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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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
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….