Wiltshire Publications

Folk festival makes welcome return to Westbury

THE VILLAGE Pump Folk Festival returns to Westbury  this month, with some of the top acts in the folk world taking to the stage at the festival’s home at White HorseCountry Park.steeleye2011

The three-day festival offers great music across multiple stages, family entertainment, workshops, sessions, street entertainment, dancing, singing, lazing in the field, craft and market stalls, food from around the world, great beers and ciders, and oodles of festival spirit. Camping is available next to the main festival site.

With the festival taking place from the 26th-28th July, top acts lined up include Steeleye Span, The Proclaimers, Kate Rusby, Eric Bibb, Steve Knightley, Phil Beer, Tannahill Weavers, Spooky Men’s Chorale, and many more.

The festival made its Westbury debut last year, as a rebirth of the successful Trowbridge festival that has built up a reputation for quality folk entertainment since it was established in 1974.

Festival director John Alderslade says the festival is building on last year’s success, and now considers White Horse Country Park as their home. “Everything worked out really well last year. We did everything we could, the pumpers turned up, and the atmosphere was right from the minute go.  It was idyllic.

“This year we’ve enlarged the available site, and the campsite is much bigger than last year. We’ve already outsold last year! I’ve ordered the weather from the same place, but we always make sure we’ve got enough undercover space for everyone.”

The key to the festival is that it is arranged by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts. Many of the performers are good friends of the festival, returning year on year.

“It’s not a general festival where you can see anything; what you will see is the top line people in the folk world,” said John. “A lot of the general festivals are struggling – our sales have been phenomenal.

“The important thing to remember is it’s run by enthusiasts, it’s not a corporate thing at all. But it’s something everyone will enjoy!”

Clive Woodland, of the festival committee added, “There’s so much to enjoy over the weekend.  For families there is a full programme of  entertainers such as Kooky the Clown or craft activities.  Look out, too, for workshops, ceilidhs, street theatre, yoga and dance.  And don’t forget to bring your instruments and voices to join the sessions or open mics.

“We have planned an event that everyone can enjoy.”

• For more details including ticket information and full line-up visit www.villagepumpfolk festival. co.uk