Weyfest Music Festival

My Weyfest campaign got off to a fairly disastrous start, around a month before the festival. There was a promotional outdoor stage at Gostrey Meadows, during the Farnham carnival. The rain came down all morning and we thought it would keep the crowds away but luckily it cleared up a little in the afternoon and the carnival goers started to turn up.
I hopped on stage, waved to the crowd and introduced myself and my first tune, started playing and then it all went wrong. The power went out a total of 5 times during my 20 minute set, leaving me twiddling my thumbs on the stage. In the end I managed to play one song without the power cutting out part way through.
It was a fairly painful introduction to playing music on an outdoor stage but there were some positives… The crowd seemed unhappy every time I was cut off, rather than cheering, so that was nice! I also had some lovely folks coming up to me after, offering their support and saying I’d dealt with a bad situation very well on stage and they’d enjoyed the music I had played between the electrical bangs and fizzings of the dying generator.
It was definitely a learning experience and has prepared me for any future power-outages. I’m trying to come up with some sort of crowd participation body percussion game that can be played just through actions, with no need for an audience to hear me.

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So to the actual festival. It was a beautiful day as I arrived at the festival site and unpacked all my gear. I was going to be playing around mid-afternoon so was able to relax, get a drink and enjoy some of the other bands across the various stages with a couple of friends who had come along for the day.
After the problems at the promo gig, I was a little nervous about my set but I really needn’t have worried. It went great! I was playing on the Rustic Stage, which was organised by Vic Cracknell, so I was in good hands.
The Rustic Stage was in a lovely old wooden building, with fairly deadly looking old farming equipment displayed on the walls. The perfect setting for an episode of Midsummer Murders. Between acts the crowd would filter outside to get drinks and top up their tans. This meant that at the start of every set, the room would be close to empty… That’s a bit of a tricky way to get started but when I looked up from my guitar at the end of each tune, it was great to see the crowd having grown considerably whilst I had been playing and by around a third of the way into my set the room was full.

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Thoroughly satisfied, I was able to relax and take in the rest of the festival experience. Highlights for me were Adrian Nation, Rival Empires, Big Country and Squeeze (pictured below), who ended the night. Weyfest is a great little festival, with a family vibe and I’m really glad to have my name on the t-shirt this year. Hopefully I’ll be back there again soon!

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P.S. There was a barn full of Daleks!

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