This year, as ever, the weather was absolutely gorgeous for Wood Festival: plenty of sunshine and dry underfoot despite the downpours a few days previously. I managed to persuade my friend (and fellow mum) Helen of East End Prints to accompany us as I knew that Snarf would love to feral around with his lil’ mate (we went to the Buddhafield Green Earth Awakening Camp together last year, read my review here) and we arrived in time for a late lunch on Saturday, staying through to Sunday evening.
I know I’ve said this in previous years but Wood Festival is perfect for kids: there is a sense of freedom and safety in the field at Braziers Park that is rare to find, and we basically had a child-led festival, following where our little ones wanted to run. We ate cheesy chips, enjoyed unexpected tunes around the daytime campfire, roamed the woodland playground, ate ice cream, chased bubbles, joined a harmony singing workshop, followed the samba band (dressed as bumble bees), ate more ice cream and of course listened to some music when we could:
Late on Saturday night I listened to Tunng from the comfort of our tent, having adjourned for the night at a ridiculously early hour with my child. This was the first time the band have played together in some time and they sounded great, even in my half asleep state.
Co-Pilgrim put together a typically dreamy set from the wonderful album A Fairer Sea, which lulled my over excited three year old to sleep. Expect a new album from them soon.
The ‘big bastard baritone’ vocals of Liverpool based John Joseph Brill (his words not mine) were an exciting discovery – a uniquely raspy voice married to soulful reverb that is a heavenly cross between Interpol, U2 (in the best sense) and I LIKE TRAINS. Go check him out.
I heard Spiro on the radio a few weeks ago and was most taken with their tight music making (the result of many years playing together), a deft combination of classical music, dance and folk. It was great to hear them live.
Finally, Francis Pugh & The Whisky Singers are bluegrass singers from Oxford and were a great reminder of what Wood Festival does so well: creating a family friendly atmosphere where everyone can enjoy great music in a relaxed setting. Where else would you so comfortably find a baby on stage, holding a red balloon?
We are already looking forward to next year.
All photography by Amelia Gregory, our portrait by Mim Saxl.
- Wood Festival 2011 Review: Goodnight Lenin, Thea Gilmore, Telling the Bees
- Wood Festival 2011 Review: Zeus, Treetop Flyers Eliza Carthy and printing with lino!
- Music Listings
- Wood Festival 2013 Review
- We Have Band – Interview