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10 things I loved about you, Folkstock:

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This time last week Folkstock Festival had drawn to a close. This week, I think my blog is drawing to a close too. Aside from our wonderful videos, which will be posted up shortly (I’ll notify all my readers via my Folkstock twitter feed when they are completed and uploaded), I’d like to sign off with my 10 favourite things about Folkstock Festival. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed my ramblings and perhaps there’ll be a Folkstock Festival next year, that I’ll see you all at?!

1. The “game for a laugh” mentality.

This blog, although often carrying a serious message, is meant to be a bit of fun. I was invited along to blog from a young person’s perspective – and that’s the tone and style I’ve tried to keep. My blogging team were set the same task. Sound editor and interviewer Mikey D interviewed many of the artists, and came up with some unusual lines of questioning. I love that everyone was game for a laugh! (That bizzare conversation at the Morris dancing performance… that was us. sorry).

NOTE: You’ll also find the full results of Mikey’s ink blot tests on this sound bite too!

2. The tone.

I loved that Folkstock Festival didn’t take itself too seriously. I was a  little worried that it could become commercial – but it stayed true to its independent festival ethos the whole way through. image

3. The banter.

I love it when artists are able to connect with their audience. And better still, when they are down to earth enough to be able to laugh at themselves, and invite us (as an audience) to laugh along with them. Lucy Ward got this spot on! She laughed  at herself, we laughed at her, she poked fun at us (mostly for not singing along loud enough), we played along (mostly by shouting her songs back at her). It worked.

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 4. The dress sense.

Thanks to Espiritu, there was colourful hair galore at Folkstock Festival! And in fact, some people had got the memo and arrived with their own various funky hair colours ;). I loved that people just felt relaxed and comfortable all day! Most of all Nick (the Nick and The Sun Machine variety) who kitted himself out at The Grand Vintage Fair stall before going on stage!

Photo by Steve Beeston Photography

Photo by Steve Beeston Photography

5. The sing-alongs.

There was plenty of this going on last Saturday (21st September). I must admit, one of my favourite sing-alongs was at the Turn Up The Sun stage – an enclosed space (like a circus tent) perfect for this kind of activity – and was with the band Ryewolf: they were just fun, and played the kind of traditional folk music that has you tapping your feet and clapping along.

Ryewolf

Ryewolf

6. The freebies.

Some festivals give away wristbands and glow sticks. Folkstock gave away hair styles, updos, hair chalks, braids, head messages, foot massages, etc. Thanks to Espiritu Spa and Salon!

Espiritu salon and spa

Espiritu salon and spa

7. The quirky extras.

There were so many good stalls at Folkstock Festival. I loved the CD stall (Talking Elephant), but my favourite quirk of the day was being able to enjoy a cuppa from a china tea cup and not a styrofoam cup! Thank you Time 4 Tea!

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8. The food.

Pizza stand with a stone-fire oven. Crepe stall. I don’t think I need to even say anymore.

9. The family element.

Anyone who thinks kids wouldn’t enjoy a folk festival, or would end up getting bored – should have come to Folkstock.

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10. The Memorable moments.

This pretty much includes the whole festival. Beginning to end. From arriving in the morning with no clue what to do (sorry to mention it Helen, but you missed me off of the production mailing list… 🙂 ) – luckily the cars either side of us in the car park included Lauren Deakin-davies (Helen’s daughter) on one side – who verified who I was, and a kind stranger on the other side, who by chance had printed off a spare production car parking pass, and gave it to us! (thank you so much, whoever you were!) to snapping my tent pole clean in half when putting my tent up in the evening (luckily, ever the problem-solver, I remembered I had some children’s plasters in my bag [I’m a hands-on Auntie] which I used to hold it together). It was the kind of fun, crazy, random, exciting day I’d hoped it would be!

Poor tent post

Poor tent post

A couple more testimonials, from those taking part at Folkstock…

 “It’s been a good day; the audience are really chilled out which is cool. I’m happy to be involved and its been a good for a first year. I’ve done a lot of festivals this summer, and this one has got good set up – the sound doesn’t bleed between stages.” – Luke Jackson

“Folkstock’s on my front doorstep; I live just across the field, so I thought I’d come along!” Anna Wendean

“It’s a great little stage (the Alt Stage) with its own audience. I really enjoyed it.”Roxanne de Bastion

“We’ve been doing well – lots of people are buying things and one of the artists (Nick Stephenson) even bought one of our flags to wear on his stage! A European Union one of all things! He’s playing at 2.30 on the Alt Stage. I’m going to watch.”The Grand Vintage Fair, St Albans

“It was really good; I really enjoyed it and it was a good stage to play on. I’m glad I bought the flag and hat from the stall (Grand Vintage Fair) too: they sent people our way!”- Nick Stephenson

“It’s been busy and we’ve just been grabbing passers-by and pulling them in – they’re loving it! I just can’t wait for the salon to open now!”Epsiritu staff

Some of the people I chatted to

Some of the people I chatted to.

One final review, from Altitude Arithmetic

Altitude Arithmetic Reviews: ‘Folkstock’ (21st September 2013) 

Words: Priya Garg

Altitude Arithmetic was invited to the inaugural year of family-friendly trad-mod folk/roots fusion acoustic music festival, brainchild of Helen Meissner and home for a day to more than 70 artists from local to more nationally known performers and debut to veteran professionals at ‘Folkstock’.

Four dedicated stages were erected in the rugged leafy green fields of Aldenham Countrypark, just south of the pink streamer-covered visitor walkway and completed with everything from singing/ukelele workshops to various arts & crafts stalls, a selection of ciders, ales and the occasional wandering face-painted, stick-banging Morris Dancer….

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

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Reflections and Re-blogs

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It really is great to see so many positive responses and warm words of thanks in response to Folkstock Festival.  If you went to the festival, you might be interested to know that we are collecting feedback for Folkstock Arts Foundation to assess the social benefits of music festivals and would really appreciate a few mins to complete this easy to do survey. Click here to access it.

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I’ll leave you with a few more words of reflection from the wonderful FRESH ON THE NET blog…

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by Johnno Casson

I was lucky enough to attend (& play) the inaugural Folkstock Festival this past weekend & what a lovely festival it was too.

Folkstock is an acoustic festival whose proceeds go to the charites Cancer Research UK and the Folkstock Arts Foundation (helping support and develop acoustic artists).

A new boutique festival has no right to be this friendly,this welcoming & this well organised has it? Well Folkstock most certainly was.Stages were managed with military precision yet with a warm & personal touch that was charming.

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Set in the beautiful grounds of Alderham Country Park they had 4 stages of music & an assortment of homespun stalls & activities for everyone.

READ THE REST OF THE BLOG POST HERE

Reblog: How much musical talent can you cope with seeing in one day?

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Wow!! Absolutely wow!! Folkstock was an amazing event! Unfortunately my lack of WiFi hotspots and less than impressive phone battery life (darn you iOS 7!) meant I didn’t really have the chance to blog on the go as I’d intended – but I managed a few tweets and some Instragram  posts too over the course of the day. I camped out at Aldenham Country Park last night (so I could make the most of some of the tasty ales on sale!), so after returning back from the wildness (humour me) – I’ve just about located, downloaded, rotated and uploaded (*breathe*) the majority of my photos, notes and video clips (we have many more to come though from our fantastic videographer), so you can expect lots of things to be appearing on this blog over the next week or so. In the mean time I found this fantastic blog post from Redwood Photography, so thought I’d share to whet your appetite a little…

Redwood Photography: Folkstock

Posted in: blog live music Sep 22 2013

How much musical talent can you cope with seeing in one day?

Folkstock was a bit mind-blowing….a diverse array of artists that started off really well and that just seemed to get better and better as the day went on.  Great festival….top job by organiser Helen Meissner and team.

Best acts?  Well the headliners were all good of course…The Willows, Lucy Ward, Boho Dancer….but other stand-out acts for me were Luke Jackson, Tom Moon, The Good The Bad and The Ginger, Ben Smith (blew me away), Flaming June (great stage energy), Fred’s House (been listening to their stuff for a while now), Alice (check out her single ‘Soldier’ on iTunes – seriously good!) and The Fallows (yeah I know I’m biased ‘cos they’re from Cov…but they’re still brilliant!).

READ THE REST OF THE BLOG POST HERE.

Thank you Redwood Photography!

Espiritu Salon & Spa to launch at Folkstock Festival

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Festivals are usually associated with ‘roughing it up’ a bit: think mud, camping and – if you’re anything like me – wild banshee hair. But Folkstock Festival is all about challenging conventions, and blogger ‘Mummywhisperer‘ is lending a helping hand, by offering a range of beauty treatments on the day of the festival and family fete.

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On her own blog, she says:

Never been to a Folk Festival? Nows the time to try it

By MummyWhisperer, on September 9th, 2013

To finish off the summer you can go to Folk Stock on Sat Sept 21st at Aldenham Country Park.  Doors open at 10.30 and it finishes at 11.30pm.  Folkstock is slightly different in that it is not just folk, but also acoustic artists, and the amount of choice is going to be phenomenal.

Check out their wicked jingle (I KNOW how cool is it that they have a jingle!) .. <listen here>

Plus, there is a big bonus in that we will be launching Espiritu, our new Salon and Spa there – so you can come and get free hair consults, hair colours in your hair (using hair chalks), braids, reflexology or indian head massage.  Come on over and we’ll give you a bit of a pamper and pep up!

Read more by clicking here.

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I personally can’t wait to try out hair chalks – I’ve been curious about having these done for ages! – And the Indian head massage sounds pretty good too.

ESPIRITU SAYS:

We are so excited at Espiritu to be pre-launching ourselves at Folkstock Festival on Sept 21st, as we have so much in common with the ethos behind this wonderful festival.
Our Salon is about giving you that moment in time to bring you back to ‘you‘ in the midst of our hectic world.  Live music is wonderful for this, but there is something extra special about Folk and Acoustic music, as it is about our roots and something stronger than just the ever changing and moving modern world.
We love to embrace the old style glamour of simpler times, whilst enjoying modern miracles like iPods and gell nails, it is this fusion that we are looking forward to at Folkstock.  So come along to our tent (you wont be able to miss it with our big flag) and enjoy one of our treats for you:

 

  • Braids in your hair,
  • Fun Colours (from hair chalks)
  • Hair Beads for children
  • Free Consultations
  • Reflexology (feet or hands) taster sessions
  • Indian Head Massage taster sessions
  • Hand massages
  • Balloons

 

 

And remember to pick up a 25% off voucher for your first visit to our salon!

If you have kids, then folk festivals are the perfect family friendly way to introduce them to live music, and we too think that families are important, which is why we have created ‘Mummy Mondays’ at the salon to support you mums.  Check out my tips about festivals over on the MummyWhispererBlog.
Community is important to us; we will be supporting local businesses, authors, musicians and charities at Espiritu and making sure that the products and services that we offer are ethical and environmentally friendly.  Folkstock is actually a charity event being organised by the Folkstock Arts Foundation who among other things supports folk and acoustic musicians.
Check out some of the lovely line up here on sound cloud or listen to the lovely Tamsin Rosewell’s delicious radio show about folkstock.Hope to see lots of you there!Poster-1694x2338-741x1024

Septemberfest – Folkstock and two three-day festivals

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September is the month of the Hertfordshire Festivals. Three consecutive weekends (including this one) will see the likes of music festivals:
Wilkestock, Balstock and Folkstock bringing focus to the awesome talent that this area has to offer.

The three ‘stocks, which take place only a month on from the awesome Standon Calling, help to highlight the impressive music scene in Hertfordshire, and the community that it brings together.

This weekend: Friday 30th August to 1st September 2013

…tickets still available on the door!

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Wilkestock offers FAMILY CAMPING, 100+ bands/dj’s across 4 stages and late night venues! all profits direct to Charity for the 8th year running.  4 STAGES & LATE NIGHT VENUES DISPLAYING THE BEST MUSIC AROUND – NEW AND OLD. *NEW ROCK UP AND RINSE STAGE*. 3 BARS. FREE SHOWERS! LOCKERS & PHONE CHARGING. LIVE GRAFFITI, PAINTBALL ARENA, SUMO SUITS and LOADS OF ENTERTAINMENT ACROSS THE WEEKEND.

NON COMMERCIAL & ALL PROCEEDS DIRECT TO CHARITY. AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE, INTIMATE MUSIC FESTIVAL, NO £4.50 DRINKS HERE!

Mission:

Create a solid intimate music medley of quality bands and dj’s for all ears, whilst raising money and having a party time for Keswick Mountain Rescue & Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research

Company Overview:
In its 8th successful year….. 100+bands/dj’s across 4 stages, an epic weekend to be had with all profits going directly to Keswick Mountain Rescue & Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Dance tents pumping into the small hours with –

Blame
2 Bad Mice
Dj Law and Wheeler
Variations [Dub Police]
Mojo [Terrorhythm]
Bygore [Dub Police]
Ethic [Dub Police]
Swiss B2B Foul Matta [Stink Like Sock]
Venum [N:Era]
Teknition

Hosts – The Corporal / Shox / Overdoze

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Next weekend: Friday 14th to Sunday 16th September 2013

 

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Balstock Music Festival started 8 years ago, in the Engine pub garden, Baldock. From the 11 acts that graced the small petanque shed that day, none of them could’ve known that the very same festival would become Hertfordshire’s largest free music event not even a decade later!
Balstock 2013 is staying true to form by attempting to ‘out-shine’ all the previous years. Not only is every pub in Baldock taking part (bar the George IV just outside town) but also there are 2 Street Stages (including food & merchandise stalls, zorbing and a tug-o-war competition), a café hosting DJs and even bands in one of the tattooists.
Over the 13th, 14th and 15th of September, 150+ acts will be performing in 15 venues, all over Baldock town, including rock, pop, acoustic, soul, ska, blues, hip-hop, punk, folk, motown, reggae, metal, alternative and covers as well as DJ sets of all kinds and stand-up comedy courtesy of Lastminutecomedy.
Every single venue is FREE ENTRY and every single act performs for FREE, all in aid of the chosen charity which changes each year. Funds raised in Balstock 2013 will be split 60 % to the MS Trust and 40% to aid future Balstock events. So please put plenty of money in the collector’s buckets and buy plenty of Balstock Merchandise.

13 September at 18:00 until 15 September at 22:00. This year’s funding goes towards the MS trust and Balstock (split 60/40)

Venues are:
The Orange Tree, Baldock
The Engine
The High Street stage
London Road & Academy Of Music & Sound Stage
The Rose & Crown
The White Lion
The Hen & Chickens
The Boot Baldock
The White Hart, Baldock
The Brocken Drum
The Victoria
The Cock
The Old White Horse
Slack Alice’s tattooists
Taste Cafe

Third Weekend in September: Saturday 21st September 2013

…tickets still available – click here!

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Folkstock has a mission to be a joyous fusion of many different strands of folk, with over 70 artists, half of which are from the local area, from award winning faves of this show such as Lucy Ward, Kris Drever, Reg Meuross, Luke Jackson and Josienne Clarke/ Ben Walker and Folk roots band The Willows, who have sessioned on Bob Harris, through to local artists who are being offered their first festival slots, and everything in between.

Four stages and an additional two performance areas are planned at this relaxed rustic event at beautiful Aldenham Country Park near Borehamwood, along side free, ‘sign up on the day songwriting’ workshops with Reg Meuross, open slots at Flaming June’s Troubadours, Morris Dancing with ‘join in’ scratch sides, festival feast food, local ales and ciders, arts and crafts stalls, childrens activities, milk shakes and soda bar, Ukulele workshops for all levels, and I am reliably informed that they have procured 24 ukuleles so if you ever fancied a go, now’s your chance ! The performers range from the local Under 10′s ceilidh group to 72 yr old Chuck Owston from Pennsylvania ! and they are delighted that this age range is reflected in the ticket sales so far!

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