Return Of Integrated Music Festival For Artists With Learning Disabilities

Two Decks at Rock House Festival 2017 by Paul Mansfield

The Rock House Festival 2018 brings together learning disabled bands and upcoming and established music-makers from Brighton and beyond for a day of live music at Green Door Store, Brighton, on Saturday 28 July.

An open-minded and open to all event, the festival, produced by arts charity Carousel, features a diverse mix of performers – 10 bands across two sessions, 1-5pm and 6-10pm – brought together by their love of live music.

Gareth Evans, senior music producer at Carousel, said “When we take away the definitions and just listen to the noise everyone gets it. There are so many brilliant spin-offs from programming a festival in this way. Performers get to share ideas and influences and audiences have a rare chance to experience a very special energy. It’s not like any other music festival. Integration is a bit of a buzzword but by putting everyone in the room together and focusing on the music the results can be amazing.”

The festival was born out of Carousel’s popular monthly Rock House gigs, integrated events with the aim of ensuring ambitious learning disabled musicians have an outlet for their music.

The inaugural Rock House Festival last year was a sell-out event, and featured a performance from Daniel Wakeford, star of the UK’s burgeoning learning disabled music scene.

Gareth said “Daniel’s career journey is a clear example of how, with the right support, learning disabled musicians can reach great heights. He started out coming to the monthly Rock House gigs, did some workshops with Tom Cook (now his writing partner) and began developing his stage style into the magnificent showmanship you see today. Featuring on Channel 4’s The Undateables brought the national profile he deserves. Daniel has a tour of O2 venues this autumn and Carousel is really proud of what he has achieved.” 

The line-up for Rock House Festival 2018, is equally strong and includes among others: neo future funk, hip hop and house from Electric Fire; Red Deer People, who mix krautrock with the energy and experimentation of post punk; rock band Beat Express, veterans of the learning disabled music scene; and psych-indie six-piece Other States.

“It was a glorious celebration. The Rock House Festival 2017 made a real statement on how learning disabled and non-learning disabled bands can co-exist in creating a spectacle. And that’s just what we gave all those who came to watch! We in Zombie Crash were honoured to headline it all with one heavy performance” – Ryan, Zombie Crash

“I got to see some great bands and overall particularly enjoyed the unrestrained and joyful atmosphere of the event – you should keep an eye out and check out the next show they put on.” – Adam Kidd, Brightonsfinest

“Dark, seedy, loud, smells funny – everything I want from a Rock Club. All these wonderful people together – Carousel, I salute you!” – Dan Mitchell, The Community Channel

“It is difficult to convey just how successful this event was without appearing patronising. I would happily recommend Rock House to any music lover or regular gig goer based purely on the strength of the performances, material and atmosphere.”  – Wayne Chappell, Arts Council England Assessor


DATE – Saturday 28th July
TIME – Doors: 12.30pm / Afternoon: 1pm – 5pm / Evening: 6pm – 10pm
VENUE – Green Door Store, Trafalgar Arches, Brighton
ENTRY – £10 day ticket / £6 half day ticket + booking fee
EARLY BIRD DAY TICKETS – £8 + booking fee

Full line-up and information:

Early Bird Day Tickets (and all other tickets) are now on sale:

Watch highlights from The Rock House Festival 2017:

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