The second annual festival at Englefield House to raise money for mental health charities in memory of the TV presenter Caroline Flack has been praised by the organisers, who are already planning for a third event next year.
Thousands gathered for the second Flackstock on Monday July 24 to watch stars from the worlds of music, comedy and dance at the day-long event.
Among the performers were friends of Caroline, including Sophie Ellis Bextor, Olly Murs, Matt Goss, Pixie Lott, Leigh Francis and Jason Manford.
Olly Murs, a close friend of Caroline’s and co-presenter with her of the X-Factor, paid an emotional tribute, standing on stage with his hand on his heart, and closing the night with the Neil Diamond classic, Sweet Caroline, with full backing from the crowd.
Oscar-winning artist Charlie Mackesy also made an appearance, sharing his remarkable story, including his battles with anxiety and depression, and taking questions from guests in the mindfulness tent. Charlie is a supporter of the Samaritans, one of the charities benefiting from the fund-raising at Flackstock. At the 2023 Oscars the film of his book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse won best short animation.
Beth Simons, fund raising manager at Samaritans, said: “It was an incredibly special and emotional moment for everyone - Charlie was amazing; the way he spoke about the journey he’s been on.”
Sky Sports presenter Natalie Pinkham, a friend of Caroline who works on the Flackstock Committee said: “We were blown away by this year’s festival. It was worth all the hard work to produce Flackstock; we left Englefield House with our hearts full to the brim.
“There was so much love felt on the day. The atmosphere was electric, we enjoyed incredible performances, and it felt like we achieved what we set out to do, in terms of raising money and awareness for our mental health charities, and creating a safe, happy space for all who came.
“We hope that we can emulate this in year three and beyond; creating a lasting legacy for Flacky, and progress in the mental health space.”
Natalie works with Caroline’s mother Christine, twin sister Jody and other friends of the late star to stage the event, which is presented by Giles Cooper Entertainment.
Four charities benefit from the money raised at Flackstock: Samaritans, Mind, Choose Love and the Charlie Waller Trust. The 2022 event raised £325,000 split between the same four mental health charities, and organisers as busy totting up the total for this year.