Photography by Kathy Baxendale
By Jennifer Meredith
FolkEast isn’t your regular festival – you won’t catch loud, inebriated teens wearing neon and floral headdresses here (not that we’re discriminatory) – instead, you’ll witness an abundance of folk fans alike, relaxing to the sounds of The Young’uns, False Lights and The Wilson Family.
Set in the picturesque grounds of Glemham Hall in the East Suffolk countryside, FolkEast delivers a mixed bag of music, art, dance, practical crafts, comedy and poetry. Wandering around the venue on a beautifully warm and sunny Saturday, I was awe-inspired at the variety of activities available; from donkey-riding to clay crafts, there was something for everyone.
Sure, it didn’t have the glamorous spa-tent as seen at The Secret Garden Party, the Virgin Media Mansion complete with Wi-Fi and phone charging facilities at V Festival, or the stunning circus and theatre fields at Glastonbury, but that’s what I love about it. Unlike other festivals, FolkEast isn’t pretending to be something that it’s not – it is pure and simple artistic fun.
My favourite musical acts included Mortal Tides, a young group of boys playing their own instruments alongside the soothing harmonies of vocalists Noah and Jed, and Charlie Dore, underrated 80s legend and singer of my childhood favourite, ‘Pilot of the Airwaves’. Other bands and solo artists that I hadn’t before listened to certainly captivated my attention, and it was a great opportunity to mentally add some new artists to my Spotify playlists.
Laying on a hill in view of the Sunset Stage, I soaked in the experience whilst tucking in to some mouth-wateringly delicious foods (seriously, I’m salivating just thinking about the unforgettable toasted breakfast baps, paella and sticky-treacle hot ham buns), as well craft ciders from the onsite pub, the Cobbold Arms.
Overall, FolkEast was a fantastic experience that I would recommend to any folk lover. In fact, you don’t even have to listen to folk – the festival serves as a fantastic day out for families, couples and friends!