Moonbeams Festival. Wold Top. 12-13.7.13

Second and final update. It appears I have hugely upset the organiser by having the temerity to paint a less than wonderful picture. In my defence, a few points .

    1. I just did not consider it the ‘best yet’. I didn’t say it was rubbish.

2.  Regarding Blair Dunlop, I was not being critical at all. In fact the opposite. By using a Seth Lakeman analogy, I was trying to say that he seemed to have been influenced by Mr L (one of the best in the genre). I was paying him a compliment.

3. Seemingly the Mighty Doonans ARE a ‘name’. My limited folk knowledge obviously does not realise this, but I did actually say that they were indeed ‘mighty’. (i.e extremely good).

4. The Alligators put on a very good and popular show but I have the affront to call them a ‘pub group’? Yes, they are all very good musicians. I have tried to find out a gig guide. Struggled to find future gigs but discovered items of their playing previously at the Victoria Pub( Hornsea), Bear Inn (South Cave) and Pike and Heron (Hornsea).  These venues are types of…(!!) , so how do you describe The Alligators then? Arena Rock?! .   Where do THEY THEMSELVES  consider to be their most frequent type of venue!?

5. The feedback to the organiser was that how wonderful it was. Just to try and put and end to it, what is the standard reply from a group of diners when the owner asks them how everything is?  ‘Excellent, thank you’. And what happens when the person moves away?!  Is there not even a slight possibility that someone else thought it wasn’t the ‘best yet’ but didn’t want to say it to such a pleasant  and enthusiastic person? Maybe?

6. I don’t moan for moaning’s sake’.  Do the others I was speaking to therefore possess an opinion that is equally worthless?  I have never criticised the lady’s efforts, persona or anything about her.   She always seemed a lovely woman, and I have unfortunately upset her but I just couldn’t say something was great if I didn’t think it was.

An update on the review below. Have just received the ‘classic’ comment from the organisers, that many reckon it to have been the ‘best yet’.  Both Cropredy and Cambridge Rock Festival have stated exactly the same when the event has been a long way from the ‘best yet’.

This was our 3rd Moonbeams Fest. A very ‘folk’ orientated affair, set in a brewery with a capacity of a few hundred.  Previous years have sold out, but even up to a week or so ago the organiser Leila was still selling tickets. And this speaks volumes basically about the calibre of the bill.   Two years ago , Oysterband gave their usual anthemic performance. Last year, the seemingly well-regarded Show of Hands topped the bill (did nowt for me, sadly).   But this year was very thin. Not just my opinion, also our friends there and , crucially, the opinions of those who chose not to come.

We caught a bit of Blair Dunlop, who was decent (and has surely got his bedroom wall full of Seth Lakeman posters).   The Mighty Doonans were indeed mighty and Richard Digance delighted us all. And by ‘all’ , that meant a hall with a lot of empty chairs.   The most popular act was probably The Alligators, whose blues/rock set closed the event. But only really a pub group.  Maybe Mike Harding, who was there but not performing, could have rescued things.

OK, the Fairports of this world are maybe beyond Leila’s budget, but it needs a rethink re a headliner. And if The Alligators proved a winner, maybe even with the snotty Cropredy faction, why not go all out and book eg Dr Feelgood or Nine Below Zero? Acoustic maybe?

Also, the beer situation was a bit naughty. Ten half-pint tokens for £13.00, or twenty for £25.00. I don’t know of any pub which charges me more for a pint if I buy five pints rather than ten. Why tokens? Most drinks at £2.50 a pint is hardly going to tax the maths of the bar staff or cause problems with change. (It didn’t last year). And would the brewery have bought back any unused tokens? Not a chance, I suspect, so ‘money for nothing’  Also, our friends were swayed into coming again to buy bottles to take home @ £1. This year it seemed to have doubled.  I am sure that the reduction in overheads by buying from the source could have trimmed the prices.  I am also sure there were a lot of women there who didn’t want to have to buy a minimum of ten tokens, although the sellers did have the sense to sell in smaller amounts at the end.

Some soul-searching needed for those involved, methinks.


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