Dear Watchet Festival, You Ruined Me.


No bank holiday weekend is complete without a wonderful array of music and frolicks, this year it was provided by the glorious Watchet Festival. As virgin Watchet goers we were unsure what to expect but with our friend Bob Gallie and local country darlings Square One playing, tickets were purchased without hesitation. Over the course of a few months, we watched and waited to see who else would be gracing the stages. The likes of The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican, The Leylines, Scouting For Girls, Hazel O’ Connor were amongst the many names to catch my eye as well as the fact we could sample many, many pints from the Mallet’s Cider Bar – Which I did rather successfully. As the weekend approaches I take great pride in the fact I am the most prepared I have ever been for a festival. We haven’t had to borrow anything, buy anything or quickly make anything. Tent, stove, blow up beds and beer was all prepared and ready in our rather cool festival trolley. I had my plan for who I wanted to see already. Doonicans obviously, Leylines a must, Hazel the 80s legend O’Connor absolute yes, and Mel C because no matter how much I may not enjoy The Spice Girls that much I am still a 90s child and 8 year old me needed this moment. Stick to the plan, just stick to the plan. 


 Friday morning, rain, no problem, we don’t like the sunshine anyway. Tent is up with minimal fuss or arguments, the clear benefits of having a tent which just pops right up. Absolute bargain. Now for the starter, rum and lemonade, it may only be 11am but in festival land, time does not exist (Unless it’s to be at a stage). Stick to the plan, just stick to the plan. This was until we made our way to the ‘Something Else Tea Tent’. With only couple hours until the Doonican uprising over at the ‘Udder Stage’, we had time to kill. Without any hesitation, without any discussion, this is where the plan was thrown well and truly out of the window. We had found a new paradise. Boozy coffee, poetry and the chance to share with like minded people. We stayed for hours … until Doonicans, wasn’t missing that my friends. Many people don’t know this about me but I like to dabble in poetry. I don’t share it very often if at all, only a select few I have been brave enough to share it with. So when the chance came for me to write an anti Trump poem, well I couldn’t possibly miss the opportunity. I felt like this was the perfect place to share. No judgement, no worry, just creative people. So I wrote one, I gave it to the wonderful MC, I wasn’t quite brave enough to read it out myself no matter how much Paige forced me to. But something I had written was read for people to hear. They enjoyed it. This is how we started the weekend. On an absolute high. Over the course of 2.5 hours we witnessed some wonderfully brilliant human beings sharing their heart and soul. A poet with tourettes who completely blew my mind, I can’t remember her name, I am sorry, but if you ever see this, I adore you. We laughed, we cried, we drank our way through the cider. It was pure bliss. I must find more places like this. The Something Else Tea Tent … A blessing. 

Ok so less of the sentiments now and straight to the point, I have a list of other people who also made my absolute weekend … 

The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican

The Leylines

Bob Gallie 

Square One

Hazel O’ Connor

Every gorgeous soul in the Something Else Tea Tent! 

And of course my gorgeous lady Paige. 

I couldn’t tell you exactly why each of these people made the weekend, music is a special gift, one that each of them have given me. Being able to sing, dance and hold up signs (Picture below), and have a smile on my face is what gets me through the day. Music is an escape for many people, so a whole weekend of amazing music is just what the Doctor ordered. Humour from the Doonicans, foot stompin’ from The Leylines, some soul from Bob Gallie and preaching to my inner 80s child is Hazel. I needed this, we needed this, a whole host of other people needed this. 


So thank you to the team, the volunteers and musicians who put together such an amazing weekend. I was right, Watchet did ruin me but I will do it over and over again until the Festival ends. Please remember to support grassroots music, support your local music scene, support those unsigned bands. They mean so much to many people, support them. 


    • Fiona Payne on September 5, 2018 at 7:08 AM
    • Reply

    The young lady with tourettes is my daughter Deanna. Or Twitch to her friends! Thank you for your lovely comment I’ll pass this link to her. Fiona Payne 😁

    1. That is amazing, thank you! Please do tell her how much I enjoyed hearing her poetry. x

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