The Upton Blues Festival in the pleasant riverside town of Upton upon Severn in Worcestershire has grown since the first festival in 2002 when just 19 bands appeared. The festival now has multiple venues, hundreds of bands and thousands of visitors. Being lovers of the blues we have visited this festival three times, camping on the field with friends and we always hear some great new music and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the festival. I am hugely grateful to the people that make the Upton Blues Festival happen and this year, while exploring the town, came upon this magnificent memorial bench.
The idea for the festival began from a conversation between Richard Tippin and Stewart McEwan at the June Jazz Festival in Upton upon Severn in 2001. Seven people each put £10 in to make the 2002 Blues festival happen and Richard Tippin remained as one of the organisers until his death in 2008. This lovely bench was installed the following year and remembers him and his contribution to the town. The bench is placed under the bridge by the river Severn and the plaque tells the story of the beginnings of the Upton Blues Festival in rhyme. I will make sure I pass by the bench every time we go to the festival in the future and give a thought to the people that make it happen.