So after what seemed like weeks of constant rain the sun broke out on Friday just as we were setting up for our festival in a field in Kent â€“ eat your heart out Mr Eavis â€“ as my brother put it the only dry festival so far this summer!!
Iâ€™d got there about lunch time of Friday to run in the power cables across the field from the house. After a few difficulties including a duff cable, several tricky trees and a shock from the mains I finally had a working power supply at the stage end. I then went to pick up the equipment and by the time we went to bed on Friday we had a stage, backstage area and lighting â€“ we just hoped the weather would hold for the day itself.
Thankfully it did. I spent the morning setting up more equipment and worrying about the PA not turning up especially when he was about half an hour late. Eventually we had a PA and the first band setting up on stage. Silverwood played a great opening set even though part of the stage fell down on them during the latter part of it. We had to get out ladders and tape it back up again before the Urban Spacemen could set up.
I spent most of the day setting bands up, recording them or watching them but I did get the occasional chance to wander around talk to people and go to the bar! There were about 200 people turned up in a variety of cars vans and even horse boxes and Winnebagoâ€™s and were camped around the field. The bank overlooking the stage was strewn with people in tie-dyes but the space in front of the stage was empty. Everyone was just chilling out and enjoying the summer sunshine.
During the second band word came that two friends of the guy who owned the field had arrived and would we let them do a quick set. As the two friends in question were Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook we managed to squeeze them in and they ran through 7 of their hits on acoustic guitars and certainly got the crowd up and clapping.
The Cosmic Charlies were next and as most of the audience were Deadheads and they are a Grateful Dead tribute band they went down really well. Having said that they did play a really great set including my favourite Dead song Dark Star which amazingly was the first time Iâ€™d ever seen the song performed live by anyone. It was also great to see one of the partygoers signing music to two deaf people.
After the Charlies we set up for the headlining act Barry Melton who was playing with English band The Green Ray. Barry Melton was in Country Joe and the Fish and played at
The music finished earlier than planned at 11:30 but as it had got quite cold not many people complained. I packed all of my equipment away and helped the PA guy load his van and was just looking forward to getting to bed when it came to light that he hadnâ€™t been paid so I wandered round the site in the dark looking for the man with the money and just as my torch was about to give out I found him â€“ in bed!!! So I made him get up and come down to write a cheque!!
It was 2:15 when I eventually did get to bed but I found myself awake again at 6:30 so I got up and started pulling the power cables out. I canâ€™t remember being thanked by so many people as I was this weekend and everyone I spoke to said how much they had enjoyed it. Plans are already being made for next year!!