Lately I’ve been feeling sad about not having tickets to any festivals this year; so when my friend Hanna offered me a ticket to Holifair Festival in Gweek, Cornwall, I jumped at the chance.
Hanna was performing at the festival in her Bollywood dance group, InspirAsian Dance, so it was a great chance for me to watch her dance on stage, as well as enjoying some much needed festival vibes: music, sunshine and dancing.
We decided just to go for the Friday evening and enjoy part of the Saturday before going home; Hanna had plans on Saturday evening and I have an important job interview on Monday.
Holifair is the smallest festival I have ever been to but one of the friendliest and cleanest. I suppose you could describe it as a bit of a hippie fest: very chilled out with lots of people sporting dreadlocks!
After we successfully put the tent up on Friday evening in the sunshine, we devoured some rum and coke and headed into the festival field for a wander. Holifair had a main stage for live bands, a cabaret tent, a kids tent and a dance tent, as well as a lively bar tent with seating and a few food stalls.
One of my highlights from the Friday night was watching the amazing Echo Town perform, an energetic rock band who play a range of interesting instruments including a didgeridoo and a lap-slide guitar; dancing to Far Too Loud and Apex Twin in the dance tent; watching the brilliant Beans On Toast perform his funny and clever lyrics about politics and love; and, finally at 1am, watching Hanna and her friend Charlotte perform with DJ Indian Man!
DJ Indian Man is actually from Bristol but when he performs he puts on an Indian accent, making his performance funny and engaging. He mixes Bhangra music with everything from Garage to House and, with Hanna and Charlotte of InspirAsian Dance’s help, had the crowd busting out some crazy Bollywood and Bhangra moves. I thoroughly enjoyed watching my friend of 24 years up on stage and the music was amazing.
I was pretty tired after that so I headed back to the tent. Unfortunately, I think I only slept from about 3am – 6am! It simply got too bright and sunny in the morning to stay asleep. Although we had decided to leave on Saturday, we didn’t want to rush back. Instead, we watched some children’s theatre, bands and songwriters perform and enjoyed some tasty food.
For breakfast, we went to the tea tent for tea and coffee and then headed over to Truly Crumptious, an amazing food trader who serve crumpets with every sweet and savoury topping you could think of; I sampled the delicious pizza topping. A few hours later I purchased a burrito from the Mexican Bean stall – I’ve been craving a festival burrito for ages and this one was worth the wait!
This is a lovely little family festival which I would love to go back to next year for the full three nights. Everyone is very friendly and it’s not too crowded, making it ideal for kids as well. The festival is in Gweek and you do have to travel down some long lanes to get there! I’m really happy that I made it to one festival this year and that we enjoyed such beautiful weather; next time I will go when I don’t have a job interview after the weekend!
Have you been to any lesser known small festivals in Cornwall or Devon?