Wiltshire Publications

Village Pump – ‘a great event’ and a ‘cracking weekend’ – and that’s official!

Barbara Dickson. Courtesy David Betteridge Photography

Barbara Dickson. Courtesy David Betteridge Photography

WESTBURY’S Village Pump Festival has been given the thumbs up by Festival going community.

The Festival, held at the White Horse Country Park last month has had a glowing report from one of the country’s premier festival websites, www.festivals forall.com

“This was a wonderful weekend; indeed, as relatively seasoned reviewers, we’d have to say that The Village Pump Folk Festival was virtually faultless from start to finish,” said independent reviewer Barrie Dimond.

“The line-up for the price smacked value with the likes of Show of Hands, Oysterband, and Treacherous Orchestra treading the boards, but anyone who ‘gets’ the festival experience knows that the music is just one of a myriad of facets that melt to form a great event… and believe me, Village Pump was a great event.

“Let’s start with the location at White Horse Country Park in Wiltshire. A fantastic venue to hold this kind of bash. The park is lovely, well groomed, absolutely spotless, and you camp (free of course – it’s that kind of festival) in the shadow of the famous White Horse.

“But that’s not the half of it. The Park hosts a splendid golf club house with a proper bar lounge selling decent food, and a fair sized concert room. This indoor stage was in addition to the three outdoor (tented) stages. There was a brilliant late night live music scene until 2am in the club house every night – it was like being at the best wedding reception in the world – for four nights!

“Let’s not mince words – the weather was absolutely appalling – but Village Pump simply cruised serenely on about its business with much of the festival under cover.

“The main Village Pump stage was located in a massive open sided marquee and the sound across all four stages was excellent, particularly given the conditions. The kid’s area was under cover too and held a full programme of activities throughout the weekend. When the sun did shine occasionally (Saturday) the crowd spilled out onto the manicured lawns and the festival swung into Garden Party mode with a lovely relaxed quintessentially English picnic vibe.

“The crowd were excellent and a pretty diverse bunch. One of the friendliest festivals we’ve had the pleasure to review, there is a real sense of community and comradery at Village Pump which hits you as soon as you arrive at the gate.

“Virtually everyone we spoke to said ‘Welcome to OUR festival!’  It’s one big Collective. Village Pump is volunteer led and everyone involved; organisers, volunteers, as well as the ordinary punters, are a player here… in some cases literally.

“There is a great club scene and loads of open-mic sessions in the Club Tent for instance. It sometimes appeared that most of those on-site had been playing or singing in a tent at some stage during proceedings. Around all the stages the audience instinctively sung and clapped along without prompting. It’s giving something back – being a contributor rather than a passive consumer. In this age of corporate sponsored blandness and passive observation – how wonderful is that?

“Musically the festival was excellent with a diverse and eclectic line-up of all that is good about the folk / roots / acoustic genres….Safe to say we did not see a poor act. Indeed the quality around the lesser stages was exceptional – particularly the ‘amateur’ open mic / club slots. There is something life affirming in witnessing ordinary people do extraordinary things and give vent to their talents isn’t there?

“Village Pump Folk Festival 2015 was an absolute delight on every level. A cracking weekend. Thank you to everyone who played a part.”

To see the review in full, visit www.festivals forall.com or visit the White Horse News website www.whitehorsenews.co.uk. Click on the Photos link to see our pictures of the weekend’s festival.