Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's over!!!

If you came to the festival, we hope you had a great time and that your journey home was safe.

We're sorting through photos and videos, it will take a few days but we'll post links up when we have them all arranged.

In the meantime, please leave comments here to let us know what you enjoyed, what the highlights were and where you think we can improve - we take everything on board and this helps us shape the festival for next year

For me, The Duhks village stage set, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan's harmony workshop, and the Demon Barber Roadshows concert with the children from Oxon were my three favourite moments.............over to you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's here

The caterers and traders started setting up last night, and barring a couple of stagglers they're all here.

The site set up is almost complete - the main stage is looking fantastic and has some new stage lights this year (wait 'til you see them!), and the rest of the site has all come together really well.

It rained yesterday, and there's a little mud around the site - some of this will go, but obviously in the high traffic areas there's a chance it might hang around. We're dealing with it with matting and wood chippings, and the forecast is good for the weekend, so hopefully it won't be too much of a problem.

Doors open at 10am - see you sometime over the weekend. Hope you all have a great festival!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Almost all the marquees are up, and tomorrow the stages should all be in place – in comparison to last year we’re a little further forward in the set-up.

There are a couple of other changes of note, 'The Big Shed' (the youth venue), is now a large tent with a wooden floor and although it's only moved a little, it's in a much nicer spot.

Our open-mic tent (Sabrina) has also moved into a more prominent position, and will encourage more people to stop and listen.

The main bar is now in a much larger marquee, and the Dr Sunshine children's tent is now a white marquee (rather than the multi-coloured marquee from last year, that made painting and generally working with colours an 'interesting' experience!)

Here are a few shots from around the site.

Artists' Reception

Thought you might like a little insight into what goes into the artists’ reception area, here are some of the numbers that make up some of hospitality we provide for artists at the festival....

3.6kg Ground Fresh Coffee (to make 96 litres)
400 assorted muffins
400 tea bags
60 herbal tea bags
240 cans of Coke
48 bottles of wine
9kg of sweets (3 x 3kg bags of pink and blue sweets from Liquorice Allsorts, Jelly babies and sugared almonds)
12 litres of orange juice
1000 milk stix
1000 sugar bags
1500 bio-compostable coffee cups
1500 wooden stirring sticks

and that doesn’t include artists’ riders!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Site preparation - Monday

Things have started to move along today and the larger marquees are all on site, I left the site at around 3pm today and the huge bar marquee was close to finished, and the specialised team of around 15 who come with the main marquee had started the lengthy process of putting it up…when I head down to the site tomorrow that should be finished…..

Over the next few days we start on the smaller marquees such as the ticket office, merchandise stall etc., with an aim to being finished by Thursday.

There will be lots of interesting photos to show over the next couple of days, this isn’t one of them……

the main marquee as it arrived.
a more exciting picture tomorrow is guaranteed!

Getting here

Our main website has full directions to the festival site, but for those travelling under the guidance of SatNav, the GPS co-ords are

N 52° 43.020
W 002° 45.742

(if you copy these into Google Earth, they take you to within a few feet of one of entrances)

and the postal address is

West Mid Showground
Berwick Road

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Site set-up

Although setting the site up starts in earnest tomorrow when around 50 of our set up team arrive; a few have started work tonight – I’ve just called into the showground, and Josie’s Marquees are already setting up marquee 2 (the yellow and blue big top), and a few hardy souls are on site getting things ready for tomorrow.

It's no mean feat setting up a small town that can cater for the needs of 7000 people, and the stewards who help us set up the site both work hard and do a fantastic job. We’ll post photos of the set up as the week goes on, and hopefully we’ll capture the guys putting up the huge marquee as it’s a sight to behold!

…and just a quick mention of the weather, the forecast on Metcheck is getting better and better, and it’s now showing warm and dry days with the temperature up to around 22°c (here’s hoping!)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

and so we come to the weather………..

Rather than torture ourselves alone by watching the weather forecast change on a daily basis, it only seems fair to invite everybody to join in.

It’s been all over the place for a few weeks, but is beginning to settle down, so hopefully the prediction over the next few days should be fairly accurate (Metcheck were spot on last year) – for 2008 they're suggesting we'll be dry apart from the odd shower on Saturday.

click the image for Metcheck's full festival forecast

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cider and bars

The second and final instalment in the bar series, to follow up on the beer and bars post (see 30th July)

The ciders that will be available at the festival are

Riches Traditional (sweet medium and dry)
Burrow Hill Traditional (sweet medium and dry), Cider brandy, Pomona, 3 different types of farm pressed apple juice
West Croft Cider Janet’s Jungle Juice
Hecks Traditional (medium), Kingston black single varietal, Perry
Broadoak Cider Co. traditional (sweet), Kingston black, Moonshine, Perry
Dunkertons Organic Cider Organic (medium sweet, medium ,dry)
Ross on Wye Cider Perry, traditional (medium)
Brook Farm Traditional (medium, sweet, dry), Perry
Westons Old Rosie, Stowford Press
Bulmers Traditional (medium and dry)
Inches Traditional (dry)
Thatchers Perry
Cider House Special

Plus two other unknown varieties that will be sourced when these are all collected from Somerset & Herefordshire!

Quite frankly, that’s a scary list – good luck if you try and get through them all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Our programmes for this years' festival have arrived, and we've shipped out copies to all those who ordered one when they booked their tickets – they should be with you over the next few days.

If you live in Shrewsbury (or are visiting the town before the festival), we’ve just delivered some programmes to the tourist information centre in the Music Hall, and these are available for you to drop by and buy one right now!

For everyone else, the programmes will be available from the ticket office or merchandise stall during the festival.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Facebook & MySpace Sites

This blog is a great way for us to keep you up to date with things that are happening over the course of the year, but there are two other internet groups that are dedicated to the Shrewsbury Folk Festival – they’re both open for all to join, and offer different ways for you to be involved with the festival.

Facebook – a group where those interested in the festival can come and join in discussions, post pictures of the festival etc. There are lots of pictures from last year, as well as members leaving comments…at the moment we have members offering lifts, someone needing a lift, and discussions about last years’ acts to highlight just three. It’s a friendly group so come on and join in here

MySpace – a site that has much in common with the blog, but with the addition of streaming audio, we currently have 4 full tracks from The Duhks, Oysterband, Eilen Jewell and John Wesley Harding for people to listen to. Have look the MySpace site here

We read and respond to all comments we receive either here on the blog or on the Facebook and MySpace sites; the more you let us know, the better we’ll be - so feel free to join in!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dance at Shrewsbury

We take the dance aspect of our festival seriously, and are committed to providing a varied and exciting range of bands in our dance marquee, and include as many display sides as we can fit on the site (and in the town!) – the dance marquee is for everyone, so experiences and novice dancers are all welcome!

We’ve improved the access to the dance tent, so this year all you’ll need to do is follow the flags up the hill to the second field to find the dance tent bursting with a fantastic variety of music and dance styles.

We have some of the countries top bands, including Trinculo, Glorystrokes and the Oyster Ceilidh Band going back to their roots to play a rare ceilidh for Shrewsbury.
We also have the global groves of Boka Halat and European visitors from Germany the Brassberries plus the highly acclaimed Boldwood, and local band Ceilidhography

We have top callers, Dave Hunt, Baz Parkes, Pete Reece to name a few, who will lead you through the dances, so even if you’ve never been to a ceilidh before you will be guided through the moves with ease.

Most dances will also feature a display from some impressive Morris and dance display sides. There is also a full programme of dance workshops which include an opportunity to try out different Morris styles, have a go at Belly dancing and write a dance for the Boka Halat ceilidh on Sunday evening.

We have changed the programme to get more dancing opportunities in and on Sunday you can dance to two bands in one evening.

The lighting and ambiance has been improved this year, which together with its own bar makes the dance tent a great place to be even if you just want to listen, but I doubt your feet will let you!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Schools’ Project Photos & Roundup

The festival’s school’s project report and photos are now available as part of the main festival website – there are around a hundred photos of the school workshops and final concert performance available here

The 30 children who performed with the Demon Barber Roadshow have all being invited to the festival, and the Demon Barber Roadshow are playing on both Sunday and Monday of the festival – Sunday is their ‘normal’ roadshow, and Monday afternoon sees them incorporating some of the work in school into their performance.

Full details of the performance times/venues are listed in the programme, and the school project continues in 2009 with Scottish Traditions.

Monday, August 04, 2008

T-Shirt #2 - The River

The second t-shirt is the ‘river’ shirt, a design that features a simple front design and a representation of the River Severn as it loops around Shrewsbury on the back; the names of all the artists performing at the festival represent the land around the river.

We have these shirts in two colours, ‘Olive’ and ‘Denim’ and they both feature the same two colour screen print on front and back. These are standard unisex fit shirts (no ladies fit on this design)

.....to save anyone looking, the festival site is just about where the Orchestra (of Ukulele Orchestra of GB) is written on the shirt!

click on each image for a more detailed view