A few reflections from my 7th End of the Road Festival in Dorset.  Or Salisbury, if you want to make people afraid to shake your hand.


Getting that campervan was our best ever investment, saving 43 hours queueing for showers and loos over the weekend.

Note Matt’s pup tent next to ours

Though dragging your tent over the stony path to the campsite, as we used to do, is no doubt character-building.

Keep going

Your sympathy for the lads and lasses lugging their trolley up the hill diminishes as you see that half their luggage is cans of Strongbow Fruits and Punk IPA.

The appeal of End of the Road for me is about 60% music, 20% food, 5% beer and 15% the site itself.  I’d knock off half an NBSS point for the healing tent, but I never found it.

Exploring the gardens (4.5/5) is worth a few hours of your time, either at 9am when you get to play “splat the badger”,

Massive fail Matt

or at night when it’s so pretty you could be in a small German town at Christmas.

Battering ram for entering Beavertown tent at night
Sunken gardens

Deep in the woods is a proper cinema where you can watch as many (18) rated weird German films as your brain allows you, or just get up early and watch “The Wrong Trousers” (5/5) on Friday morning with toddlers.

The music (4/5) is less about the headliners, more about discovering new artists I guess you’d stick under lazy labels like “Female singer/songwriter“Americana” “noisy pop” and “weird”. Like this;

Matt missed the Plastic Mermaids, and Julien Baker (my all-time greatest gig), but saw IDLES and Shame, the concession to the Kidz.

But Matt did make his way through most of the 24 food (5/5) vendors, munching about 19,000 calories worth of Thai, Mexican, Nepalese, Vietnamese, Indian, French, Morrocan, Japanese and Chippish over 4 days.

He left the filthy vegan cauliflower bites to me.


True CAMRA aficionados will no doubt have been following the drama of undercooked broccoli at the Great British Beer Festival; these were perfect.

More vegetables brought into music making action in the activity tent, which is maximum Guardian reader.

Musical vegetables

Which leaves the beer (4/5). I mentioned how good the cask was, and a couple of local breweries like Brew Shack got to promote their beers again.

Brew Shack

But the Beavertown (£6 a pint of Neck Oil, £5 a half of the strong stuff) edged the local stuff for me, as it costs more and is therefore better for you.

Black Betty

The crowd at End of the Road is about 40% 20-30, 35% over 50s, and 25% folk in the middle with small children.  I reckon the young lot were drinking as much cask as anyone.

Views on Beavertown post-Big Beer are illuminating.


Scandalously, no-one on that End of the Road seems interested in a return of the Ringwood Best I so enjoyed in 2011.


  1. Lovely part of the world.
    I first met the current Mrs Professor Pie-Tin in a pub about half an hour away from the campground.
    It was the end of the road for me alright.
    Wahaay !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “when you get to play “splat the badger”,”

    Before I saw the photo below I thought that was some sort of camping euphemism. 😉

    “Battering ram for entering Beavertown tent at night”

    I thought it was Brewdog’s latest gimmick.

    “Sunken gardens”


    “Musical vegetables”

    I thought that was the name of one of the headliners.

    “as it costs more and is therefore better for you.”

    Maybe for beer, but for food all of the experts have told us the cheaper it is the less nourishing.

    “Views on Beavertown post-Big Beer are illuminating.”

    A tad ironic seeing as how the complaint is from someone whose handle is ‘Anotherciderlife’. 🙂


    PS – “and watch “The Wrong Trousers” (5/)”

    Out of 10?

    Liked by 1 person

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