Wychwood Festival - 1-3 June 2007
The weather held out for the first festival of the season in nearby Cheltenham. It was nice to be so close to home for a change and I went home every night instead of camping. I was once again working for Oxfam and it was lovely to see all the familiar faces on arrival. Big up for Clive, Tom, Steve, Terry, Ali, Jo and the great gang who make up the Oxfam stewarding team. Blissful 6 hour shifts for a change and the first shift on Friday morning whizzed by as people steadily arrived. My job was to supervise the stewards in the campervan field. I had the perfect mix of stewards, some older more sensible people and some young full of energy and enthusiasm students. We made a great team and all the vans were parked without any hassle and some of us helped out in the pick-up point where many irate customers complained that they couldn't drive to unload their tents!
On the Friday night one of my favourite bands The Levellers headlined. It was great to see them again after over a year and much dancing ensued. On Saturday after my shift I bimbled around the festival taking in the sights, smells and general vibe of it all as well as a rather nice veggie curry! The headline act was The Fun Lovin' Criminals, I was interested to see what Huey and the gangs performance would be like but I wasn't impressed. It felt like they were just going through the motions with no energy or enthusiasm. On Sunday I had a great shift walking around the campervan area chatting to everyone. I bumped into a few old friends and met some new ones including Subgiant who were camped in their rather lovely van for the weekend. Later I caught some of Eliza Carthy who is certainly brilliant in her field but not really my sort of thing. Afterwards came Zion Train who despite being on quite early (4pm) got the crowd off their bums and on their feet to dance.
I spent a very chilled out couple of hours backstage with Zion Train and even got some of the yummy cake that the backstage cafe was serving. Later on I headed off to see the headline act Afro-Celt Soundsystem. I have some of their music but have never really got into it at home although always thought they would be excellent live. I wasn't disappointed and they gave a brilliant performance fusing all sorts of musical styles and instruments from around the world. I also went to the other stage to catch some of Subgiant's set, it was unfortunately on at the same time as Afro-Celt Soundsystem so I didn't stay for long but their chilled out drum n bass vibe is a great sound.
Wychwood is a lovely little festival, a little on the expensive side I think but a nice one to work at. As it is only a 20 minute drive from home it is really handy for me. It is also good to support local events as well as reducing my carbon footprint as the other alternative this weekend was going to Sunrise festival in Somerset.
Below are a selection of photographs from the gathering.