Friday 2 August 2013

Really Nice Folks

Cambridge Folk Festival
Thursday 25th - Sunday 28th July, 2013

That's the Cambridge Folk Festival done and it was great to hear some new music to melt my ears. So much stuff to listen to over the four days and the weather was gloriously hot & sunny (apart from Saturday evening when we had lots of warm rain). Highlights of the festival for me were Irish songstress Heidi Talbot, Brighton band The Levellers, K T Tunstall, The Staves, LAPD, Katherine Roberts & Sean Lakeman, guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, female duo Larkin Poe (the wife loved them) and Lucy Rose. Although not musically my cup of tea the most entertaining live act were The Bombay Royale. You probably wouldn't have liked all the music on show but there was, without doubt, something for everyone.

The festival is more than just music though, there's all sorts of entertainment from Morris Dancers to poetry and there's also plenty of workshops if you wanted them. There were two main stages with two other tents for the up and coming artists, with particular emphasis on young musicians. The food choices were enormous and not too overpriced and the bars had a reasonable selection of real ales and cider to choose from. Lots of traditional craft and vintage clothes stalls were on show, as well as the obligatory merchandise tent. There was a wi-fi area where you could hook up to the internet for free and even a place where you could charge up your mobile phone if you needed to (at a price). Toilet facilities were excellent and I never had to queue, unlike some of the ladies. The ages of people attending the festival ranged from the very young to the more mature music fan (like me I guess) so I felt right at home. Camping was available for those that wanted it and the on site camping facilities looked excellent. We did the easy option and opted for a very nice B&B three miles away at the Tudor Cottage Guest House. The park and ride worked like a dream and we didn't experience any hold ups at either end of the day, in fact it was a short 10 minute walk to the festival site so no need to take the bus really. It's the 50th Cambridge Folk Festival next year and I really hope that we can visit again in 2014 as we had such a great time for our first ever visit this year

Irish songstress Heidi Talbot with me and the missus (I'm on the left!)

A really good music festival that was so much more than just 'folk' music. The folk purists might throw their hands up in horror at the electrification of some of the acts who performed but folk now encompasses such a vast range of different types of genres. From the traditional Celtic roots, through Cajun, Blues, African and into the mainstream crossover with bands like Steeleye Span, Bellowhead, The Mavericks, K T Tunstall and The Levellers. I don't care what you call it, I just like it.

It's a beautiful day
Morris Dancers try to establish the location of the beer tent

Only at the Cambridge Folk Festival: I saw something for the first time ever in my 60 years of being on this planet - a tree wearing a knitted jumper pretending to be a message board. That is so cool.

A tree wearing a knitted jumper - so cool

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