The 34th Americana international festival was held at Prestwold Hall this year, previously it had been hosted at Newark showground for many years. We were big fans of the old site as it was compact and had everything you could possibly want within easy reach. So it was with some trepidation that we ventured to the new site...
Upon arriving at Prestwold Hall, you realise just how much bigger this site is. This year’s event had a big top with one of the smaller stages and stalls inside it. Then there were the outdoor stages (main and a second stage).
As always with this event, there was non-stop music throughout all four days. The music is easy going, radio friendly, and sing along cheery tunes. Unlike other big named festivals, the Americana International doesn’t book huge headline acts to attract punters to the festival. Instead they rely on booking bands that are guaranteed to be entertaining throughout the four days. This year was no exception; however some of the names that I did recognise were Chas & Dave, The Jive Aces (semi finalist of Britain’s Got Talent 2012) and Quill.
Even though there is enough live music throughout the four days to keep ticket holders happy, the Americana goes that extra mile to ensure there is something for everyone. There are fair rides and lots of other fun activities to keep the children occupied. There are exhibitions of motorbikes and trucks and RV’s and heavy trucks as well as a mammoth sized exhibition of American cars.
All of the vehicles are breath taking to see up close and personal, and with the car owners being on site, frequently you could hear the purr of a v8 from a Corvette or other raucous engine sounds from various American automotive legends. My knowledge of American cars isn’t brilliant, however with the little knowledge I do have, I know that I saw a number of Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros, Cadillacs, Dodge Challengers, Buicks, Lincolns and even a replica of the A-team van.
The festival even had a fashion show and Burlesque style show, which was presented in vintage American clothing.
The organisers of the Americana appear to be passionate about providing good value for money; hence why they ensure that drinks and food are kept at reasonable prices, £3 per pint is fantastic for festival prices. Just to give you some idea, the Pearl Jam gig at Milton Keynes earlier in the week was charging £5 per pint.
The Americana International is a fun packed event with lots to do and see, but for me the beauty of this event is that it is so laid back, you are able to sit down near the front of the stage whilst artists perform, you are able to bring chairs to sit on, and you can do this without anyone bumping into you or tripping over you whilst sat down.
In the past, whilst being held at the old site (Newark Showground) the Americana seemed to run extremely smoothly. This year there appeared to be some disgruntled punters complaining about the lack of free showers on this new site. Hopefully the organisers will listen to this and act appropriately in time for next year’s Americana International event.
Apart from that teething problem, this year’s Americana had managed to keep its authentic feel and laid back atmosphere. Hopefully the Americana International will keep taking place at this new venue for many years to come.
A great family friendly, four day, festival extravaganza.
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