In the past, Solent Waves articles have covered the festivals of Chippenham, Towersey, Upton on Severn and Warwick. Since we have a festival pretty much in the heart of South Hants, I thought it was time to write a bit about this great event as well.
Festivals vary enormously, some have lots of workshops, some Morris dancing everywhere, other have of dancing and ceilidhs all day and every night. Wickham has lots of good music. If you have heard many folk singers and bands, you will recognise the names. If you havenít, then this is as good a festival as you could find to dip into and spend a day, afternoon or evening listening.
The atmosphere is friendly, pleanty of food outlets, a large bar and places for tea and coffee. It all takes place in a huge circus tent marquee and bringing your own chairs is the norm, though for some popular (and probably loud!) groups thereíll be plenty of people standing, or dancing, at the front.
This year, I spotted Jools Holland on Thursday 2nd August when the Festival opens, then K T Tunstall, The Proclaimers and The Red Hot Chilli Pipers on Friday. The days tend to have a theme and on Saturday 4th there is a feast of folk with Bellowhead, Show of Hands, Home Service, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker & John Doyle, Jackie Oates, Belshazzarís Feast, Heidi Talbot and Jim Causley. Iíd be happy to hear pretty much all of these artists! The last day (Sunday 5th) includes The Levellers, Oysterband, Edward II and The Wurzels.
This year there will be a 2nd stage, and a Festival Folk Club and late night events featuring artists such as Karine Polwart; Huw Williams & Maartin Allcock; Les Barker; Fake Thackray; Chris Sherburn & Denny Bartley; Maggie Boyle & Paul Downes; Lady Maisery; Nancy Kerr & James Fagan; and The Askew Sisters. Festival organiser Peter Chegwyn tells me that tickets are just £10 on the door for three top-class folk acts every evening from 7.30 to 10.30 in the Community Centre.
Lots of people camp in the neighbouring field, but many also come by car, park in the field and walk down to the site. Plus there are nearby hotels and B&Bís. But Iím always amused by the luxury camping run by Festival Glamping who offer Camel Camp tents that come pre-erected and equipped with airbeds, solar lights, and rugs!
Being very close to Wickham village, there is a steady flow of folk going down to the village, to watch the Morris dancing, go to the shops or pub and this leads to a nice atmosphere.
So, why not drop in and see many happy people of all ages resting on the grass (in the sunshine I hope!) and listening to great music. See www.wickhamfestival.co.uk for more information.
Come and hear accordions played as never before while supporting mothers and children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Two young professional Ukrainian accordion players (The Kyiv Accordion Classic Duo) are giving a concert on Friday July 6th, 7:30pm, in St Columba Church, Hillson Drive, Fareham, PO15 6PF. With a mainly classical repertoire and some folk, they are really excellent. Free admission; with retiring charity collection.
Pete and Sue Hall
Hursley International 40th Anniversary
The Hursley International Folk Dance Club has now been going for 40 years. It no longer has a Performing Group as it did for many years, but still meets every Thursday at the IBM Clubhouse in Hursley. New members are welcome. Congratulations from FASH
Harmony Unlimited with Finest Kind and CMR
A great chance to see this brilliant Canadian trio Finest Kind without having to travel very far! In case you don't already know them, they do marvellous acapella harmony arrangements, plus some great instrumental music as well - and they are fun too! They will be performing at 8pm Thursday August 2nd, along with Craig, Morgan, Robson. Tickets are £10 and people can get tickets by calling me on 0787 612 8672 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As well as the FASH workshops I mentioned last month, we will also be running a dance at Twyford Village Hall on 10th November. John Turner will be calling with wonderful music (as ever) from Pete & Sue Hall. Please put the date in your diaries.
Dinosaurs Not Allowed
The project, run by The Great Caper, to get children dancing for the Cultural Olympiad will reach its climax on September 8th. 17 schools have been trained, 250 children will be out Morris dancing and Iím delighted to say that it looks like at least some of this will carry on after the Olympics. If you are free on Saturday September 8th, get down to Weymouth and give them a cheer.
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