The tiny almost-mythical English market town of Middlewich in Cheshire was packed causing longish queues at the bars. The event also included many narrow and heritage boats, craft stalls and other entertainers – all free, except some well-known performers charging £10- £15.
One of my favourite artists was Babajack, an acoustic award-winning blues trio, and being a Dylan fan Bob On Our Side. Highlighting the main stage were the BackYard Devils, a young fast-fiddling bluegrass band from Canada.
Apparently blackened faces date back to the 18th-century when unemployed farm-workers disguise themselves while dancing for tips at a time when busking and begging was illegal. Then, lead poisoning was common, but today stage makeup is used.
We camped over the weekend in the official sports centre site. MiMi tells her friends I make her sleep in a field – but the truth is, it was a great pitch and facilities close to the main stage and canal. Despite rain at night, most of our stay was dry. I love to sleep under the sound of a downpour! I’ve noticed in the UK it rains a lot in the West and the East has more sun. This was not the event for a Travel Lodge.
We exhibited in the craft tent, but takings at our MrBead stand were poor despite a few online customers visiting. However, I booked for the music and atmosphere and the experience was well worth the trip.
Next weekend I’ll be going to Xi’an in China for Alan and Sarah’s wedding on Saturday 26th June. It’s sure to be fun and all are welcome – details here. Xi’an will be dry and very hot – although the beer with be wet and very cold! From Guangzhou flights are about 3-hours and 300-klms/hour trains make the 1,000-mile journey in 8 hours, including stops and change at Wuhan. However, cost is about the same as the cheapest flight – around RMB 950 with tax one way.
If you’ve never been to Xi’an before you’ll be impressed. Many go for the 2,000-year-old Terracotta Worriers, but Beijing has pumped billions into the city and preserved the ancient architecture and completely rebuilt the 14-miles of the old wall.