2016 Dorset Midsummer Music Festival (or DorsetFest) was held on Saturday 18th June at Warren Farm on the slopes of Bulbarrow Hill and was a resounding success
A record turnout of over 1,000 people visited this stunning Dorset setting spread out over a site that covered more than 20 acres to enjoy great music, fill up on delicious food, quench their thirst on a wide range of drinks and have a great family day with all the entertainment lined up.
The stages were set up in a natural amphitheatre on Bulbarrow Hill which ensured everyone had a great view of the acts and the best sound quality possible, as well as the beautiful views down the valley towards Hilton.
The deadlocked Devonians Lionstar, back from their tour of India, headlined the festival superbly, supported by a great range of music. This included a great blend of local acts such as Cheselbourne School, Ellie Timlin and St Mary’s Puddletown. There were also new up and coming acts such as Pelle Van Smith, Tapley and Stocker (who had just launched their first album) and the charismatic Toby de Kretser. In addition there were also a range of established acts for all musical tastes including Bare Knuckle Parade, Weymouth Ukeleleans, The Mighty Trumpet Company, Neil Cowley’s fabulous Mission Impossible band (including a guest appearance by Martha Saunders) and Eyes for Gertrude. “There was music for everyone to enjoy and it was great to see the audience up and dancing throughout the day” said Wendy Holden, organiser.
There was a wide range of fresh food from local business that included Thai with a twist (Noodle Head), pizza (Forno Pizza), hog roast and burgers (The Ansty Herd), baguettes (Billies Baguettes), crepes, fajitas, Antipasti (Olives et Al), New Forest ice cream (Super Scoops), coffee (Routes Coffee) and the ever popular homemade cream teas - “The best cream teas in the UK by far!” according to Martyn Callwood of Lionstar. Alongside the food, the drink stalls kept the party flowing well into the night, thanks to Sunny Republic beers, superb Langham English Sparkling wine, Pimms and cider bars. “As this is also a food festival, we wanted to ensure we provided a good range of high quality, local Dorset food and thanks to our stall-holders, the feedback from the day showed we delivered this with almost all of the stalls selling out” said Rachel Bywater, organiser.
Kids were kept fully entertained by the amazing Jamie Jigsaw’s version of multi-tasking (fire-eating whilst stilt-walking on a rolling barrel) alongside great circus skills workshops. The brave allowed themselves to be draped with an enormous boa constrictor or held a scorpion in the BugFest tent. Other family entertainment included a hula hoop workshop, storytelling with Tiggy, Indian head massages from Mellulah Therapy & Yoga Retreats, facepainting, henna tattoos and a variety of childrens games. “The feedback from the parents was that the kids had a great time in a safe environment, all for the price of a child’s ticket!” said Carol Hallam, organiser.
There were also a variety of stalls that held the interest of anyone who could drag themselves away from the brilliant music! These included handmade jewellery (Jillyflower Jewellery), handmade wool products (Dorset Wool), fresh produce (Dorset Riverford and Steeptonbill Farm) and much more.
As if that wasn’t enough, there was also free internet provided by Wessex Internet on the day.
To make the most of the festival there was also camping on site. No need to worry about getting home, just head back to your tent and wake up to the stunning view in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. To top it off, fresh bacon sandwiches were available from The Ansty Herd and fresh coffee from Routes Coffee to start the day in style.
With great music, tasty food, a wealth of family entertainment, great weather and a spectacular location – this was an idyllic weekend in the wilds of Dorset. On top of that it raised over £9,000 for the maintenance of three historic Churches of Cheselbourne, Hilton and Melcombe!
One quote on Facebook sums up the day - “Loved it! Great family entertainment. Already planning our camping arrangements for next year!”
We're looking to make 2017 bigger and better so watch this space for news, or like DorsetFest's Facebook Page
An overview of DorsetFest 2016
Lionstar Live at DorsetFest 2016
Some of the other acts who entertained us all at DorsetFest 2016
There was plenty to entertain the kids during the day at DorsetFest 2016
A great choice of food, drink and stalls at DorsetFest 2016
An extreme gatecrasher at DorsetFest 2016
Most importantly, everyone seemed to have a great time at DorsetFest 2016