Wilkswood Farm

A BUMPER crowd enjoyed three days of folksy fun at the sixth Purbeck Folk Festival over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Five stages hosted an incredible mix of musical styles and everywhere you looked there was something to see or do, everywhere was teeming with colour and life and everyone looked so chilled out and contented.

Attending on my own with a six-year-old didn’t give me a lot of time to stand still absorbing the music on offer, but brief glimpses of the bands showed how varied and wonderful they were.

There were soloists plucking wistfully at guitars, raucous large line-ups and shanty singers. If you couldn’t find something to tickle your fancy at any one time you haven’t got a soul.

We watched Wikkaman, a quintet of Dorset-bred musicians and vocalists, as they told stories through their music, managing to captivate their audience, old and young.

A pair of musicians played a wonderfully kid-friendly set, getting us all up and dancing about, and one person I spoke to said the highlights for them had been Caravan of Thieves and last year’s Purbeck Rising winners Big Tent and the Gypsy Lantern, who had really drawn their audience in.

The range of activities, things to see and places to eat was even wider this year, with the festival’s tents offering crafts, rope and bunting instruction, two storytellers, a cinema and workshops in yoga, pilates and meditation. There were even tiny entrepreneurs offering loom bands for 50p from rival trading posts.

There was also a beer festival, a poetry competition and the annual Beard Off, plus a fancy dress parade on the Saturday.

We also enjoyed so many lovely foods from all over the world, and came home with a drum - heaven help me.

For the ticket price - £100 for adults, £50 for 12-18-year-olds and £20 for 4-12-year-olds, including four nights’ camping on the farm in Lytchett Matravers - it’s amazing value, and the perfect size to be able to see it all.

I just wish I could do it all over again.