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Harvest at Jimmy's
By Anna Louise Dobbie, BBC Blast Reporter
Music from KT Tunstall and Athelete, food courtesy of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen and celebrity chefs - it's all part of the first, BBC Suffolk partnered, Harvest at Jimmy's.
Jimmy Doherty, star of BBC2's Jimmy's Farm, is excited about holding his first festival, which takes place on his Suffolk farm on the weekend of 12 and 13 September 2009.
"I think that Harvest is unlike anything else in the country because, not only is it a festival of music, it's also a celebration of food and everything that's great about English cuisine.
"We have farmers' markets on the site every month, and we were approached by an organisation called Big Wheel who said they'd love to put on a music festival at the farm.
"We said that we'd love to do that, but also blend it with food, then we had a couple of meetings in the pub over a few pints and Harvest was born.
"Hopefully it should take two or three days to set it all up, but we're not wrapping it in cotton wool, it's a working farm as well as a festival. I don't think the animals will be fussed, they're quite looking forward to it!"
Jimmy's pigs - 'looking forward to Harvest'
This came in response to a comparison to the colourful sheep of fellow Suffolk festival Latitude.
"Unfortunately I don't have much time to go to festivals, but I think they are a phenomenon that's really popular in Britain. I met a Dutch couple who were excited about Harvest and coming over for the festival.
"People come from all over the world to attend our festivals, it's a celebration of the great British summer. And as for the weather, we've paid the bill, so I wouldn't worry, it's going to be fine!"
If music be the food of love, play on
Stadium-filling indie heroes Athelete will be the musical headliners on the Saturday, supported by Swedish singer/songwriter Jose Gonzalez and Mercury Prize winner Badly Drawn Boy.
Other acts to perform on Saturday include Jon Allen, Wallis Bird, Sam Lewis and Prints of Whales.
Jimmy is very excited to have KT Tunstall headline Sunday, with support including Seth Lakeman, Peter and the Wold, 6 Day Riot, Delta Maid and The Great Shakes, whose vocalist Dan Foden is Suffolk boy himself.
"I'm so excited to have KT Tunstall as it's the only festival she's doing the whole year, which is amazing."
Local favourites The Cheek are set to perform songs from their forthcoming debut album. It will be their second Suffolk festival of the summer, following a successful set on the Lake Stage at Latitude - as well as an exclusive backstage performance for BBC Suffolk.
Jimmy is too busy farming and filming to attend a lot of local gigs but he says he does have an interest in the scene. "There was a local band called The Runes who disbanded about a year and a half ago because they had to go to university, but we used to follow them around quite a bit - they were good!"
Jimmy remains furtive about any unannounced performances. "We'll have lots and lots of surprises as we go along, but I can't tell you much about it yet."
Food for thought
Harvest at Jimmy's is just as much a celebration of great Suffolk food as it is a music festival. As well as enjoying a wide range of locally sourced food and drink, there will be demonstrations by some of the most notorious TV chefs.
On Saturday, Anjum Anand from BBC2's Indian Food Made Easy will be advocating simple, healthy Indian food and Ready Steady Cook star Gino D'Acampo will share his authentic Indian cooking secrets.
Sunday will bring demonstrations from Saturday Kitchen's James Martin, BBC Breakfast's James Wong, and Jamie Oliver's Italian guru Gennaro Contaldo.
Jimmy says his festival highlight is going to be the cooking demonstration by James Martin. "He's a great chef and fantastic pastry chef. He's hilarious and full of energy. He's mad on cars and mad on food."
Jamie Oliver's Fifteen will be taking over the historic barn with an interactive cooking experience for the duration of the weekend. Thasanee Robinson, Event Manager of the Fifteen experience and a graduate herself of the Fifteen Foundation, is looking forward to her involvement in the festival.
"A lot of our chefs both from London and from Cornwall will be here, as well as some of our apprentices and previous stars who have graduated from the system on the programme.
"This time last year, we did a festival for English Heritage Charity, so we're used to working in fields.
"This time, we have a barn over our heads with a roof and a floor so that's a good start. We'll make the best of what we have, but this time I think we've got it good!"
Taz believes the fusion of music and food is a unique festival formula: "I don't know why no one's thought of it before because everyone who's into food seems to be into music, so it seems like common sense to put the two together.
I am looking forward to getting involved with people who are like-minded and passionate.
"We will be using local produce donated by Jimmy as we are a charity, and also from local producers. What's going to be amazing is that you're going to be eating the quality of food that you would at Fifteen in London or Cornwall, gorgeous and freshly made in front of you.
"We'll have the Ferrari of pasta machines which will be an opportunity for mums and dads to get their hands dirty making their own pastas and we'll have some really easy risottos and some amazing afternoon teas."
Keep the kids busy!
There's plenty to keep the little ones entertained, whether they want to feed and pet the farm's menagerie or head off on the nature trail.
A chicken safari, pond dipping, participation in cookery classes, den building in the woods and the chance to climb and play on the farm's tractors means there shouldn't be a dull moment.
Jimmy wanted to create a festival that the whole family could enjoy: "There's going to be so much for children, they won't know what to do with themselves!
"There'll be a nature trail with lots of animals, a tropical butterfly house and a woodland walk. It'll be a real blend of a working farm, a wonderful food festival and fantastic music."
Jimmy has the last word
"I think Suffolk is such a fantastic place to visit, I absolutely hope this will be an annual event as we can bring some of the best bands in the country, if not the world, and make it a centre of food excellence.
"We thought about providing camping but decided that there was no point in trying to do everything at once and there are some fantastic campsites, hotels and bed and breakfasts around here.
"We really want to focus on them taking as many people as possible because it's about spreading it around, we want all the other local businesses to benefit.
"If you've never been to a food festival, Harvest at Jimmy's is going to blow your mind.
"It's an assault on your senses because you're going to be listening to great music and then tasting food that's just wonderful."
On Sunday 13 September BBC Suffolk's Stephen Foster will present his morning show live from the festival. Tune in from 0900 BST to get a flavour of what's happening. Read Stephen's thought's on the festival by clicking here:
last updated: 11/09/2009 at 17:56
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