Monday, 24 July 2017

Curious Arts Festival - 21/23rd July 2017

By The Mole

Izzy Bizu
Once again we were given the opportunity to attend the festival with complimentary tickets. Last years event was blessed with magnificent weather and a fabulous time was had so we were delighted to be attending once again.

Before we set out we knew the forecast was not as good as last year but we remained undaunted. We arrived as it started to rain and immediately started the erection of the tent which went well and we were soon undercover.

The drive down had taken longer than planned and we missed the first events we had hoped to see. Having arrived late we needed tea - a cuppa and so we went to research food and drink. The range had been extremely wide last year and we found that the range was equally diverse this year but different concessions with the addition (a wonderful addition) of one doing 24 hour tea and coffee. Yes, towards the end of the weekend they were looking tired but still provided our essential brew with a smile.

The larger Gorse tent
Gurkha curry was our choice of food and we then settled to some music in the much larger that last year's Gorse tent. Larger was a significant theme this year as, in its fourth year, the festival continues to grow. Friday night's headline act was Izzy Bizu whose "White Tiger" you are sure to have heard on the radio. We then caught Murray Lachlan Young, the poet, before retiring for the first night under canvas for a year.

Sunshine across tents
The camping area and car park, throughout the weekend, reflected the increased size and success of the event as a whole - as did the names on the program. The weather did curtail some of the children's outdoor activities but the many children didn't seem to mind and attended many of the adult events instead - although the new acoustic stage which was on throughout the day was a very popular choice.
Dylan admiring the car park

And dogs... Just as many dogs as last year with owners behaving very responsibly and causing other festival goers no nuisance whatsoever. Dylan enjoyed it all immensely and his fan club, once again, increased in size many fold.

On Saturday we saw Joanna Trollope, Matt Haig, Eimear McBride, Robert McCrum and all with an ongoing musical background from The Wandering Hearts, Marthagunn  and others in the acoustic tent. The evening was rounded off with music, once again, in Gorse where Whoredogs with John Illsley performed including music from Dire Straits followed by Tom Odell! And comedy... Simon Evans (R4) presented comedy with George Egg, Ferdy Ray, Paul Tonkinson and headlining with Mock The Week's Ed Byrne!

Sunday saw names such as Dave Eggers, Julian and Isabel Bannerman, Susanna Beard, Pete Brown and Jack Cooke to the strains of Southern Companion, and Morrissey and Marshall amongst others from the acoustic tent. Sunday's Gorse line up started with MJ's Big Choir (which included attendees of the festival) giving their much rehearsed performance and rounding off the festival with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing music from the bond movies. Comedy, once again introduced by Simon Evans, was headlined by the inimitable Ed Byrne.
You never know when you may have a "poet emergency"

We will be having quite a lot more to say about the festival in the coming days so watch out for it all. We did enjoy it immensely despite needing a slight push to get the car off the field at the end.

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