Festival at the Edge

Folk festivals have been something of a feature through my life, from childhood visits to the Holford Arms, (tiny, windswept festival in the Cotswolds) to Bromyard in my teens, Alcester through my twenties, and assorted one-off visits to many others. I’ve not been in a field full of folkies in too many years. Festival at the Edge is in Shropshire, and is primarily a storytelling festival, although there is a music thread, dancing, beer tents, and folk people.

Tom and I were invited to go along by the fabulous Genevieve Tudor (of BBC Radio Shropshire’s Folk Show fame – and you can listen online). We did a three hour stint in the children’s area, getting a large number of brilliant, enthusiastic young people to write dreadful poetry and draw hideous monsters. It was a very intense session, and excellent.

I caught a fair bit of music – Biscuit Badger and the Biscuit Heads, Phil Hare, Na-Mara, Lady Maisery, and Bill Caddick. Bill made me cry. He pretty much always does. Back when I used to run a folk club I once put him on as a guest with a reference to how reliably he reduces me to tears, and then had to explain that no, this isn’t because the songs are terrible… Every time I feel lost and don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing, someone needs to sit me down and make me listen to Cloud Factory, John of Dreams, and Unicorns. I will probably sob pathetically for a bit and then get my arse into gear.

I didn’t get to much storytelling, but I did go and see Amy Douglas, someone I also booked more years ago than I feel inclined to admit. She’s a lovely performer with a warm and intimate style.

I spent quite a lot of the festival catching up with people – old friends from the Midlands folk and Pagan scenes, and the Matlock the Hare creators. And one epic moment in the history of this blog – if you read the comments (and you should, the standard here is always high and the posters splendid, and friendly) I had the surprise and delight of finally getting to meet Argenta in person!

If you know me online and happen to be at an event I’m doing, please do come and say hi, (and expect to have to tell me who you are, my facial recognition skills are abysmal.)

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

4 responses to “Festival at the Edge

  • lornasmithers

    Sounds like a fun workshop 🙂 I’d love to be able to team up with an artist and do something on Lancashire’s boggarts, fairies and water sprites. I get the impression it really helps children if there are images too.

  • Sheila North

    Love the sound of this festival! Life currently up in the air so can’t plan anything at the moment, but I’d love to go to this one. Storytelling & folk music are two great loves of mine, though I spend more time singing than listening. “John of Dreams” … I think the chap who wrote that has been to Donny Folk Festival. Beautiful song!

  • Argenta

    Hello, Nimue! I’ve just returned from the UK, full of impressions — but this festival was definitely my #1 experience 🙂

    I was thrilled to have met you in person, and only sad I somehow managed to miss you on Sunday. Will have to come back again, to get those books signed! Or, if you ever decide to come over to Croatia, I’d be more than happy to be your host.

    • Nimue Brown

      Hello! I did try and keep an eye out for you on Sunday, but there were a *lot* of people, I realised… I don’t get out of the UK much at the moment (not at all in the last 6 years) but i hope this will change in the future. 🙂

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