Grand illusion on firefest

Grand Illusion will play on Firefest 2010

For our 2010 show we’ve decided to go for two full days, with a slightly later start time and just seven quality bands per day. We think we’ve put together a bill that should please many devotees of melodic hard rock and have arranged several special sets to celebrate well-loved albums and anniversaries. Several acts will be making their first appearances on UK soil whilst others have been much missed and will be returning after many years away. Here are the details…...

Venue and dates

Firefest will take place on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st October 2010 at our regular venue of Rock City in Nottingham.


Saturday 30th October

It’s been twenty years since ex-Dokken guitar virtuoso George Lynch last graced a UK stage. During that time he’s explored new directions and in 2009 came full circle when he re-united with original Lynch Mob singer Oni Logan to deliver the excellent ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ album. The band have had great reviews since they hit the road last year so expect an explosive set taken mostly from their latest opus and their classic ‘Wicked Sensation’ debut.

The UK melodic rockers led by Darren Wharton last graced a Firefest back in 2005 at our inaugural show and have yet to play a UK date since original guitarist Vinny Burns rejoined two years ago. Twenty-one years have passed since their classic ‘Out Of The Silence’ debut was released so it’s a great honour for us to have the band base their set around that popular record.

The enduring German hard rockers have been around in one guise or another since the late 70’s but really started to make waves on both sides of the Atlantic with their classic 1987 album ‘Fireworks’. With a very special set to celebrate the album that gave Firefest’s sister magazine it’s name, Claus Lessmann, Hans Ziller and co. will play the ‘Fireworks’ record in its entirety.

Continuing Firefest’s proud record of providing the unexpected, the US rock band led by Sandi Saraya and Tony ‘Bruno’ Rey are back after an eighteen year hiatus. Keyboard player Gregg Munier tragically passed away in 2006 but all other original members will be present to play a set based around their melodic debut album, with a smattering of their harder edged ‘When The Blackbird Sings’ album for good measure.

Another cult US hard rock band will grace our stage in the shape of Bangalore Choir. Their 1992 debut album ‘On Target’ is well-respected for its sublime mixture of melody and crunch, and led by ex-Accept singer David Reece and guitarist Curtis Mitchell the band will play the whole record. It’ll be their first ever show in the UK and we’re sure they’ll be made very welcome.

Two years ago singer Louie Merlino and guitarist Ron Mancuso played a short acoustic set at the Friday night meet & greet for Firefest V, so we’re delighted to welcome them back with a full band. They’re currently in the studio recording a new album so will have some new songs to play alongside the highlights from their first three records.

After a break of four and a half years Sweden’s Grand Illusion have decided to give it another go. The original trio of Anders Rydholm, Peter Sundell and Per Svensson are currently recording a new album with some pretty high profile guests and with three strong releases already under their belts they have a wealth of upbeat melodic rock songs to get the party off to a good start.

Sunday 31st October

Twins Matthew and Gunnar Nelson caused a stir in 1990 when their first single ‘(Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection’ reached the top of the US charts. They would go on to create several high quality albums throughout the 90’s and are applying the finishing touches to a new release called ‘Lightning Strikes Twice’ as we speak. Despite their rich heritage this will be their first ever UK show and a great coup for the Firefest team.

There are few voices in melodic rock as distinctive as former Survivor, Cobra and Target frontman Jimi Jamison’s. The consummate performer will at last grace a UK stage with a top class band that includes the amazing Tommy Denander on guitar, so expect a great mix of songs from his solo career (including a chunk of his recent well-received ‘Crossroads Moment’ album) and a few Survivor classics.

No-one was more disappointed than we were when Denmark’s finest had their travel plans cancelled by the airline in the run-up to Firefest V. Thankfully their schedule for 2010 has presented the opportunity to book them again for a long overdue return to the UK. Ronnie Atkins, Ken Hammer and Kenn Jackson, along with a new drummer and keyboard player, have a quality back catalogue and we guarantee they’ll rock your socks off!

Getting cult UK melodic rock band Strangeways to play at Firefest has been a labour of love for festival organiser Kieran Dargan, so it’s with great pleasure that we can announce that he’s finally gone and done it. The bands ‘Native Sons’ and ‘Walk In The Fire’ discs are rightfully regarded as genre classics, and with a new album already started, the favoured line-up of Ian & Dave Stewart, Jim Drummond, David (Munch) Moore and the great Terry Brock are back and ready to rock.

Norwegian trio Stage Dolls have proven over the years to be one of the most consistent bands around, frequently re-inventing themselves with new sounds and ideas. They’ve delivered great albums in each of the three decades since they formed and will, no doubt, be one of the hits of the festival. With a new album called ‘Always’ to promote, this is yet another overdue return to these shores.

It’s criminal that after over a decade of consistently good melodic rock records the UK’s own Newman is still one of our best kept secrets. Their eighth album ‘The Art Of Balance’ continues their rich vein of form with yet another collection of catchy, hard hitting songs and stellar production, and with a great band behind him Steve Newman certainly deserves a place on the main stage.

Swedish five-piece Grand Design came from out of nowhere last year to deliver one of the surprise releases of the year, a traditional hard rock album with multi-layered harmonies and intricate Def Leppard-influenced arrangements. All they need now is live shows to take them to the next level so we’re thrilled that they’ve chosen Firefest to start their UK assault.

Tickets & Prices

The ticket prices are as follows:
Saturday - £48.50 Sunday - £48.50 Postage at £1 extra per order Day of Show £55

Early Bird Special

We will sell the first 250 weekend tickets (Saturday and Sunday) for £85, a saving £12. If you're bringing a partner get in early and save £24! These tickets cannot be reserved, they will be available strictly on a first come first served basis. As soon as these Early Bird tickets are sold ticket prices will revert to the standard price of £48.50 per day or £97 for both days.

Payment : via paypal to : or by Cheque/Postal Order/Bank Draft payable to

Bruce Mee C/O Fireworks Office and sent to:
10 Dunnock Close Offerton

Tickets will be mailed out within 21 days of order
A full list of other tickets agents will be made available shortly.

Other details

We’d like to welcome Blackstar Amplification and AOR Heaven as new sponsors, with thanks for their contributions.

Firefest 2010 is an age 14 and over show.

A press and guest list accreditation system will be implemented soon at our website – – could anyone wishing to apply please refrain from contacting any member of the Firefest team about accreditation at this time. Instructions will be given in a future update.

Check regularly for updates, as well as the official myspace, facebook and twitter pages. The website will also contain hotel details and directions for those travelling into Nottingham.

All that’s left to say is thank you for your continued support and we hope the line-up and ticket prices are to your liking. See you all in October – the Firefest team.