I saw Benidorms Tom Jones – he sounded like real deal but you had to squint

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    Choosing to spend your summer in a muddy British field is a rite of passage for many Brits.

    But, splashing your cash on a Glastonbury or a Reading and Leeds ticket can leave your bank feeling like the morning after – worse for wear.

    But Todd in the Hole might just be the answer to enjoying a festival on a budget.

    READ MORE: 'I boarded worst flight from worst town in England to see if cheap trips are worth it'

    The festival just off the A1 in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, is home to a three-day weekend full of tribute acts.

    I went along to the Saturday – in the middle day – to see the knock-off versions of Elton John, Oasis and Tom Jones – oh and the actual Pat Sharp was there for an after party DJ set too.

    A record-breaking 15,000 people turned up for the fourth year of the family friendly festival – even though the summer washout weather was thoroughly present.

    That didn't stop *ahem* 'Sexbomb Benidorm Tom' gracing the stage in one of the prime time evening slots.

    The heavily-tanned performer is famous for his tribute to the Welsh music maestro.

    And if you're overdue a Specsavers appointment then you wouldn't be a fool for thinking he's the legitimate 'She's a Lady' singer.

    'Benidorm Tom' makes for a brilliant act alone whose uncanny voice – and appearance if you squint – commanded the audience of mums, boozy blokes and excitable kids.

    Tom 2.0 could even give the real deal a run for his money as he reeled off the bucket load of hits from 'Delilah' and, of course, 'Sex Bomb'.

    Wanting to avoid the rain, I sat underneath the cover of one of the bars. I'm sure Benidorm Tom would understand, well, the real deal did famously say 'baby, it's cold outside'.

    As I sheltered while listening to him belt out 'You Can Leave Your Hat On', I wondered if we were going to get a Full Monty experience (this is the Benidorm version of Tom after all.)

    Sadly there was no stripping, but some blokes I perched on a bench with did mutter "he sounds like the real thing".

    I had to agree.

    Despite being in a down poured field off the A1, Benidorm Tom Jones certainly brought the Costa Blanca with him through his glowy complexion and ability to get Brits in a frenzy.

    Next, we were treated to a performance by "Definitely not Oasis".

    The Liam Gallagher lookalike managed to get folks on shoulders, and young and old singing the biggest hits of the 90's wonder band, and even nailed his stance to a T.

    I almost had to question if Liam and Noel resolved their historical squabble and came back for Knebworth round two, albeit a little further down the road this time.

    Then it was time to end the concert with a bang.

    As the sun started to set 'Rocket Man' lit up the stage with his Elton John tribute.

    He was fuelled with energy and even was capable of rattling out tunes on the piano too.

    The stage production was really well done for a small festival which added to that 'could it actually be him' delusional internal thought process.

    Glastonbury who?

    At the front of the crowd, the ground was a bit muddy – but that was to be expected – so I watched some of the show from a ferris wheel.

    I'm Still Standing was belted out by the tribute band under the colourful stage lights as I watched from the turning attraction.

    And I hoped I was still able to stand straight after that too.

    Elton John 2.0 finished the night with a bang – before festival-goers headed to the after party in the woods hosted by Pat Sharp – and not an impersonation of him.

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    He played a mix of club anthems and cheesy hits – from Ibiza tracks to The Killers favourite Mr Brightside.

    The bars were still operating including a cocktail van full of spicy margaritas and martinis for the more high brow festival crowd.

    As the night drew to a close, a free shuttle service to the train station helped some get home.

    Or alternatively, revellers could bunker down in the campsite.

    It's safe to say Todd in the Hole was a big success!

    “We’re absolutely overwhelmed by the success of the festival this year," co-founder David Nye said.

    "Against extremely challenging weather conditions our amazing team behind the scenes made sure the show still safely went on and our visitors had a fantastic experience.

    "We can’t thank them enough for donning their wellies and bringing their smiles.”

    And co-founder Mark Watts added that he was "blown away by the Todd love."

    Along with its budget tickets, Z-list masking rock 'n' roll hall of fame line up, wellie and mullet rocking Todd team, Todd in the Hole feels like it's starting to pave its way as a real contender on the festival circuit.

    If Lewis Hamilton doesn't want to put Stevenage on the map, then it looks like Todd in the Hole gladly will.

    Tickets for Todd in the Hole 2024 are already on sale, with Adult Weekend Tickets starting from £81, Teen (12-17 years) starting from £39 and kids (4-11 years) starting from £26 and younger tots get free entry.

    Day tickets start from £29.50 for adults, for more information you can access the Todd in the Hole website, here.

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