We head off early evening to Cursus Cider and Music Festival, its been a stressful day at work and I'm ready to hop into our old van and enjoy our first festival of the season. We arrive a tad later that had hoped and missed Surfin' Birds, the first band on.
We pull up at farm on the Blanford Forum road out of Salisbury, just along from Sixpenny Handly, site of the old Endorse-It Festival ( and over the weekend, many a shirt was sported in remembrance of the past festivals) and are met by a friendly security guard, who smiles and welcomes us. A quick chat in the painted caravan box office, we're given a cracker biscuit to review (!), and we're off up a track to the large spacious camping area.
The site is on a gentle hill , which has held up really well after heavy rain the day before. A fairly easy going set up of live-in's, parking and camping seems to work fine here with a small capacity to the site of around 400 over the weekend. A quick set up of our sleeping arrangements and its off down the slope to the arena.
The layout is one that has worked well at a few of the smaller festivals we've been to over recent years, a smaller marquee, Skankin Delights, then the 'made in Dorset' double decker providing us our food for the weekend, a small bar (Dorset star cider), and inside the bus, behind the drivers seat is a coffee counter. Between the bus and the main bar is a small area put aside for Diverse Abilities charity.
The main bar is then between this area and the main marquee (Outcider). Inside we have our first music of the weekend (after picking up a cider one of the many local ciders available) Disco's Out (Murder's In), a 6 piece with brass n guitars n drums. Its a tough slot but the few that are in enjoy. Help is needed due to a lack of a kappo, someone from the audience runs off to grab one, it is a festival after all.
A couple of ciders and ales, a jacket potato and a 'free range' hot dog with apple cider sauce later we head back into the main marquee for South County Lynch Mob, consisting of just guitar lead vocal and accordian, (after apparently sacking the rest of the band this week!) have an interesting sound almost Balkan with songs of Bodmin Moor and great versions of Guns Of Brixton and Start Wearing Purple!
King Tuts Revenge engage us in a bit of skankin' and introduce us to their saxophonist who has stepped in at the last minute. The highlight is an up tempo cover of Mad World which gets us all moving! DJ Dapper Dan, compere for the weekend, introduces us with a round of "oh yays" to Jaya the Cat. Some big beards and a rebel sound start it up! "Amsterdam is a good place to visit" they declare, "We give you interesting stuff when you come to us", and plough into a song of the same name.
Over the course of the evening we get chatting to the owner of the land, a really happy fella he tells how his son Dan green runs the Dorset Star cider brand, and who seemed to be in charge of the made in Dorset bus too.
Quinns Quinney are an ensemble of about ten that get a west country sort of crowd to bounce with "if I've had a Weetabix I will survive". Their set of Arabian Nights, Prince of Bel Air, Give A Little Respect and some other fun montages give a great end to the evening's live music.
There's a crackling bonfire in the middle of the small area, with people chatting and seated on picnic tables around it, and eventually we head off back to bed for the night.
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