Three years ago the first Folk Festival developed out of Newton Dee’s popular Folk Club. Unlike it’s mother, the festival stretches over two days and hosts not only musicians from all kind of genres and countries but also offers workshops fit for everyone to enjoy.
For the third year in a row the Newton Dee Folk Festival took place in the Phoenix Community Centre and attracted many people from inside as well as outside the village. It was divided into three parts over Friday evening the 28th and Saturday the 29th of August. In the evenings people came to listen to the concerts, while on Saturday morning and afternoon they came to enjoy workshops and tasty refreshments made by the Newton Dee Bakery.
On Friday evening as soon as everybody had taken their seats the official start of the Folk Festival for 2017 was announced and the first of seven acts, the Camphill Flowers, a band of co-workers from Newton Dee, together with some villagers, came on stage. Most of the other musicians who played that evening were from outside the village and was a colourful mix of people of all ages from many countries playing in bands, orchestras, choirs, duets or even solo. This and all the different genres of music, like folk and jazz, played on many different instruments, made this evening rich in diversity and talent. Everybody was sure to hear something he or she liked and thus the evening was enjoyed by everyone, young and old.
Although the weather on Saturday morning was cloudy and slightly rainy there were a lot of people on the Village Green. Children got their faces painted and played in the playground. Adults were listening to a woman on the harp in the marquee, or ate self-made pizza from the bakery, or looked through the CD’s at the stall inside the hall.
Another highlight were the workshops. Everyone could put their name on lists for workshops like poetry, singing, dancing, drumming and juggling. Many musicians also met outside in the so-called “jamming tent”. With a great variety of instruments, people came together to just make music and relax. Decorated with big scarfs, the tent looked oriental, which made it even more inviting to stay there for a while and enjoy listening.
The last part of the afternoon programme was the Chorus Cup, where people sing popular songs on stage while the audience joins in at the chorus. The song that manages to animate the most listeners wins the cup. This event took place in the Cresset Room and was fun for everybody and a tradition no one would want to miss.
Saturday evening consisted of another concert, this time opened by the Newton Dee band, and was just as beautiful and enjoyable as the concert on Friday evening.
All in all the Folk Festival was a great success. Year by year the confidence and organisational skills of those running the Festival increases, making it even better than the year before. The Festival is loved by everyone and already people are looking forward to the next one.