Festival Reviews

Festival Review: Stonedead Festival 2023

Stonedead Festival 2023 was a one-day rock music festival at the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire, England, on Saturday, August 26th. The festival was organised by a team of music fans who wanted to create a festival that would celebrate the best of classic and modern rock in the same spirit and ethos of the legendary eighties Monsters of Rock Festivals at Castle Donington.

The line-up for the festival this year as usual was a strong one, with a mix of established and up-and-coming bands. The headliners were Blue Öyster Cult and Black Star Riders. Other notable performers included The Answer, Collateral, Florence Black, The Karma Effect, Kira Mac, and Myke Greys Skin.

The festival was well-organised, and the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed. The sound quality was excellent, and the production values were top-notch. The festival grounds were spacious and well-lit, and there was plenty of space to move around; even with a large proportion of the aging audience choosing to bring camping chairs. The festival organisers took great care to ensure the safety of all attendees. There were plenty of security guards on duty, and the festival grounds were well-lit. There were also water stations and first aid tents located throughout the festival grounds.

Stonedead kicked off on Friday night with a pre-party featuring three bands: The Karma Effect, Kira Mac, and Myke Greys Skin. The weather was bad on Friday night, with thunderstorms and heavy rain, but the bands put on great shows and the crowd loved them.

Some of the highlights of the festival included:

  • Blue Öyster Cult’s performance of their classic hits, such as “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and “Godzilla”. The band was in top form, and their performance was a true celebration of their long and successful career.
  • Black Star Riders’ energetic set, which included songs from their latest album, “Heavy Fire”. The band was tight, and the crowd was really into it.
  • The Answer’s bluesy rock and roll, which got the crowd dancing. The band’s frontman, Cormac Neeson, has one of the best voices in rock music, and their performance was a highlight of the festival for me personally.
  • Collateral’s melodic hard rock was a perfect fit for the festival atmosphere. The band’s young and energetic members brought a fresh new sound to the festival, and their performance was a great success.
  • Florence Black’s powerful and emotional performance showcased their unique blend of rock, blues, and soul. The band was a last-minute replacement for Mason Hill, who had to withdraw from the festival due to illness. Florence Black more than made up for it with their amazing performance.
  • The Karma Effect’s two sets, with a thunderstorm intermission. which were both energetic and exciting. The band showed why they are one of the best hard rock bands in the UK.
  • Kira Mac’s soulful and powerful performance, really connected with the crowd. She is a rising star in the blues rock scene and their performance was a highlight of the festival.
  • Myke Greys Skin’s intense and heavy metal performance, got the crowd going wild. The band is known for their aggressive sound and their live performances are always a must-see.

I attended Stonedead Festival 2023 with a friend We had a great time, and we really enjoyed the music. We also met some of our favourite bands at the signing tent, including Therapy? and The Answer, both from my homeland of N. Ireland.

We decided not to camp this year and stayed at a local B&B. This was a good decision, as the weather was bad on Friday night and there were some heavy thunderstorms. We were glad to be staying in a warm and dry place! 

Overall, we had a great time at Stonedead Festival 2023. Once again it was a well-organised and enjoyable event with a great line-up of bands. We would recommend it to fans of classic and modern rock.

I would like to commend all the festival staff, including the team responsible for looking after the media. They did a sterling job with excellent facilities in the media area including food and drinks – a personal touch throughout.

Photos by Angela Meech


Mark Dean

I'm a 40+ music fan. Fond mostly of rock and metal - my staple musical food delights. Originally from Northern Ireland, I am now based in the UK-Manchester. I have a hectic musical existence with regular shows and interviews. Been writing freelance for five years now with several international websites. Passionate about what I do, I have been fortunate already to interview many of my all-time musical heroes. My music passion was first created by seeing Status Quo at the tender age of 15. While I still am passionate about my rock and metal, I have found that with age my taste has diversified so that now I am actually dipping into different musical genres and styles for the first time.
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