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Make family memories at Testifest

The Bentham dance band Donut.
The Bentham dance band Donut.
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The much acclaimed two-day Testifest charity music festival, which is equally a celebration of family, is to have a 70s groove when it returns to its Hartley’s Farm campsite home in Tosside next month for what will be its fifth consecutive year.

With a 70s-themed dress-up party planned for its second night, Saturday, June 30th, Manchester dance band Groovemental, which takes its inspiration from that decade, will headline.

Groovemental are performing at this year's Testifest.

Groovemental are performing at this year's Testifest.

Testifest’s opening headliners on the Friday evening, June 29th, is Donut, another dance band from Bentham. Both bands will have a full programme of support plus, there will be a children’s entertainer to provide magic and Punch and Judy shows, as well as lead other fun activities for younger festival-goers.

As in previous years, Bowland Brewery is sponsoring the event’s bar. There will be quality food and drink stalls plus for anyone without their own tent, yurts, tipis and bell tents are available for hire. All proceeds, as in the previous two years, will go to Rosemere Cancer Foundation for Rosemere Cancer Centre’s Ribblesdale Ward.

Supporting the charity, as well as championing family life, is at the festival’s crux.

Organiser Neil Livesey (50), who puts on the event with help from wife Julie, sons Jack (27) and Will (23) and friend Bob Riley, is a former cancer centre patient. He spent time on Ribblesdale Ward undergoing treatment for testicular cancer after being diagnosed with the disease in 2010.

To help himself through it, Neil, who works for a plant hire company, took strength from remembering happier times of when his sons were little and he used to take them on weekend camping trips to Hartley’s Farm Campsite, which is just outside Tosside village centre off the B5478. He was determined to celebrate his recovery by returning there every year and Testifest was born in 2013, raising money for Cancer Research UK in first two years.

Neil, who over the last two years has raised £10,000 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation, said: “To date, we have had the most advanced online ticket sales that we have ever had for Testifest. We generally have a late ticket rush just before the event if the weekend’s forecast is good so hopefully, with some fair weather, we will have a record number of festival-goers this year.”

Tickets for Testifest cost £55 for weekend camping per adult with U16s at £10. To book in advance go to www.facebook.com/testifestival/

The money raised by Testifest will be put towards Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s 20 Years Anniversary Appeal, launched last year to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of Rosemere Cancer Centre, Lancashire and South Cumbria’s regional specialist cancer treatment centre at the Royal Preston Hospital. It provides all local radiotherapy treatment as well as other specialised care.

The appeal has already funded two of a trio of ground-breaking projects – a Da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system to enable more patients to undergo keyhole surgery and an oncology research co-ordinator to grow the number of clinical trials undertaken at the cancer centre. This will enable more patients to have access to the very latest medicines and treatments being developed globally to combat the disease and in some cases, years before they become available on the NHS.

The third and final project is a total overhaul of the Ribblesdale Ward, including the creation of a more age appropriate area for teenage and younger patients, and it is this project Testifest is supporting.

Rosemere Cancer Foundation works to bring world class cancer services and treatments to cancer patients being treated not only at Rosemere Cancer Centre but also, at another eight hospitals across the two counties that look after cancer patients, including the Royal Blackburn and Burnley Teaching Hospitals. For further information on its work and how to donate, visit its website at www.rosemere.org.uk