Alan Writes……Flicking through the freshly delivered laminated posters for next week’s headline acts, I thought back to the first year we did a musical festival. Dave Swarbrook full of enthusiasm, a handful of publicans showing interest – mainly those that were already established music venues, JR Mountford taking up the reins with Dave and Marc Briand whose hand on the tiller was a much-needed levelling influence on what was then a bunch of well-intentioned amateurs.
For some long forgotten reason I was appointed Treasurer a more unlikely choice for the care of large sums of money would be hard to find so that shows how desperate we were. It`s much repeated but on the eve of the first gig I looked at the list of artists and the cost of the bands we`d booked, the marquee dripping with rain in the rear yard and a cellar full, and I mean full, of as yet unpaid for beer and thought`What if no one comes?` but they did come, in their droves and have done so with each successive year.
This year sees us celebrate 5 years of the Festival and it`s grown and acquired its own life, band and solo artists contact us through the year asking if there are any spare spots. The list of venues grows as does the list of sponsors, those lovely people that make it financially possible. Some of the artists have become friends Matt Walklate, Maharaja Blues, whose first CD back cover was a photo taken of them at our second year, Elvis Fontenot who are playing here again this year and the tradition of Last Call at the Roebuck opposite which last year saw me, Dave, Nick Bradstreet from the Roebuck and JR sitting outside on the pavement each with a large malt listening to the great music being played inside saying `Well that`s that for another year`.
It`s all starting again next week boys, let`s make it a good one.
Alan Ward – The Cock Inn