We arrive to find a short queue on the main road waiting to get in and sit listening to the person behind using their horn constantly as though they might get to their destination (not the festival) sooner. After a minute we enter the site and are thankful to leave the impatient world behind.
We park up quickly as does everyone and as we are local so can go home at night we do not have to set up our tent. The camping facilities are all you need, flat ground, water and toilets and most of all lots of smiles and helpful people. They are already quite full, though still plenty of room, when we arrive on site but we are late due to work whereas the site has been open since 2pm.
Wristband exchange, again, has a short queue and we listen to the music play whilst we wait in line, chat and take in the familiar festival aromas.
First stop, the beer tent. For ale brewed by the very local Bespoke Brewery who have some very special beers just for the festival that include Gail's Dark Side, complete with a scary pump clip! For my wife, some Westerns Perry to start but there is also a great choice of local cider that come in all different strengths. All beer and Cider is just £3 a pint and you can also bring your own drink, within reason, on site.
There are the usual stalls selling festival goodies should you want anything, craft tents with workshops to take part in and food stalls with a good range of meat, veggie and vegan meals all at very reasonable prices. On top of that there is tea, coffee (boozy if you want) and other hot drinks along with fresh local cake available from the Bar tent. The cake was delicious and at £2.50 for a generous slice well worth going back for more!
The toilets are fine, situated just outside the entrance to the site and used by the camp site as well. They were quite clean every time I visited.
It is a small site yet has three stages with no sound bleed. One of the three stages, the aptly named Maze Stage, is in the Maize Mazes they have every year at Elton Farm. You can have great fun listening to music whilst trying to find your way back out, not to worry though as if you get peckish you can help yourself to some corn on the cob fresh from the plant.
The Warren James stage is totally solar powered as is a lot of the site which for me are big plus points. Saturday was Ladies day, not just what you choose to wear but also on the Main Something Else stage. All acts had female singers which is something the organisers were very keen to do.
Music wise there is a really good mix of local talent, like Bob Smith, and regular grass roots festival bands and artists including Hattie Hatstar, Gaz Brookfield, Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs, The Defekters, Tarantism, 3 Daft Monkeys, and Leatherat to name just a few.
Overall the festival has a really good feel, it is like a last family get together before the winter. Tickets for next year are already on sale and will, no doubt, sell out very quickly as they always do.
The weather was stunning, wall to wall blue skies, chilly at night but the camp fires soon warmed you up.
See you next year Gail.
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