THE RETURN of a Dorset rock music festival, which gives all profits to children’s cancer research, has been described as a “humongous success” by its proud founder.

For the first time since 2019, thousands rolled up to Charisworth Farm in Blandford for the popular Teddy Rocks Festival which was held from Friday April 29 to Sunday May 1.

Close to 8,000 people are estimated to have attended the festival, including NHS staff who were accommodated for free, with the event founder calling it their “biggest and best” event yet.

Tom Newton has raised thousands cancer charities for more than a decade since the passing of his brother Ted – who died of bone cancer at the age of 10.

Bournemouth Echo: Teddy Rocks Festival 2022. Event founder Tom Newton. Picture: Charlie RavenTeddy Rocks Festival 2022. Event founder Tom Newton. Picture: Charlie Raven

The success of the 2022 event marked a proud moment for Tom, who told the Echo: “This festival is so unique, you really won’t find another one like it.

“People came here and loved it and because it’s been three years since the last one, so I think this year has just ramped up. The atmosphere was unreal and without a doubt this has been our biggest and best one yet. Every year it levels up and gets even more electric.

“The first event we did to raise money in 2011 was a gig at a pub in Blandford and we raised £400. We’ve since gone from that to over £400,000.

“Seeing the crowd shouting and cheering, it hits you. The more people we put in that field, the more research and work gets done.”

More than 100 acts performed across the weekend across four stages. Performers included Fratellis (who headlined the final night), Terrorvision, Newton Faulkner, Dub War, The Skints, and more.

Bournemouth Echo: Teddy Rocks Festival 2022. As December Falls performance. Picture: Will BaileyTeddy Rocks Festival 2022. As December Falls performance. Picture: Will Bailey

Tom’s personal highlight came with the performance of Eagles of Death Metal, whose frontman delighted crowds when he arrived on set riding a motorbike while dressed as Evel Knievel.

Despite the growing success, Tom says the festival will remain at Charisworth Farm due to an “amazing” relationship with the landowners and desire to maintain the “personal touch” of a smaller event.

He added: “Thank you so much to all who came and enjoyed themselves. It’s important to remember while you’re there drinking, dancing and having fun, you’re also helping support vital cancer research and that’s what it’s all about.”

Regarding what future music acts could one day appear at the festival, a tight-lipped Tom said he had held some “interesting conversations” with some exciting artists, and advised supporters to “stay tuned”.