At the eleventh hour I decided to pull a new print out of the hat, this is my special 'Folk East 2013' linocut hanging up to dry. It features the impressive facade of the folk festival venue Glemham Hall with the FolkEast sun and swallows in the sky and Suffolk hare and seagull landing on the roof. In the garden the topiary bushes are fiddling and whistling a toe-tapping tune to make even the flowers dance.
I'd opted to have a stand for just one day, Saturday; I'd also agreed to do 'demonstrations' so was allowed a second table and an extra free day-pass for an assistant (Cliff). To drive across Suffolk from our corner of the county to almost the coast and set up our stand by 9am, meant getting up at 5am – the sunshine and heat of Friday had deteriorated into persistent rain, we tried not to get downcast.
Ta-dah! here's my stall all set up and ready to roll! From the 10am start there was a steady flow of people through the Art Arcade tents, they were all friendly and polite, lots were very interested in the blocks I was carving – each of a flying swallow - from different materials: eraser rubber, Japanese vinyl and lino.
But, for most of the day very few bought anything. The showers came and went and came back. Across the field form the main stage we could here Gypsy Fire's most enjoyable set. I had time to run across to the food area to buy tea and flapjacks but I was mostly busy all the time. Cliff reported that takings still had barely covered the modest stall fee. The rain turned into a torrential downpour of biblical proportions, the ArtArcade roof drummed with the deluge drowning out the music, people sheltered inside and so there were even more to talk to.
Then it brightened up! The field of tough Suffolk grass didn't turn into a quagmire and more people arrived at the festival arena for the headline acts in the evening.
There was a general move to start to pack up the art stalls, but Cliff sensed sales were up! We decided to stay put for another hour and thanks to being able to take credit card payments (via PayPal on my website using my iPad) our takings were respectable.
With the stall dismantled and everything packed into the car, it was time to enjoy the festival. Sadly I'd missed the Vintage Market and Social Knitworks yarn-bombing teepee as they had closed for the day, but we had been tipped off that Sam Lee and Friends were worth seeing on the Broadroots Stage . . . and so they were!
After that we realised we were starving! So we bought a tub of chow mein pork noodles and wandered over to the main stage in time to see the end of the very last ever gig of Eliza Carthy and Jim Moray's Wayward Tour . . . Eliza was a frenzy of fiddling and powerful voice as she bounded back and forth!
We were now in the mood to stay to the end, so Cliff fetched our waterproof picnic blanket from the car and we found a good vantage point at the top of the slope from which to see The Dhol Foundation – a fusion of Punjabi drumming and dancers and just about any and every music genre you can think of – great fun! And it got even more fun when Eliza Carthy and Jim Moray joined them for a folk mash-up extraordinaire.
So, all in all we had a great day – we met lots of lovely people and heard some great music. And after being awake for 19 hours we arrived home absolutely shattered!
I might even be prepared to do it all again next year . . . and maybe for more than one day.
btw let me know if you'd like to buy a special Folk East 2013 linocuts . . . I have some left.
The Folk East 2013 linocut is now available to buy here for £35.00 inc. p&p to UK addresses (for shipping overseas please add the £7 overseas shipping surcharge)