The Village Pump Festival

Trowbridge Travel Blog

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The bridge, the statue and me

The festival is beside a river just outside of Trowbridge in a venue of hilly fields.  Arriving on the Wednesday we are amongst the earliest campers and choose our spot though there is no shade available for the tent.  The car can be parked under shade across a fire break so we set up.  Andrew sets off to do a reccy of the festival while I settle down in the sunshine and read my book.  I am picking up more of a tan than I have ever had due to not having to be indoors 5 1/2 days a week selling tyres!  In fact I overdose on the sun on my feet and my sandals leave ovals of red skin on my feet where I failed to put sun cream on.  Our field has a row of about 15 Portaloos but showers are not visible.

Great gardens
  We message Lorna ( we met her at the Easter Festival in Fareham) and let her know that we have arrived.  She messages back that she is surprised that there is anyone there so early on in the week, but will be in late on Thursday when she does her first duties as a steward.

Thursday we set off on what we think is a walk that Lorna suggested.  There is ANOTHER castle nearby and we go around that and into a field marked public footpath.  Beautiful brown cows watch us between munches and we follow the river along to the style at the end of the field.  Climbing over the style we see more notices on the fence advising that there is a bull in the field ( great! spotted him on the way back) and that otters live in the river!  We scour the river bank on the way back hoping to glimpse an otter but sadly, nothing spotted.

Trout sample
  We do however stand on a small humped back bridge with a statue on it and watch enourmous trout swimming below us.  Back at the campsite we read more, make dinner and go down to get wristbands in exchange for our tickets and go into a marquee to hear some music.  At 9pm we find Lorna beginning her duty on the gate and arrange to find her the next day.  Go back and enjoy more music.

Although we have found 3 showers for the whole camp site I decide that I would prefer not to join the queues and and the lack of privacy and have basin washes in our tent.  Need my hair cut so go into Trowbridge and find a barber shop that will wash and cut my hair for £17, thanks to the advice from the lady in the sweet shop or it would have been double that in a hairdresser's salon!   Our neighbours are an interesting mix as always.

Setting up for afternoon gig
  There is a Yoga instructor who is amazingly flexible, a guy formerly from Israel with his children who are part of a larger group from the same English village, a Welsh couple and their talkative son in a Teepee which proves ideal in the heat as they can lift the bottom skirt to circulate the air.  I meet a guy who is a Fairport Convention fanatic and we swap festival stories and e-mail addresses.  We get an idea that we think can be marketed back at Australian festivals and ponder over the logistics of it.

We get treated to some fabulous acts and they include WatersonCarthy (with Liza Carthy and Tim van Eyck), Waterboys, Suzzanne Vega and Show of Hands.  As SOH finish with their new song to be realeased as a single they explain that they have a film crew with them who are making a song video to promote the single.

We find Lorna!
  Once the song is finished they ask our indulgence so that they can play the backing track back to us and the crew will film the audience this time.  Indeed it is done about 6 times so we know the chorus really well now and feel sure that it will be a huge hit and we think we should be able to spot ourselves amongst the 2,000 others in the audience!!!!  At the end of the festival we stop off in one of the two beer tents to watch Pronghorn in action.  Billed as the UK's no 1 cowpunkband they are an eclectic energetic band of many ages!  We farewelled Lorna and hope that we might see her once more at Sidmouth but she is unsure of her plans.  A great spot and a fabulous festival.  Tickets sold out when they hit their limit of 6000 and the organisers tell us at the final concert if we enjoyed the Village Pump Festival, please don't tell your friends as they can't fit more in next year!

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The bridge, the statue and me
The bridge, the statue and me
Great gardens
Great gardens
Trout sample
Trout sample
Setting up for afternoon gig
Setting up for afternoon gig
We find Lorna!
We find Lorna!
Evening gig
Evening gig
Trowbridge
photo by: andytite