Tomorrow I’m off to End of the Road, a smallish music festival near Salisbury (just below the Sixpenny Hadley Brewery which I hope to visit at last. This annual festival is the only one I visit, and is usually one of the year’s highlights. This will be the first year I’m going on my own (boys grew bored), so I have the easiest possible tent to put up.
The musical line-up is very varied, and I go to hear new bands rather than for the draw of the headliner. Over the years they have had some names familiar to the average music fan (Fleet Foxes, Patti Smith, David Byrne), but EotR act gives decent set-times to musicians rarely elsewhere on the Festival circuit. A fair percentage of the bill will be American, with a scattering of Scandinavian weird pop a feature.
The setting, at Larmer Gardens, is beautiful in late Summer, with grounds patrolled by peacocks and gorgeous illuminated woods. If that makes it sounds twee, it really isn’t. The organisers don’t try too hard to be clever, and the film and comedy programmes cater for mainstream as well as cult interests.
Where EotR scores most highly is it’s food and beer lists. I would be happy to attend for a weekend just to eat and drink there while reading a book or walking the grounds. The care taken in selecting beers is evident; last year’s offerings from Milk Street, Downton, Six Penny etc avoided the daft names and presented beer as well kept as in any local pub, at less than £4 a pint. Only the plastic glasses could be criticised.
All that’s left now is to hope for a few dry days and very few chatterers turning up; people who talk continuously through the music are few at EotR.