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Bring On The Great British Folk Festival Season!

Mike Harding | 14:41 UK time, Friday, 13 February 2009

The festival season is not yet upon us, but looking at some of the advanced
publicity, 2009 looks to be one of the best years yet.

Spoilt for choice comes immediately to mind; if I were an ordinary punter rather than a cosmic broadcasting star it would be hard put to know where to go.

We will, I expect, be at Cambridge Folk Festival again this year and, if I can wangle
it, I'd quite like to spend time at several of the other great summer festivals.

With this in mind, unrepentant old hippy that I am, I've been snooping round
looking for a VW campervan to travel round in.

I'll never forget, many years ago, watching a couple fall out of their Westfalia van one morning, throw open the side doors and start cooking breakfast as the sun rose over Sidmouth, the first buskers of the morning (the lady on the hammered dulcimer and the
bloke on the banjo) began entertaining the seagulls on the esplanade.

Like Toad, when the motor car has knocked him into a ditch, all I could do was mutter
"poop poop"' as I set off from the Bedford Hotel for my morning paper.

Ever since, I've been haunted by dreams of the open road, festival camp sites, my
banjo and fly rod slung in the back of the van, and nights beneath the stars
singing and playing with like-minded friends.

Call me a romantic old fool if you like, and I'll hold my hand up, but as W. B. Yeats (the inventor of the
Wine Lodge) once said,"tread softly, for you tread on my dreams".

Many of the festival websites are now open for business, and you should really check
them out - from Sidmouth to Dent from Orkney to Towersey with all places in
between, there are shedloads of great festivals, big and small.

And, if you go to a festival and come across a bloke with a fishing rod and a banjo and
a bottle of single malt looking for his van, take him to the Lost Incurable
Romantics tent.


  • Comment number 1.

    Nice one Mike! As Denis Sabey would have said "That's real!" By the way - which Single Malt? I prefer Talisker followed by Lagavuilin followed by Highland Park followed by Glen Morangie - but not all at the same time!

  • Comment number 2.

    Is the site here doing a 'festival planner' page as they have done in the past? It was extremely useful. I've only just started thinking about festival season and already I'm losing track of which weekends I need to worry about potential clashes for.

  • Comment number 3.

    Ooh Orkney looks good. Spiers & Boden, Karine polwart, Fiddlers Bid, Buille, Karan Casey, the list goes on and on! How do they fit it all into one weekend?

    Looking froward to seeing you there Mike. Got you a fishing rod, glass of HP and a banjo ready and waiting!


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