Fairport’s Fortieth Cropredy Convention

Where to start? It was good. [/understatement]

The weather gods clearly took pity on us, and the Sun shone throughout the weekend (apart from a small fun by the Jester, who caused the Sunday tent packup (for those with tents, a-ha) to be a little damp). The festival was a sell-out, the first one ever I gather, and yet everyone still smiled, sang and drank with fine humour and without too much crowding on the music field. Even the toilets mostly coped with the mass of folkie folk with beer and biryani bottoms…

The pilgrimage started with a slight hiccup as we were well up the M5 before realising that Miss hadn’t loaded the suitcase with our clothes into the camper van. I fear righteous indignation was gently vented from the bish end of the bus and we failed to meet up with folk as planned for lunch. Nevertheless, we caught up with them on site and it seemed we were destined to bump into folk all through the festival – a mate from school I’d not seen for years, a couple sat right next to us on the music field that I’d shared a camp circle with at Druid Camp, and a fellow who works for another company but at the same substation as me! And that’s in 20,000 people. I wonder how many other folk there I knew but didn’t meet that time…?

Names? Well try Jules Holland and his Orchestra, Seth Lakeman, Wishbone Ash, Richard and Danny Thompson, Show of Hands, The Strawbs… endless pleasure! It was hard to find time to sleep. This year FC finally caught up with the age of steam and had a video wall behind the stage; it made for a beautiful addition to some of the songs, as well as allowing for huge pictures of the band (which included folk from all through the Fairport backlist including a really well looking Swarbrick). I guess the highpoint was Matty Groves, with the storyline played out by animated Playmobile people! The upcoming DVD will be worth every penny for that alone – I thought I was going to crack another rib!

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