Wheeler Street play the Farm Folk tent
Lounge on the Farm 2008
Lounge on the Farm returned for a third year on July 11th 2008. BBC Blast reporter Frankie Ward headed off to Merton Farm, Canterbury to find out more about the festival and to enjoy performances by acts such as The Bees, The Coral and many more.
An alternative event
On the weekend that all eyes seemed focused on the livestock featuring at the Kent County Show, Detling, a cow shed near Canterbury played host to legendary acts such as The New York Dolls and The Coral.
Doing it outdoors
Matt Gough, one of the four people who organise the annual Lounge on the Farm festival told BBC Kent that he had decided to set up the festival due to a lack of gigs in the county.
Johnny Foreigner in the Sheep Dip tent
“It was a double pronged decision of living in Canterbury and never being able to see any gigs unless you went to London and never having anywhere to play. The logical step was if you can’t do it indoors, do it outdoors.”
A niche market
The festival was established in 2006 and since then has grown in popularity not through mass marketing, but through word of mouth and its colourful website.
“We haven’t gone for mass market, we want to keep it niche. People come because they’ve heard about the festival from someone else and they know what to expect, they’re geared up for it.” Matt says.
The School of Rock tent
“We always wanted to put local bands on to make it a bit different, to make it important to people in the area. We’ve been booking local acts from the offset and putting them in with the bigger acts. We’ve watched acts go from the little stages to the bigger ones. It’s kind of grown with them as such.”
Local acts on the bill included folk act Wheeler Street who proved so popular with the crowd that they had their set extended by 20 minutes and one of Friday night’s headliners, Polka Party also originated in Kent. Chatham based band Underground Heroes played the final set of the festival, at 11pm on Sunday evening.
Fun, families and food
Music, however, was not the only highlight of the festival. A large number of local caterers set up stalls next to a neat line of crops and provided revellers with a Kent sourced culinary experience. Dishes on sale included venison hot dogs and freshly prepared koftas served in warm pitta bread.
BBC Kent Intoducing's Tom clowns around
The festival also had family in mind. Children were kept entertained by the Cabbage Patch area which featured work shops run by the Kent Circus School. Nearby the School of Rock tent hosted a daily session where both young and old could try their hand at playing a variety of instruments including drums, saxophones and trumpets and a battle of the bands competition. Matt believes that this is what makes the festival unique:
“I think we’ve kind of carved our niche in a way. We’ve got some pretty key things about the festival people enjoy. It’s the food and it’s the kids element. There are a lot of families which is nice. It’s quite chilled out.”
Lightspeed Champion on Friday Night
Legends on the farm
On the Saturday night the Cow Shed played host to American punk legends, The New York Dolls who for many, would have been the biggest attraction of the festival. Younger music fans were treated to sets by more mainstream acts such as Mystery Jets and Black Kids who would not be out of place at large scale festivals such as Glastonbury and T in the Park.
The Hoedown stage saw Dexys Midnight Runners’ vocalist Kevin Rowland hit the decks to entertain a packed out tent whilst up and coming acts such as Johnny Foriegner and Los Campesinos delighted fans in the Sheep Dip tent.
Plans for next year despite being underway are being kept top secret for now, however the aim of “Putting Canterbury on the map,” as Matt Gough describes it, will surely remain the same.
last updated: 29/07/2008 at 15:16
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