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NEWS RELEASE No: 136637 JUNE 2010

Westonbirt prepares for visit of Status Quo

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Status Quo in the woods

A competition has been launched to encourage Status Quo fans to show-off their air guitar skills in celebration of the legendary rock band’s Westonbirt Arboretum concert on 17 July.

To celebrate Status Quo’s return to Westonbirt, fans who submit videos showing their air guitar skills – with or without props - to the Forestry Commission Live Music facebook page from 7 June to 24 July can win an inflatable guitar signed by the band.

Fans will be asked to video their air guitar skills to their favourite Status Quo song and upload them to the facebook page before, during or after the concert. The clips will be judged and the winner announced on 30 July.

Staff at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, which is managed by the Forestry Commission, have been practising their own air guitar skills in preparation for the rock band’s return. They last played at the National Arboretum in 2008.

The team have been having fun with inflatable air guitars that will be handed out to a number of lucky fans at the concert.

Those buying Status Quo tickets from the Westonbirt Forest Shop can also receive a free inflatable guitar to bring along to the event.

Status Quo will play at Westonbirt as part of the Forestry Commission’s Live Music series of concerts.

Status Quo have become a rock'n'roll institution. A prolific touring and recording act, they have accumulated total world-wide record sales exceeding 118 million units, with 29 of their 39 album releases making the UK top 20.

Forestry Commission Live Music encourages people to see their local forests in a new way and return again to explore the beautiful woodland environment and the recreational and leisure opportunities on offer. 

Tickets, £33.00 (subject to booking fee) can be purchased from the Forestry Commission box Office on 01842 814612 or online at

The air guitar skills video competition opens on 7 June and closes at midnight on Saturday 24 July 2010. The winner will be announced on and contacted via the Forestry Commission Live Music facebook page on Friday 30 July 2010. Not everyone attending the Status Quo concert will receive an air guitar, but fans can submit ‘traditional’ air guitar entries filmed without props.
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Image attached: Two of the Westonbirt team show off their air guitar skills. Credit to Rob Cousins.

1. Westonbirt - the National Arboretum is part of the Forestry Commission estate and is renowned worldwide for its tree and shrub collection. Home to the National Japanese Maple (Acer) collection, the National Arboretum covers 243 hectares (600 acres) and contains 16,000 specimens. Visitor numbers are 350,000 a year, with a membership of 23,000. Westonbirt Arboretum was established in the 1850s by wealthy landowner Robert Holford, and later developed by his son George Holford.  Unlike many arboreta, Westonbirt is laid out according to aesthetic appeal rather than scientific or geographical criteria.

2. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Further information can be found at

3. Westonbirt – the National Arboretum is part of the Westonbirt Heritage Partnership, which consists of the Forestry Commission, Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, Westonbirt School and the Holfords of Westonbirt Trust. The Partnership plans to reconnect the historic Westonbirt estate, conserve its unique heritage and inspire future visitors through the Westonbirt Project.

4. The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum was formed in 1985. The charity’s objects are to support the National Arboretum in promoting public understanding of the crucial role of trees to the environment and society. It is funded by membership receipts from 23,000 members, other fundraising, and the use of the Great Oak Hall for events and activities.  

Katrina Podlewska, Communications Manager, Westonbirt  the National Arboretum, on 01666 881 207 or email: