We’re back..!

Hello and welcome to the new improved Music Festival blog for 2012. We actually intended to post much, MUCH more often than this but after the last entry (February 2011! Oh the shame…) it suddenly got kinda busy round here and before you could say ‘Bandstand’ it appeared that a year or more had gone by – and now here we are with another Festival gaining rapidly on us…unbelievable.

Anyway, we’re back now and raring to go. Had a committee meeting recently and incredibly – or should I say terrifyingly – there are only two more meetings now before the Main Event, and although we may appear calm on the surface our little legs are paddling like crazy. So much to do, so little time, so much to remember – but I’m sure that as always we’ll get there. In case you didn’t know, the ‘we’ in question is a committee of twenty three volunteers, aided and abetted admirably by some brilliant extra helpers during the event. Thanks chaps – couldn’t do it without you.

Each year we start planning at the beginning of September and meet every month, all doing our bit in different ways and somehow, some of the time, managing to have fun in the process. It’s good to be part of a great team, however although we’re always very grateful for help at the event there are no committee vacancies right now as there are rather a lot of us  – and I doubt if we could squeeze any more into the meetings at the Royal Castle Hotel (thank you Nigel) at the moment! Having said that, if you’d like to be involved as an Event Helper for the weekend just leave a comment on this blog letting us know what you’d like to do, and we’ll be in touch nearer the time.

At the last meeting we discussed, amongst other things, the venues and we are delighted that we are now able to use the Market Square again after it was closed for refurbishment during last year’s festival. Not that the dear old Guildhall didn’t do us proud last year by stepping in at the last minute to become a main venue. It was usually used as a last-minute poor weather venue in the past if it was too wet/windy to use Bayards Fort. She might be getting on a bit in years, but I think everyone would agree that she scrubbed up really well for the event and looked very fine with all her trimmings, balloons, lovely plants (thank you Gardentime) – not to mention the fairy lights and rather fetching blow-up instruments adorning the walls. The excellent food, coffee etc (thank you Jane and Max – loved the chocolate brownies…) from Bunter’s Cafe, and the bar run by the cheery and helpful staff from Bays Brewery (thank you Peter & Co) really helped to make the Guildhall a great venue. SO – you’ll be pleased to know that, flushed with last year’s success, we are going to do it all over again this year!

The Masonic Hall will once again become the poor weather venue – but of course we probably won’t need it because it’s going to be a perfect, sunny, balmy and totally rain-free May weekend, isn’t it…?? (But don’t worry if it should rain – we have some fabulous new Festival umbrellas in the pipeline…) We’re keeping fingers, toes and everything else crossed, anyway, because Bayards really is such a special place to listen to music when the weather is fine.

Anyway, where was I  before I got carried away? Oh yes, the Market Square. It really is looking very smart after its wash and brush up and we are pleased to report that we have just received permission from the Town Council to use it again. We’re hoping to use the Community Cafe for the bar and there are plans afoot for a hog roast on the Sunday, but this has not been confirmed yet so please don’t quote me on it. All the details for what’s going on in the Market Square will be in the programme, which is going to press as I write and will be available soon either to buy from the Tourist Office, to order by post from the website, or to be downloaded.

Which brings me to why we charge for our programmes instead of putting the whole schedule on our website. We’re not being mean – really we’re not. It’s just that we are self funded and programme sales go a long way to ensuring that we have enough funds to put the Festival on every year and, more importantly, pay the performers! A lot of people don’t realise that the artists don’t play for free. The truth is that the piper must very much be paid – and the jazz band, and the classical guitarists, and the blues singer, and the violinist, and the folk band, and the choral group, and the drummers, and and and…Need I say more? Added to that, it really does help make it easier to plan your day – for a small fee you can always have a souvenir programme in your pocket and not miss out on anything, hopefully, although we’d be the first to admit that with so much going on it’s often quite difficult to fit everything in. So I hope that clears up that little matter for you and that you’ll understand why we really do have to charge – thanks!

On that note I have to close for today but I’ll be back very soon with more festival news and chat –  watch this space…