Herd ‘Em Up

Herd ‘Em Up

There’s a festival in The Ribble Valley called Beatherder and it’s only 30 minutes from home, so it seems churlish that we’ve never been. It does have a certain reputation – mainly from people who haven’t been, but we booked Campervan tickets and were really glad that we did. We were even more pleased that a festival expert, Moira, and her friend Jean, were also going, in her lovely purple Danbury and could show us the ropes.
We met at MacDonalds on the outskirts of Clitheroe, on a typical wet and rainy, Lancashire summer’s day, then drove in convoy the few miles to the festival. I’ve got to say the road in wasn’t quite what I was expecting and seemed more suited to the Defender than Absinthe.

Not the smoothest of entry roads…

The steward who was directing vehicles to pitches, tried to put us in an already overcrowded area, but Moira just ignored him and we both drove down to a field overlooking the valley where she’d pitched in 2015. Getting onto the field was interesting as it was already cutting up and turning to mud, but we made it without any incidents and soon had the canopies pitched to give us our own area.

We chilled at the pitch for a few hours with a few beers and cake to celebrate Jean’s birthday. The forecast had been for brighter weather later and by about 6pm it was dry if not sunny.

It was definitely welly and boot weather as we headed down to the Festival site.

Once in we found the Absinthe kiosk and it would have been rude not to try some.

James were headlining on Friday and whilst their set was good, they seemed to have included more dance stuff and only really played one of their hits. Having said that, Sometimes, is my favourite so I shouldn’t complain.

Tim Booth, lead singer of James
We visited lots of stages and venues, saw Moria’s friend and ex work colleague, Dick, play with the Blowjangles, had a few beers and headed back to the pitch at around 1pm.
Dick: tuba player extraordinaire…
Once back at the vans, Moira and Jean trumped everyone by producing a smorgasbord of cheese and biscuits – if only we were that well organised.

Sleep wasn’t easy as everyone partied on around us, particularly our noisy neighbours who were still going at 5.30am.

Our neighbours for the weekend

We had a lie-in on Saturday and chilled until it was time to repeat the Festival fun – although by now the field was thick mud and walking wasn’t easy.

There was a fancy dress theme for Saturday of the letter R, so Roy Chubby Brown made an appearance, together with the Riddler…

As always, Chubby got up to quite a bit of mischief. A chorus of “You Fat B*stard” from the audience at the Wall of Death was well deserved and great fun.

Spot the four shady characters in the audience…

Sunday was a case of repeat until done. We danced in the morning in The Church – a great atmosphere and some brilliant music.

Dancing on the pews…

Donovan was playing in the afternoon, then the Lancashire Hotpots in the Social Club in the evening. Great fun.

We just made it to the Illustrious Bar before it closed at midnight – to be honest we were still ready to party but everywhere shut down at 12 – probably a sensible idea.

Here’s a few random photos to give you some idea of the great time we had.

That’s my kind of dart board…
Monday morning was time to pack up and leave – if we could get off the field! A couple of Landrovers were working hard to tow some vehicles off and I didn’t fancy having to hook Absinthe up to the tow rope.
Look at the grin on his face – he’s loving it…
In the end, once some vehicles had been moved out of the way we got off ok – there’s a short video here showing our exit:

All in all, we had a great time – it would have been better without the mud, but hey, this is Lancashire, so it’s to be expected.

There’s a full set of photos here:  FLICKR

Things we’ve learned:

Don’t ignore events on your doorstep, the grass isn’t always greener, etc
Even having someone try to steal the contents of your man bag won’t stop you from having fun
Festival food is great
Festival toilets aren’t so great
Don’t expect much sleep at a Festival
Malteesers wrapped in cheese doesn’t really work for me
Discovering new music never fails to make me smile
Mrs B should check her wellies before she leaves home to make sure they haven’t got huge holes in them

I'd love to hear your thoughts, so grab a pew and I'll make you a brew - Hobnob or Bourbon?

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