Small but perfectly formed festival Larmer Tree sported by far its best ever line up for seekers of the global groove and the weather (mostly) held together for the weekend
In fact one could be forgiven at times for thinking it a mini WOMAD. With key bands like Orchestra Baobab and Dengue Fever playing both festivals and a similar predominance of global meets folk there was always going to be a lot of cross over. Where Larmer Tree distinguishes itself though is in the very intimate surrounds of the Larmer Tree Gardens and the limited number of attendees capped at around 5,000 compared to WOMAD’s 30,000.
If you sometimes think you love the music at WOMAD but would like something a little more manageable in size, this is for you. In addition it is a really wonderful place to bring the little nippers along to. The audience seem to have more of a loyalty to the festival than any one type of music so anything with a good groove seems to go down a storm — whether that be Seth Lakeman or Orchestra Baobab. Fans of modern folk were especially well catered for this year with most of the stars in evidence: Bellowhead, Seth, Kate Rusby to name a few.
Also worth a mention was the food. OK, most festivals literally have the same food but the Caribbean shack at Larmer Tree was out of this world. Just wish I had discovered it earlier! Organisers, stewards and festival goers were a lovely bunch (apart from the old guy in ponytails — you my friend are a twirp and it is not because of the way you dress). Word of warning for the young. Don’t trust anyone writing in marker pen on your back, unless you really do love the male appendage and want everyone to know.
The Larmer Tree Gardens are the loveliest setting for a festival I have been to and if you take the back roads getting there you can stock up on fresh farm produce to add to that back to nature vibe.
–Photo by Damian Rafferty–
Loads of pictures at Flykr