The following are impressions of this year's Folk East Festival.
Walking onto the FolkEast site from the ‘Morristown’ campsite was a pleasure and source of excitement and anticipation to me. Every year, as it’s character builds, the site is becoming a charming and beguiling mixture of old and new. Familiar stalls in different places, new stalls and tents to explore and stunning use of sculpture, colour, flags and lights to create an atmosphere that is deeply redolent of the Albion Fairs, but in a more businesslike way. At night it looked magical and I got drawn for some time into into the eerie but very effective light display in the trees around the Soapbox Stage.
So the setting was perfect, there was a good mix of acts to catch up with once the Morris day was over and I happily roamed between the Moot Hall, Dance Tent, Sunset Stage and the Soapbox events. Sometimes I was on my own, other times not, it didn’t really seem to matter.
Blair Dunlop, Calan Band, the Pancakes, John Spiers, and various poets were all highlights for me, but there were many other moments too when I just stopped and enjoyed a tune or a song somewhere.
A lovely weekend despite odd outbreaks of weather, it didn’t spoil anything for me and it is good to know that we now have 2020 to look forward to. [J.P.]