock Chase Forest, Rugeley, Staffordshire

15/06   Tom Grennan – Thetford Forest, Suffolk

16/06   Tom Grennan – Delamere Forest, Northwich


📆 July

01/07   Tom Grennan – Newcastle Racecourse, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Tom Grennan tickets are currently available with Gigantic.




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