Though we've been back from FolkEast for over a week now, this is the first time I've had chance to sit down and blog!! This not working for 6 weeks is great but I am filling my time up fast!!
Anyhow back to the festival - now in its 7th year - the 6th on the Glemham Hall estate, this festival is probably our favourite for many reasons. S spent 5 days before the festival crewing and helping to build the site. It meant long days for him but it sounded great fun - where else can you drive around in a golf buggy with a giant rubber duck strapped to the roof?
By the time I went over with him on the Thursday morning the site was pretty much ready - a few last minute jobs needed doing - and once our camp was built, I went out in the torrential rain to help him.
We've camped in many things over the years - a borrowed tent, our late but much loved caravan and now this year we have a new toy - our bell tent - all 4m of brightly coloured canvas. We love it - it easy to pitch up, plenty of space for the 2 of us and oh so much more cozy than the nylon tents we've both camped in before.
Plenty of room for the two of us and all our stuff - we don't travel light these days!!
Our little camp - I love cooking outside - even if its just a simple breakfast of bacon butties and proper coffee.
This year the festival has added entertainment on the Thursday for those of us who were camping the whole weekend - a ceilidh with an amazing band called Stumpy Oak (who did our wedding ceilidh last year) and also music in the Moot Hall tent compared and collated by Mat Bayfield who is a bit of a local folkie legend in his own life time. Very proud to call him a friend - he is a man who has over come some pretty tough hurdles in his own life and is so full of positive energy & love.
Mat is the one next to the double bass on the right hand side. His gig was well attended and hopefully this means the festival will repeat both this and a ceilidh as a Thursday night offering every year.
The Friday morning dawned bright and sunny. Our first wedding anniversary - that year has whizzed by. We made coffee and exchanged pressies and opened cards. S had put together an album of photos from our first married year - he'd listened when I said I regret not printing photos out anymore instead they just get stored online or shared in Facebook albums. He'd been very sneaky and raided my google photos and printed out some for each of the past 12 months. Leaving me space to keep adding each month in the future.
I'd asked one of my talented sisters to paint one of our wedding photos for him;
For the first time we weren't dancing at the festival - we've hung up our sticks and boots for the year as we've needed to concentrate on other stuff this year - we might go back when the new practise season starts in the autumn. This meant we had time to explore the festival and all that it offers - many workshops, stalls, an amazing art arcade with many, many talented crafts men and women, 5 bars - from a tiny pub with one ale to a full sized one with a big range of beers & ciders all for just £3 a pint. This is as well as a full music line-up and several dance workshops and ceilidhs each day. Oh and a knitting/crochet tent run by the talented Social Knitworks ladies.
Two of my sisters had created big pieces for this tent - one a knitted deckchair;
and another a traditional seaside peep board (the knitworks tent had a seaside theme this year);
The Friday night headliners were Oysterband a favourite of S's who he introduced me to when we first met - in fact one of our first dates was to one of their gigs. They were as ever amazing and we bopped and sung along with a group of friends.
After they'd finished we went over to another venue to see the festival patrons The Young'uns - great fun and perfect harmonies. These 'lads' use real stories to create wonderful songs which are easy to sing along too.
Afterwards we called into the ImaGINe Gin Bar for anniversary cocktails!!
I love this picture that a friend took of us earlier in the day - its us to a tee!
Two happy hippies in their favourite field!!
Saturday was another sunny morning - more bacon & coffee required. We knew we were in for a busy day - my littlest sister, her husband and two little boys were coming for the day. We met them in the children's area - we nearly didn't leave!! It had so many fun things and the two boys and their Uncle were having lots of fun!!
Only the promise of dancing and food persuaded the boys away!!
A lunchtime family ceilidh with Stumpy Oak was the attraction - the tent was packed with adults and small children - our older nephew was in his element - dancing with me, S, our niece who was also there, his mum and S's Mum too!!
We went our separate ways for a while - the boys wanted pizza and we wanted to watch a pottery throw down - the 3 contestants, John (one of the festival organisers), John Spiers (melodeon player - exBellowhead) and a Viking!!
It was great fun - especially as the Viking is part of a trio of street entertainers who appear randomly at the festival all weekend - they have a love of Abba and The Bee Gees!!
Time afterwards for some silly jumping on Uncle S games followed by more time in the children's area!
We spent the Saturday evening in the woods - listening to smaller bands. The area is powered by a solar double decker bus and it is gorgeous. Lots of emphasis on eco friendly and recycling. In fact the whole festival encourages this too. This sculpture of the festival totem animal - A Jackalope - was created from plastic bottles - it highlighted just how much plastic families use that just gets thrown away.
The woods area was just gorgeous at night - lots of fairy and laser lights which people old and younger were just entranced by;
Sunday seemed to pass so quickly, we spent time in the Art Arcade and bought some lovely things for us and the house. All handmade and very much one off creations. I love my new dress upcycled from a vintage tablecloth!!
All too soon it was bedtime again - the weekend was almost over :(
Time for one last campsite breakfast before tidying up and packing the car;
That coffee pot and mugs have got about a bit this summer - they are packed again for another adventure later this week!!
Car packed, it was time to say goodbye to FolkEast for another 12 months. By now even our flattened patch of grass will have cattle grazing on it again and the whole site packed away as if nothing had happened.
FolkEast is certainly a festival I would recommend to everyone - its relatively small, a friendly crowd of people, with things for everyone to enjoy. The food stalls are good and prices reasonable and of course who can say no to beer at £3 a pint. Early bird tickets for 2019 are already on sale and selling well.
We shall be there either as punters or dancers but we will be there. Celebrating the weird and wonderful in a field in EastFolk!
See you soon
xxx Vicki xxx