|Andy Flannagan and friends|
Other options over the weekend, apart from the main worship on Sunday morning included eucharists from Blessed, an alt-worship sacramental community, another used music from Les Miserables, there was a U2charist and a goth mass. You could get close to nature with Forest Church, of you prefer it quiet, Quakers and Franciscans offer alternatives!
The range of music on offer is always a highlight for me. You can usually find a good selection of singer-songwriters around the place at the Performance Cafe (this year changed to a venue not a cafe!), the CD tent, the Christian Aid tent and the Shed - the youth venue. Martyn Joseph is usually on the list and he also hosts a session (The Rising) with musicians each day to talk about their work and share songs. We caught him talking to old-timer Garth Hewitt and two newer artists, Carrie Rodriguez and Blair Dunlop. The latter 2 were so good we spent 2 hours sitting on the floor of the Performance cafe for their afternoon sets. Blair Dunlop is a great guitarist and writes interesting songs; Carrie Rodriguez is more country influenced but avoids the country cliches. Ably assisted by Luke Jacobs on guitar and sometimes singing and playing the violin at the same time, she had real quality. Also caught Stylusboy from Coventry and Andy Howie from Scotland, but missed plenty more.
|The Boxettes at The Performance Cafe|
|Panel discussion featuring Jim Wallis|
and Richard Coles
|Comedy from Paul Kerensa|
What else? Well there's always something going on. Giant puppets, a stage where anyone can have a go at a song, art installations, book launches, a beer tent (The Jesus Arms) and bumping into people you haven't seen for years.
This year there was little rain, no mud, and a new layout to avoid the quagmire of 2012. They did well, given the constraints, and we're sure to be back in future years.