Folk Festival Fun

For my beloved’s birthday this year I gave him tickets to Folk by the Oak – the one day festival held in the grounds of Hatfield house. We went last year and loved it so once again we got in touch with our inner hippies and had a great day.

It was a beautiful day and both of us had groups we really wanted to see, though there was something for everyone. It’s such a chilled out atmosphere with people making themselves comfortable with chairs, picnic rugs, and even tables for some.

One of the groups that Ken was most looking forward to was the Unthanks – they are two sisters from the north-east of England – they have beautiful voices that are excellent for their brand of Folk which is a form of story telling.

The below shot is bit off because of the sun, but this is the Acorn stage surrounded by the crowd.  This is the stage where the more up and coming groups perform and where we saw Paper Aeroplanes last year who were a Cornbury this year.

I loved the Green Man that this guy had on his top so of course I had to take a picture of it.

Did I mention what a lovely day it was weather wise?  Well it was glorious so I thought I should take a picture of the sky to show you how fab it was.

I recently bought Ken a lovely Peace t-shirt which he wasn’t too sure about, but it was great at the folk festival.  As he had forgotten his hat he went and bought a great festival hat which completed his outfit perfectly.

There were some lovely stalls and I treated myself to a lovely leather anklet with bells on, so when I walk it sounds a bit like there’s a cat around with a bell on their collar.

Festival foot

We didn’t go down into the mosh pit too often, preferring to sit and chill out in our chairs.  This is our view when Mary Chapin Carpenter was on stage. She is an American folk singer who released her first album in 1987, and has a beautiful voice.

There were quite a few food and drink stalls to choose from, and there were some lovely vans/caravans converted into stalls.  Here’s a little selection of what was on offer.

The sign below was just crying out for my beloved to pose beside it.

The drink stall that had the longest queues all day was the real ale tent – people were queueing for ages to get just a glass of one of these tipples.  Ken took pictures of a few of the drinks on offer with their very quirky names and symbols.

This is the view of the stage from where the porta loos were – it’s not a huge venue so you can still see and hear everything that’s going on.

The group I most wanted to see was Bellowhead who sadly have announced that they will be splitting next year.  They are so fantastic and if you’ve never listened to any of their music then do yourself a favour and listen to some today.  Great high energy folk music.  There are 11 people in the band and they play lots of different instruments, as well as bouncing all over the stage.  They all have so much energy it’s fantastic.

Bellowhead were the headliners so were the last act of the night.  As they were finishing there was a great fireworks display which was a fabulous end to a wonderful day.

Did I say that the fireworks were a fabulous end to the day?  Well we had one more surprise in store, a car that wouldn’t start!!  Luckily, because the venue is in the middle of fields, the organisers have a recovery service in the car parking area, so we were able to get jump started and head home without too much stress – such a relief that we have a car that can be jump started.

So mark your diaries for next year and if you can make it, head to Folk by the Oak.  Also, try and catch Bellowhead on their farewell tour – you won’t regret it.
Until next time, be good, stay safe, and listen to some music that makes your heart sing.
Pamela & Ken
P.S:  In our Cornbury blog I forgot to mention that we maaged to totally gross out some teenagers.  I stopped Ken to give him a kiss, and as were were kissing (Quite passionately) we heard calls of “gross, look at the old people kissing!”  Ken took great delight in winding them up more, whilst I tried to get over the fact that someone had called me old!!

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