It grew from a very simple idea, done for the right reasons, bringing people together for the love of live music, community and rock and roll. Apulstock is an independent, community based, not-for-profit event run by volunteers as a music festival, for Adults with Learning Disabilities.
The purpose of the festival is to offer people with learning disabilities the opportunity to rock out and enjoy live music in an authentic and safe festival environment. We aspire to create the best event possible for people who would not normally get the opportunity to go to a music festival.
Apulstock started in the summer of 2011. The original idea was to offer the people who attend the Apuldram Centre the opportunity to camp out. Before long there was going to be a BBQ. A Social Worker called Mike Hobson heard about the BBQ and offered to come and play some music in exchange for food & love. By the time summer finally came around there had been lots of offers from people wanting to come along, get involved, play music, cook food, donate tents and embrace everything that makes the Apuldram community unique. Apulstock brought the centre a new pool table with the funds raised.
The first Apulstock, held at the Apuldram Centre in 2011, was a day for community and togetherness. It was an opportunity to forget the challenges that set people apart, and simply enjoy being together in the joy of live music.
For Apulstock 2012, the line up increased to include 15 bands, including everything from 80′s rock to Dubstep, and suddenly people across the UK were talking about the festival. However, despite the event’s success, the Apuldram Centre did not feel that Apulstock was something of that the organisation could continue to host as an annual event. It was at this point that the organisers decided to make the festival an independent entity. A young support worker by the name of Ian Dewhurst declared “If Apuldram don’t want to do it, we will do it ourselves”.
A local businessman called Matt Baker, having heard about the event offered to host it at Church Farm in Bosham in both 2013 and 2014, and both years were a tremendous success.
In 2015 the Apuldram Centre offered to host Apulstock again, and the festival returned blissfully to the place of its inception.
Apulstock 2016 was the last year that the event took place at the Apuldram Centre, and it really was incredible to see so many people coming together to make it happen.
For Apulstock 2017, the festival moved to the Fishbourne Centre, just down the road from Apuldram.
Daniel Wakeford performs at Apulstock 2017
Jason and Steve making the most of the weather at Apulstock 2017
Apulstock 2018 and 2019 took place at Murrell’s Field in Barnham.Apulstock 2018
Apulstock 2019 made the BBC news!
Covid stops Play
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Apulstock did not take place in 2020, 2021 or 2022, however a small, free event was held in Lavant near Chichester to herald the return of the festival in 2023 – Apulstock Presents Iron Tyger.
Apulstock ’23 at FCC
The tenth Apulstock festival will be held at Ferring Country Centre on the 29th of July and we have some big things planned.
The purpose of Apulstock continues to be centred on offering a festival experience to people that would not normally have the chance to visit a music festival. However, as an inclusive event anyone is welcome to attend, regardless of if they have a learning disability or not.
Tickets for the event are always limited so it is recommended that guests book early.
Interview on Spirit fm