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After years of mucking ararnd on festival stages across the UK, we finally felt that with almost 1000 shows under our belts, the time was right to host our own music festival, however, in true Doonicans style, we wanted to make it a festival with a little bit of a twist...

With 'DOONIFEST: Music & Laughter Festival' our aim was to try and fill a festival bill predominantly with musical acts that have some kind of comedic leaning, because it is a well-known fact that laughter is the best medicine. We have booked some really funny acts, but also for your delectation, we have got some more amazing musical acts from the UK's music festival circuit, plus some genuine Barnsley legends, in the form of heavy metal titans Oliver/Dawson Saxon, who will be celebrating, almost exactly 40 years to the date of Saxon's first show, when they perform for you during our special early evening 'Monsters Of Rock' Legends SlotAs well as all of these brilliant bands, we will be bringing you live stand-up comedy and spoken word by a range of funny folk in between each of the bands. 

Plus, on Friday 11th October, we are hosting DOONIFEST EVE, a special warm-up night for all those who have arrived the night before, to get you in the mood for the events on the Big Day, where a further four acts take to the stage in support to headliners The Black Tar Rivers, a tribute to Brighton folk-punks The Levellers, that features a line-up made from The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, The Sweetchunks Band and  one third of Black Thorn. 


Both days of DOONIFEST, are now SOLD OUT. The main day sold out over a year in advance, and instantly became the fastest sell-out at The Old School House Venue in Barnsley, with all tickets selling out in an unpresidented 56 seconds (beating the previous record by over 30 minutes)... and that was before a single act was announced! Good work, you lot!

This page features a wealth of information about all of the acts, how to get to the venue, and other important information about the big day too.



On arriving at the venue, you will enter the main bar area, where you will see a table for WRISTBAND EXCHANGE (next to the MERCH tables). Please have your tickets ready so that we can swap them for a wristband quickly, so that you don't miss anything. Even though the doors open at 7pm on Friday, you can enter the main bar earlier than this. The venue and doors open at 11.30am on Saturday for a 12 noon start in the music room. 

If you are attending BOTH Doonifest Eve AND Doonifest, we will attempt to wristband you on the first night with the two different wristbands you will need to access the music room, to reduce any waiting time on the Saturday. Please ensure that as you enter and leave the music room you hold your wristbands up to show the Doonifest Venue Security Team who will be vigilant throughout the weekend. If you spot anybody without a wristband, please inform a member of staff, crew or security immediately (it's for your own safety). 


Please respect our performers... we have a great line-up of musical acts, and in between every musical act, we have a bunch of talented comedians and spoken word artists too. If you want to chat to your friends, we aren't killjoys, but we do ask you to consider the people on stage performing, and also the people around you who paid to listen. If you want to chat, please just pop out into the main bar (not the music room bar!) and do so there. Thanks for that!


The venue has a range of cold drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and water too) and will be serving throughout the weekend. The management reserve the right to refuse alcohol to anybody they deem to have had 'too much' so just remember that it's a long day and 'slow and steady' wins the race. We do have a special Doonicans themed GEEVES BREWERY ale that has been brewed in Barnsley for the festival, called THE ALE MACHINE. It's a lovely pale ale, if real ale is your thing. The bar accepts card payments, but does NOT do cash back, and the nearest cash machine is a bit of a walk up the hill inside Barnsley General Hospital 's main entrance (so don't get caught out).


99% of our booked musical acts are bringing a wealth of lovely merchandise to tempt you to take home a piece of the magic. We encourage you to support the bands where you can, as merch often tops up a band's stage fee dramatically (I know, I'm a working musician, meself!). Each act will have an allocated time on the merch tables in the main bar. They will have to vacate it about 30 minutes after their set, so don't just leave it to the end of the day, or you will miss your opportunity to get that CD or T-Shirt you really wanted when you saw it earlier in the afternoon!


We aren't publishing stage times ahead of the weekend. This is deliberate. We don't want you to miss ANYTHING, so we urge you to get there early. The order of the acts on the poster is not necessarily the running order on the day. The stage times WILL be displayed each day, on the door to the music room, and on the screen inside the music room. 


People attending the festival are politely asked to preferably park in the hospital car-park across the street on the corner of Summer Lane/Pogmoor Road S752ET - it is just across the road and will cost £6.90 for 24 hours (other pricing is here). There is road-side parking, but beware double yellows, and our local traffic warden who is very savvy and a bit of a git.

On the day of the festival, the small car-park at the venue is being used exclusively for bands loading and unloading equipment and for the Catering Van (booked by the venue - not the festival) that will be supplying food for people throughout both Doonifest Eve & Doonifest.

Please DO NOT try to park in the venue car-park!  


The venue have asked a local food van to  trade from the carpark throughout the weekend, and from what we have been told, will have some kind of veggie option (what it is, we don't know, but they are the venue's regular food van, and therefore had priority on trading). If anybody has very specific allergies or dietary requirements, we recommend that you bring something with you, as the whole situation regarding food at the venue is the only thing that has been out of our hands since organising the festival! The nearest alternative food places are probably the KFC, Taco Bell and Lidl down at the main roundabout right down at the bottom of Summer Lane (it's about a 5-10 minute walk). Alternatively, you could always use (for the benefit of this the address is The Old School House Venue, Blackburn Lane, Barnsley S75 2BA.


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