Come rain or shine, the friendly local ethos is at the forefront of everything.
Saturday begins with another gentle pattering of rain, although the majority of the crowd brave it thanks to a delicious breakfast which also aids any weary heads from the night before.
After some light afternoon campsite beers, I head over to the mainstage to make the most of a brief spell of sunshine. The Idol Rich are going all out, delivering tunes with a striking similarity to Jack White or Royal Blood. Hidden amongst their blues heavy riffs come gripping melodies and their set brings smiles to many faces, even getting a few up and truly going for it themselves.
The day brings many local gems; solo artist Lee Rahn instantly silences his crowd with a one of a kind voice. Humble and appreciative, his standout song is a cover of Robin Frederick’s ‘Sandy Grey’, which I feel is given a new life. Others who impress are Swampgrass with their jazz and funk tones and Mr Keep Calm, both of whom are on the ball technically and introduce some welcome movement into the audience.
After a pit stop for some more of that excellent locally sourced food, I was eager to see Smerins Anti Social Club but headed over to find that they’d cancelled. Luckily my sadness turned to elation as the replacement was Bristol’s very own Goan Dogs. They have a better crowd than their original set the day before and the silky desert-style jams are more than welcome. They manage to animate the audience, after all Goan Dogs bare tracks that are very easy to get lost in. Their setlist focusses on the much loved ’20 Minutes From The Border’ EP, which certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Although feeling that set couldn’t really be topped, Beans On Toast steps things up again, bringing his notorious humour and strong political views. He spends most of the show amongst the crowd and even on the shoulders of the audience. Standout track ‘I Can’t Get a Gig at Glastonbury’ really resonates with the festival crowd.
Melt Yourself Down had come on slightly later than expected, so I’m able to catch a brief slice of their set. As a fan I can overlook the odd sound issue, and hold a beaming smile all the way to the end. I then catch a bit of UKID, who won their set at a local competition held at The Red Brick Building in Glastonbury. Needless to say they hit the spot, bringing together an urgent mix of metal and dance they shine in the live environment.
The night beckons and so we head for the numerous bars. The site always seems to busy up as the sun goes down and for me it’s the perfect antidote to the somewhat lazy day.
Highlighting three standout acts this year it would be Goan Dogs, Public Service Broadcasting and Beans On Toast. In essence though, Farmfest is about much more than just the music. Come rain or shine, the friendly local ethos is at the forefront of everything. It’s as warming and as likeable as their barnyard-laden branding. I’d urge you to join in next year.
Check out some Goan Dogs right here: