Wimborne Folk Festival starts tonight, an event that many people, young and old, wait for all year round. The festival takes place in and around the usually sleepy town of Wimborne, but this is the weekend that the town and its people wake up. By day there is a host of street performances, workshops, street food and beer. By night there is parties, live bands and beer. In between there is beer, and afterwards too . . . beer.
There are a host of street performances during the days, and one of the ensembles to check out is Steam Heat, a local accapella choir. We know this sort of thing isn’t everybodys cup of tea but nothing sounds better than a well drilled vocal group echoeing through a town. This will be one to catch, even if it is only briefly.
The Folk Festival this year plays host to a new music stage in association with John Lewis’ ‘Music Matters’ scheme. This is unlike your normal festival stage, with performances starting at 11AM and finishing at 5PM on Saturday and Sunday.
The Rosie Eade Band opens up on Saturday morning, offering a classic blend of Folk Rock. It seems a shame that they are to open, as they are one of the more professional acts to take to the stage, however in community spirit (as the weekend seems to be about, as well as beer) they make way for three different primary schools, performing a range of dancing, singing and theater. Happily Rosie and co do also close the stage, with the last set on Sunday evening. Definitely worth a watch if you are in that drunken folk festival afternoon mood, and will still be worth a watch even if you are not drunk, but we will be so sobriety does not matter.
The main spectacle of the Folk Festival every year is the Party In The Paddock. Set in a small, but quaint field on the outskirts of town, the Party In The Paddock is confined chaos. Imagine all of the shenanigans of a major music festival downsized and squished into an arena a tenth of the size. It really makes for good fun.
Party In The Paddock is traditionally headlined by tribute acts and this year is no different. However, I feel this year that the ball has been dropped a little, where as you have had ‘Madame Gaga’, ‘Kings Of Lyon’ and ‘The Really Hot Chilli Peppers’ over the past two or three years, this time sees ‘Coldplace’ headlining Saturday and ‘U2-2’ on Sunday. Both of which seem totally uninteresting as I would not want to see the real version of either of these bands, let alone a tribute act. Perhaps its a move to deter too many young people from puking and shitting all over the field, perhaps it was just a mistake.
Nonetheless the extensive bar looks set to fuel thousands with the mandatory Cheddar Valley cider and cans of Red Stripe, so you can be sufficiently skunk-pussied by the time ‘Chris Fartin’ and ‘Boner’ take to the stage.
Bullit, a covers band from Wimborne, are no more than a glorified function band, but they are tight and play fun, appealing music. At least they’ll provide some decent entertainment before everybody hangs themselves on nearby trees whilst listening to Coldplay covers. Plus thanks to all the beer on offer, you’ll be just half-cut enough to enjoy their constant barrage of pop hits and classics.
Ratrace will provide Saturday with a dose of quality Ska and Reggae. I have seen this 8-piece before, and they are good, like really really good. They can get a crowd moving with a mix of original and cover songs, and at 7PM on a Saturday night this will be no exception. If you are around on Saturday be sure to start your evening off correctly with these boys.
All this information is all well and good, but all you really need to know is that there will be plenty of beer, we’ll see you all in the Paddock Party, drink responsibly . . . . or don’t, we wont be.