Fabulous Folk - Our Favourite Weekend of the Year!

As the end of August approaches the Holbrook household gears up for 'Kate & Graham's favourite weekend of the year'.  It's not that the rest of the family don't enjoy the mayhem that is about to ensue but they do get thrown out of their bedrooms to make room for musical guests and much tidying and cleaning isn't a teenager's favourite pursuit at our house.  Anyway, at TDHQ and at home preparations are being made for Shrewsbury Folk Festival, which we've been lucky enough to be involved in for several years now.
The festival runs from the Friday of the August bank holiday to the Monday evening and is a feast of music, fun and laughter...we love it.
This year when we went to set up our marquee on Thursday night in the pouring rain Graham, Emily and I got very damp and worked until after dark to prepare our pitch...we were pretty tired when we finished but on the plus side it had stopped raining by then. By 3pm the next day, with help from the whole team (special mention to Naomi here as she was a huge help on the day) we had our own little shop!
We've had a stall at the festival for 5 years so many of the people we see there now have become friends; it's so lovely to catch up and share stories of how the year has gone.  The festival site is covered in interesting marquees which are filled with folk and world music, dance, real ales and delicious food for most of the day and into the night.  I can honestly say that I've never experienced an atmosphere like it; it's friendly, vibrant and always interesting...I'm not being paid by the organisers, honestly...
Above you can see the food area and the Village Green Stage which our stall was next to this year.  We were treated to a never-ending array of music and dance throughout the day and the children's area at the other side of the stage meant that ad hoc entertainment from excited children kept things lively too.  The event pulls in lots of interesting characters and everywhere you look there's some kind of spectacle to see.
Above is a beautiful wishing tree lady and 'Jim Bones' the local pirate (pretty convincing for a land-locked county!).  Below are 'The Iron Men' and the dusk procession of costumes and lanterns which the children make and show off on the Sunday evening.
Much of the music is spontaneous and the photo below is of one of the impromptu concerts in the beer tent. Further below is a rather long distance shot of the band Kafaya some of whom stayed with us on the Sunday night.
Family and friends offer assistance where they can and my mum was a great help this year with her ever cheerful smile.  Graham was thoroughly entertaining in his usual spot next to the tent and cheerfully helped make and break down the marquee whilst also keeping things going at home.
So, by Monday night we were pretty shattered but couldn't have enjoyed a nicer weekend.  The sun shone brightly for most of it and even the rain showers were full of character.
As I'm sure is true for everyone, the week has flown by (Bank Holidays do mess with a week don't they?!) and here we are in September already.  This means that we're almost into cashmere season and sewing away busily at the studio...we're making 100s of best selling Turtle Doves gloves at this time of year and lots more besides (to browse our glove collection click here).
I've dropped in a link for the festival below in case you fancy coming along one year and hope that you've enjoyed this brief dip into our weekend there.
Best wishes,
Kate 
Ps. To visit Shrewsbury Folk Festival Website click here.

 

Kate Holbrook

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