Endorse-it in Dorset Festival - 12-14 August 2005

Last year saw the birth of the Endorse-it in Dorset Festival which they held for just one day. I didn't go but Angus who was involved in it saw my website and invited me to work for him there this year. It was to be a whole weekend with another stage and more entertainment. I had already agreed to work there when I found out Zion Train were confirmed to play..... what a bonus!


I arrived on the Thursday and met Angus and Susu who I would be working with and I also met some members of the band Pronghorn, Ffi, Lamma and Big G who put the festival on. They were all great people and they deserve a special mention as do Flounder, Toni Viagra and Ned. It seemed really odd at first being on such a small site after the likes of Glastonbury, Womad and Big Green Gathering! Glastonbury had 150,000 punters, Endorse-it had 1500, what a difference! I prefer small festivals, they just seem more personal. You start seeing the same people again and again and you all feel like one big family. How could you ever get that feeling at Glastonbury?


My friend Andy and his mates drove through the night from Norfolk and arrived on site early Friday morning, it was great to see them although not so great being woken up by them at 5am! Angus had told me I was working in the hospitality area which suited me fine but once I got there I found that really meant crew catering most of the time. Now I'm not one to complain and I'm glad I had the chance to go to Endorse-it but I wasn't amused with having to dish out plate after plate of food as I feel I have far more to offer a festival but hey you win some you loose some! That aside though I can't stress enough just how great this little festival was. It reminded me of the first Beautiful Days which has now grown and looks like it will keep growing. If i could wish for one thing for this festival it would be that it doesn't grow too much. 5000 people maximum for a festival I think.

After work on Friday we went and watched Pronghorn who describe themselves as cow punk! They were great, real foot stomping stuff, think folk and punk with a bit of metal and a bit of cajun and a sprinkling of other stuff! Afterwards we watched some of Sub-Giant who played some nice drum and bass tunes. For me though who used to love that real dirty hardcore drum and bass it was a little tame! On Saturday Andy told me we were camped by an ex member of RDF, Paul! That was pretty cool as I'd never seen them live at least I got to meet one of them!


In the evening we went and watched Desmond Dekker, he was amazing. Although he's getting on a bit now he still struts his stuff like a teenager! He sang some classics like Israelites and really got the crowd jumping! Afterwards I went to see The Ukrainians as I was interested to see what they were like, in the programme they were described as a mix of Ukrainian folk and Western rock! I quite enjoyed them, they were like nothing I have ever seen before (or probably will again!) On Sunday I caught some of a band called Toupe who were rather strange, good but strange! Later on we went to see Tragik Roundabout, a band who played at Big Green Gathering but I missed. Ffi made an appearance on the fiddle for a few songs and for the rest of the set was dancing her socks off in the crowd. Tragik have been going for years, are from Brighton and are folk/ska/punk kind of stuff and worth seeing!


Next was what we had been waiting for all weekend, Zion Train. The line up was DJ Perch at the controls as always, Molara on vocals, Dave Hake on trumpet and Bigga on trombone. What can I say about Zion Train live that I haven't said before many times? Pounding bass, heavy rhythms and masses of positive energy that get the crowd dancing like they've never danced before. After taking some photos and video I got down to the serious business of dancing too. The night had to end and after Zion Train went off Ffi, Lamma and Big G got up to thank everyone for coming and for their support and to invite us all back next year! Will we be back? Damn right we will! It could well take over from Beautiful Days for people who want something smaller and more personal. In all a great weekend with brilliant music and fantastic company.

Below are a selection of photographs from the gathering.