Playgroup Festival 5-7 August 2011
August 18, 2011, 6:12 pm
Filed under: Festival Reviews | Tags: , , , , ,

My latest Festival adventure took place at Playgroup Festival, in the woodland of Eridge Park near Tunbridge Wells.  As the Lemon Bus from Brighton trundled down a bumpy dirt track, it was like stumbling upon an enchanted forest.  Festival-goers had really pulled out the stops with their designated woodland animal costumes, and the Festival space was carefully crafted, oozing charm, character and creativity.

The line-up was bursting at the seams with Brightonian talent (and rightly so) with talks, magicians, poetry and cabaret alongside the music.  There was a prevalence of large and danceable ensembles such as Carnival Collective and Kalakuta Millionaires and this was contrasted with chill-out cinemas open until the early hours.

Notable performances came from The Correspondents,¬†(check out ‘What’s happened to Soho?’)¬†and Skinny Lister, with the absolute highlight being the electrifying and energetic set from improvisational 2-piece AK-DK.

AK-DK use looping and all sorts of corgs and keyboards-connected-to-several-pedals-technology as a backdrop to a drum kit for each of them.  This experimental approach in which they invite musically talented friends to join them on stage is risqué and could be potentially wanky.  Yet, their down-to earth, warm interaction with the audience and with each other, alongside their incredible improvisational talent made the performance.  Particularly impressive was when they were joined by vocalist Bunty who performed solo at the Festival also.

For me, Playgroup put the emphasis on making your own Festival experience.  Much as the name suggests, Playgroup set an environment in which to be free, to relax and to play.  There were instruments, there were dressing up boxes and there were competitions.

Playgroup Festival is an ideal outlet for Brighton’s creativity!

For those in Canterbury this weekend, there’s a free Festival in the Dane John Gardens from midday. ¬†For more details click¬†here.

Next one for me is going to be Festibelly¬†in the New Forest. ¬†Am particularly looking forward to Mercury-nominated Ghostpoet¬†(he’s playing in B-town tomorrow night too.) ¬†Headlining are New Young Pony Club, woop woo!

Finally, apologies for lack of pix but I went for the disposable camera this time, and didn’t produce anything worth putting on the blog. ¬†However, Playgroup Festival’s Facebook group has plenty of offerings here.

Until next time…

Miss B x