With a band called Scorched Flesh on the line-up the weather just had to be fine and so it turned out for this year’s TwangFest. 650 paying customers came through the gate and when added to performers, guests and volunteers around 800 attended through the day.
Event lead Martyn Page is delighted. He said ‘the atmosphere on site from start to finish was amazing and all who came should take a pat on the back for that. Everyone who said they would perform a support role delivered. It really was a great community effort and made the months of planning all worth while’.
Across the day, 17 bands performed across the 2 stages. Many had local representation and several of the younger bands have strong links to Testbourne School which speaks highly of the Arts Performance team at the school.
Opening act Red Flag got the gathering crowd in the mood with their rocking rifts. And locals The Plastix rocked out the theatre stage, with the crowd demanding an encore. Heavy metal band Mr Temper fulfilled their prediction of blowing their PA’s stack: twice their roaring blast blew the fuses and left the drummer to keep the beat while power was restored – for the trouble, the crowd was treated to the muted song ‘Scream’ again.
Bands traveled from as far a field as Exeter (the amazing Le Chat Noir) and Brighton (rapper Tricky Mickey). Their biggest challenge was to press gang an audience as most of the crowd were content to just relax outside and take in the Open Mic stage which again was a measure of the amount of talent we have in the area.
As is tradition the event ended with a polished tribute act, this year in the guise of Queen B. ‘Freddie’ had the crowd in their hands from the first number to the last, with Radio Ga Ga getting a frenzied response.
Children were well catered for with a huge inflatable slide and a bouncy-caste-obstace-course, plus there were stands selling candy-floss, drinks and competitions for mystery prizes. A chillout tent serving tea, coffee (and beer) proved a relaxing place to be on this musical sunny afternoon. The local Whitchurch Festival had a stand that made a brisk trade in tasty hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks. Inside the sports hall, at Stage Right, local restaurant Blue Ginger set up shop for takeaways.
Amazingly the volunteers all turned up again the day after to dismantle for another year. Even a couple of the bands who had camped over helped-out out of appreciation of the good time they had had – praise indeed! Any feed back on the event while still fresh in the mind is welcome via www.twangfest.co.uk. Otherwise see you next year!