Fatea sent partners David Chamberlian & Sian Northey along to Suffolk's Folk East with two different festivals emerging
David's View - Sian's View
I was delighted to be able to attend FolkEast for a second time and looked forward to seeing how it compared. We were able to get there for the Friday and once the tent was up set off to explore. We passed the Soapbox tent with its magical and eco friendly appearance onto the main site and discovered an altered layout but everything was well signposted and easy to find. We headed off to get some food and to listen to music on The Moot Hall stage and also on the Sunset stage we all enjoyed the warmth of the fire and the wonderful carved seating areas before heading off for an early night.
The Saturday was an extremely busy day where we had chance to wander around the site in daylight and get our bearings.There was a good range of activities and food on offer and found it useful to see the day's events not only posted at the information tent but at various points in order to plan our day. I took in a creative writing workshop and my daughter had fun painting canvasses, we had tea served in China cups and some lovely cake. We also viewed the ceramic work which we had contributed to last year and made some roses for this years piece. We were also able to see some of the dance sides on the dance stage. We listened to The Young Uns podcast which was great fun, saw Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys and finished off the evening in The Broad roots tent to listen to Two Coats colder and take part in the sing around which was great fun and a chance to meet others and learn some new songs and tunes.
On the Sunday we took part in a concertina workshop and listened to Daria Kulesh on the Soapbox Stage, saw various activities and read poetry scattered around the area, which had a different vibe to the rest of the festival and freed young people a chance to get on stage. Our daughter took part in a Clogging session (she does Welsh Step clog at home in Wales) and found it quite different but enjoyed it. We had the opportunity to have a look around the various stalls and we had a go on a Viking loom. In the afternoon we split up the lads going to the cinema tent to see a variety of films and my daughter and I took part in a quiz hosted by Jon Spiers and then listened to the fabulous sea shanties sung by Sheringham Shantymen and had a glass of cider. One of the highlights of the evening was listening and dancing to the energetic performance of the Dhol foundation before heading off to the singaround session with John and Lynne Ward minus two weary teens who took themselves off to bed for the second night running leaving us to enjoy this late session.
We enjoyed ourselves greatly and thought the new layout worked well there was so much to see and do and feel we only skimmed the surface in addition ere were nature walks, tours of Glenham hall and music sessions and workshops on the Sanctuary venue in the local church. A thoroughly delightful festival full of English charm and eccentricities, I hope to be back again sometime.
Words & photos: Sian Northey
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