All Hands To The Pump

village pumpThere’s less than a month to go before the gates open for the third edition of Wiltshire’s finest folk festival, The Village Pump Folk Festival at its’ idyllic location under the gaze of the White Horse in Westbury.

Friday 25th July will begin a three day cavalcade of the very finest musicians and singers who come under the broad banner of folk music. The Village Pump Folk Festival comprises concerts, ceilidhs, children’s entertainment, workshops, dance displays coupled with the very finest in food and drink.

This year’s guest list includes a number of BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners such as guitar great Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, Philip Henry & Hannah Martin, O’Hooley & Tidow and the recently honoured Eliza Carthy M.B.E. Eliza’s father Martin Carthy MBE is also at the festival with a rare gig by Brass Monkey who recently announced that they are withdrawing from live performance. Another English super-group making their appearance on Sunday night are the wonderful Home Service led by the fabled John Tams.

It wouldn’t be the Village Pump Folk Festival without festival patrons Steve Knightley and Phil Beer and both will be making unique performances with as yet un-named “friends.” Steve Knightley comments “The Village Pump was the first major festival that Show of Hands cracked. Earthy, West Country, Boozy and friendly it remains one if the highlights of our summer. Beneath the gaze of the ancient white horse and spread over acres of rolling parkland I can’t think of a better way of spending a summer’s weekend!

Closing the Friday night will be the legendary Peatbog Faeries who, pun intended, will be pumping up the volume to bring the first night to a triumphant close.

As well as Pump favourites such as Michael Chapman, The Blues Band, Peter Knight’s Gigspanner, 3 Daft Monkeys and Vin Garbutt, newer much fancied acts such as The Young ‘Uns, Merry Hell and The Cabin Collective will also be appearing throughout the weekend. There is bound to be a rush to see the return of the much-loved musical comedy act The Panic Brothers as well as “local legends in their own lunch-time”, The Merv Grist Players.

Children will be entertained and, parents hope, worn out, from participating in craft making; learning 124 things to do with a parachute; dragging their parents on to the dance floor for the family ceilidh or laughing themselves silly watching the antics of Mr Brown’s Pig and slack rope specialist Francis Maxey.

Festival Director John Alderslade comments “ The volunteer team behind this festival, egged on by the stalwart support of the owners of the White Horse Country Park, have been bowled over by the overwhelmingly positive response of festival patrons for this reborn event. We have worked hard to ensure that this, the third edition, will be the best to date! Our motto is ‘good music, good company, good times’ and we’ll be letting the good times roll from tea time on Friday 25th. Please join us at this great musical party!”