The Big One 11 Review

This year’s Big One Festival was a classic. Three days of great live music and fund-raising culminating in a sensational performance by Reggae music legend Dave Baker. We had games, films, Auctions, Raffles and an international line up of top-quality Ska. The Big One was hosted by Dan Vitale. Dan is a Specialized ambassador who is known as the front man for Boston ska legends Bim Skala Bim. Dan and his wife Liby traveled from their home in Panama to be with us.

Book for next year
You can already book for the Big One 12 in 2023. The Big One 12 will be over the weekend of 3rd, 4th and 5th of November. If you’d like to book or enquire about accommodation you can contact the Sandford Holiday Park Direct.
Accommodation and Tickets are paid for separately.
When you book accommodation, tell them how many tickets you’d like and then the tickets price will be added on top of the accommodation cost

Call the Parkdean HQ 0330 123 4986 and ask for Charlotte or Libby or Email –

We received a wonderful collection of instruments for the Music Instrument Library including guitars, horns and drums. We should make a mention of the generous donation by Moonflower Guitars, Project Blackbird and Ed Young who gave us two acoustic guitars, a ukulele, French Horn, Electric Guitar and a Banjo. Also Neil Holden who donated trumpet. A very special thank you to Jade Tremba of Rude Girl Rude Revue. Jade gave us the Reverend Sentinel bass guitar that she used for her set with Rude Girl Review. This is a very expensive item and we’re truly humbled by such a generous donation.
The instruments that were donated were Kmise Baritone Ukulele, Fleetwood Electro Acoustic Guitar, Encore E4 Bass Guitar, Johnson 5-String Banjo, LA Electric Guitar by Gear4music, Yamaha French Horn, Student Trumpet by Gear4music, Torre Supremo Flamenco Classical Acoustic Guitar, Premier Brass Snare Drum, Trace Elliot Brat 30watt Combo Amp and the Reverend Sentinel bass guitar. All with a combined value of 3.5 thousand pounds.

Pivotal Homes group also received an expectational response in their collection of everyday items required by people who use their services. Pivotal Homes are a non-profit organisation Pivotal Homes develop and deliver high quality homes for vulnerable people.

Friday saw stella performances by Skamageddon, Zen Bassballbat, The Decatonics and Errol Dunkley with Dub Natty Sessions. We we’re also supposed to be joined by The Peaceful Easy but sadly we were denied by a faulty sat nav that sent half the band to Exeter, maybe next fellas. Zen Bassballbat have become a leading example of have ska music is evolving into a new century and were highlighted by many as a standout set of the whole weekend. Errol Dunkley’s suave performance was a dazzling headline to the opening evening

Saturday began in the Lounge with Uncle Phil’s Pop Quiz followed by Gerrys entertaining Play your Cards Right, Bingo, Whats in the Box, Scratch Cards and Bingo. This raised £665 and George King won both Whats in the Box and Play Your Cards Right, Eve Sampson and Ruth Williams both won £100 each on the scratch cards. Bless Eve Sampson who gave back half of her winnings.

The Erin Bardwell Trio played an unplugged set in the lounge featuring himself on organ accompanied by tablas and violin. After all this fun everyone settled down in the main arenas for a showing of The Specials live in Wolverhampton and the big screen.

The Skavengers opened the main stage (Skavengers sax player Loz later joined King Hammond onstage). Banana High (who are currently on tour with Monkey) followed with a blistering set of Indie Ska, Big Fat Panda took their regular teatime slot to shake off Friday hangovers. Project Blackbirds enigmatic set included a sublime version of the Bodysnatchers classic Easy Life and then the American invasion began. Mr Kingpin from Dallas leaped into high energy Ska full of positivity and nonstop dance tunes. Monkey followed with the same attitude.
King Hammond and the Rude Boy Mafia are stalwarts of The Big One and Nick Welsh’s pedigree as the perfect performer filled the room with the magnificence of a King.
Saturdays headline were the American super group Rude Girl Revue. Glorious and unapologetic this 11 piece of femme power stole the show. Rude Girl Revue we’re an excellent example of the East Coasts amazing Ska scene. That was a performance that people will be talking about for years to come.
The Skapones ferocious agit-prop Two Tone closed the night and were joined onstage by Bim Skala Bim front man Dan Vitale. As the night ended, nobody wanted to leave

The Big One always remembers and Sunday began with our regular Remembrance service by Neil Holden and Steve Bourne. It’s always humbling how well attended the service is. In the early afternoon Lady Hatchet played a sublime acoustic set as a warmup to her European tour.
Local band Gumjuaka started the main stage with a with a gorgeous mix of new age reggae. Stop the Presses were pressed into an early slot due to Skacasm having to drop out (get well soon guys). Lead by the charismatic Ali Culotta, Stop The Presses had all the swagger that’s required of a band that plays such an excellent version of Bikini Kills Rebel Girl. London’s Filthy Militia are a six-piece ska-punk outfit that continued the high energy power that the evening was experiencing. The Hub City Stompers combined the energy of punk with the deftness of souring melodies and produced one of the stand-out sets of the whole weekend. HCS have gained a lot of followers in the UK and their dynamic set cemented their reputation as an outstanding live act. We’re delighted that we can bring the talent of Americas thriving ska scene to the Big One as something that UK audiences wouldn’t normally get to see.
Rebelation have returned to the English ska and reggae scenes with some excellent new material. Their set of slick, skilful and well-crafted songs were the perfect vibe to bring us to the headline star of the Sunday. At a youthful 75, Dave Baker still has all of the star power of the Reggae pioneer that he is. Everybody was transfixed to his flawless performance and charismatic audience interactions. Backed by the super smooth Pressure Tenants we couldn’t have asked for a better closing for a brilliant weekend

The event Producers Paul Willo, Paul Ayriss and Ruth Williams
Sound Team, Dave Woods of Dave James Audio and Clive Rooke of Sola Audio. The stage team Mark ‘Dev’ Hinkley, Darren James, Jon Evans and Shaun Moyler. Dave Moran who looked after the DJ’s and the big screen display. Phil Smith, Gerry Watkins as lounge supervisor and the Skatrain sound team

Aunty Jen and her green room team of Olivia Horton, Steven ‘Nelly’ Nelson and Biggles. Aided by Caroline and Paul Haines, Christine and Martyn Jerrim

Auctions, Raffles and official Merch by Michelle and Neil Mcguffog, Mike and Joanne Cornwell, Emma Walker and Steve Nevard. We also thank Brynn Williams & Andy Dinns and South West Backline for the loan of some very expensive instruments for the overseas bands.

The events official photographer is Gerard Mcnamara and we’ll be uploading his amazing work soon.

Thanks to all the independent stall holders who are crucial in making the event as special as it is and to Just Add Ink Tattoo Studio.

A huge thanks to everyone at Sandford Holiday Park and Parkdean Resorts. Charlotte, Libby, Lee, Wez, Mark. All of the Food & Beverage team, the excellent security team, technical support, reception and the tireless housekeepers