Thursday, 25 May 2017

First Day of the Festival

It's always a bit quiet on the first day of the Festival. It's Primary School Day on the Festival ground, so we see the coaches taking the children down there, while in town, the first Festival goers are starting to drift around and explore the bookshops.
There are various pop-up exhibitions in town. Where Chattels used to be, by the Buttermarket, is Out of the Blue Gallery, with art and driftwood sculpture - the driftwood used to be exhibited at Salem Chapel, where the Model Railway is now.
Just along from there, where the St David's Hospice shop used to be, there are ironwork fire-baskets and other similar things, very beautifully made. I think they were exhibiting their wares from a garden on Brecon Road last year - the oak leaf designs seem familiar.
Up at the castle, Billie Charity is exhibiting her photographs, along with Jasper Fforde (better known for his novels than his photos of amazing ceilings!) and Zoe's café, which opens tomorrow.
Down by the Festival site is The Orchard Canvas Village, with Fred's Yurts and Festivals under Canvas. They are having live music (I was given the poster by Toby Parker at last night's Baskerville Acoustic Session), from local musicians including Thomasin Tooey ('diddly-eye' traditional music on various flutes and whistles) , the Speed Gums (double bass and ukulele, if I recall correctly from their appearance at the Baskie), and more. There will also be fine dining under canvas at their pop-up restaurant. And massage!
There'll be more fine dining at the Marquee at the Fair in the Square over the weekend, in aid of the Refugee Community Kitchen and HOWLS. HOWLS have been asking for volunteers to help out. Meals there are £45 for a five course banquet.
And Jackie Morris will be the artist in residence at Booths Bookshop. She does gorgeous picture books, and has also done the book covers for Robin Hobb fantasy novels. Expect dragons and hawks and hares, and lots of gilding.

On the main Festival site, there will be a maquette of a proposed statue to the victims of war, to be erected at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. They have a website at, and are asking people to share their stories on Facebook and Twitter.

It's my day off tomorrow, so I'll be wandering round and seeing what else is going on round town and on the Festival site.

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