Thursday, 21 June 2018

Woodside Festival

Saturday afternoon saw us in a field, sitting on bales of hay, listening to live music, while huge soapy bubbles drifted past on the breeze. Yep, festival season has started!

We were at a new event - Woodside Festival - organised by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, and held at their farm in Shipley Country Park, with profits going to the Trust. I heard about it when researching for my local festivals post, and knew it fitted many of my criteria - local, suitable for older folks like myself rather than just teens and twenty somethings, and dog-friendly - so when I stumbled across a half price offer, I decided we should go.

It was primarily a children's event with lots of pond-dipping, den building, and such outdoors activities, theatre (we saw part of this, with children joining in a dance, and it looked great fun), but there were things for adults too - yoga, a drumming exercise class, chainsaw carving demonstrations, fab food and drink, and of course the bands on stage, which were our main interest. Some were musicians we've seen before, others I knew by name, some were complete unknowns, but we enjoyed all the acts.

Things kicked off at 12 noon, and ran till 9:30, but we'd aimed to arrive to hear Scribble Victory playing at quarter to three. Well, we did get to HEAR them, but unfortunately not SEE all of their set because of the unexpectedly long walk from the car park. The organisers were making use (very sensibly) of the old tarmac carparks left from the days of the American Adventure theme park, but they were quite a way from the event site, and I hadn't spotted any warning about this. Still, it got us into the 'wild' mood as we spotted dragonflies and buzzards along the way, and it let Dylan the dog get some exercise before having to sit more or less quietly for much of the day. It's always nice to be able to take him along to events. After all he's part of the family, and it's not really feasible to leave him home alone all day. I was surprised though that no one seemed to have thought about providing water for dogs (the Badger Baristas were happy to fill his bowl though, which was a relief)

Poutine - fries, cheese curd,
gravy, maple-smoked
bacon, chicken, sour cream.
Good stuff!

I'd been anxiously watching the weather forecast all week because sandwiched in between two weeks of lovely sunny weather was a seemingly damp weekend, but on Saturday morning it showed no rain. They were wrong, of course. Late afternoon the heavens opened, just as I was tucking in to Canadian poutine from The Gravy Train, and I had to put up my brolly to keep rain out of my food (luckily none fell in my lovely Pinkster gin)

A lot of folk dashed for the exit, but we stuck things out, in the hope that the sun would return. And it did. My belief is that thin clothes are best if you're going to get wet - they soak through easily, but dry off quickly too - so my linen trousers were soon dry -ish, while hubby's jeans stayed wet.

The music acts were timed with ten to fifteen minute change-over gaps in which we wandered round the site visiting the various stalls, saw the chainsaw carver at work creating a Viking warrior, watched the huge art mural taking shape, and checked out the food and drink, including some of the best carrot cake ever from the Badger Baristas.

mural by Faunagraphic
mural detail

As the sun set, the lights on the stage went up for headliners, The Tin Pigeons, performing a mix of their own music and covers. We didn't stay till the end of their set but started to make our way back to the car, singing along to their cover of The Proclaimers' 500 miles.

It wasn't heavily attended, but the organisers say it will be back next year. For me, it's on to the similarly outdoorsy themed Timber festival, held on the first weekend in July in the National Forest.

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