Orfest 2008, 26th July

Orwell's Inaugural Music Festival, showcasing local musical talent. Held in the Clunch Pit

The following article, written by Emma Grant, originally appeared in the September 2008 edition of the Orwell Bulletin

Orwell's First Music Festival 

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Orfest 2008, 26th July' page
Saturday 26th July 2008 saw Orwell's first ever music festival – Orfest. Sixteen acts including musicians, singers and bands from in and around the village joined forces to produce an eclectic mix of music from blues and salsa to rock and folk. The inaugural event was part-funded by an Awards For All lottery grant and was held in Orwell's own natural amphitheatre and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the Clunch Pit.

more than 450 were present

Orwell Football Club was given the opportunity of running the Clunch Pit BBQ, an annual event that has been held in Orwell for many years. We (Phil and Emma Grant, Chris and Tim Haynes and Jamie and Emma Fewster) used this opportunity to launch an idea called Orfest (conceived one drunken evening in the Chequers, if the truth be known,) a musical festival which would support and celebrate local musical talent in the village and bring together villagers. More than 450 people, mostly Orwell residents, were present at the event and people of all ages and walks of life joined in the celebrations and carnival atmosphere which went on all afternoon and into the early evening.

Local Bands, plus individuals each performing one song

Local bands performing sets at the festival were: Impromptu, Descargo Caribe, Life & Soul, Jane & Alex, Elizabeth Francis, Blue Yonder, Blanco, Common Courtney and Slinky Boy Wonder. In addition, slots were provided in the running order showcasing Orwell's own musical “Talent”. These brave individuals and groups ranged from fourteen to seventy years old and they were given the opportunity to perform one song each in front of the crowd.

Talents included – The Orwell Singers, Monica Grant, Sue Cooper, Iona Oughton, Sticky Back Plastic, Stefan Taylor, Gemma Burge and James Bloor and Charlie Martin.


Photo:The brains (and brawn) behind Orfest

The brains (and brawn) behind Orfest

So what was our inspiration you may ask? First and foremost, the Football Club wanted to raise some funds to keep it going and secondly, to start a junior team providing an opportunity for boys and girls to play locally and bring on younger players for the future of the club. We also thought that a musical festival would be a great idea to engage all different groups in the village, break down social barriers, and celebrate some of the great local musical talent that we have here. The two ideas came together and Orfest was born.

huge success, raising more than £2,000

Orfest was a huge success, raising more than £2000 from which donations have been made to the Clunch Pit Management Trust, ORCA and Orwell Football Club. The donation to ORCA was for netball hoops, posts and bibs etc, to encourage more women and girls to participate in a more diverse range of sports on the MUGA. The Football Club will use the funds on an ongoing basis to fund the club and the juniors team which already has around a dozen young people signed up aged 11 and under.

Thanks to all the volunteers

Photo:Can you smell the BBQ?

Can you smell the BBQ?

The Orfest team would like to thank all the volunteers involved in helping on the day – a very hot day to be stood on gates, behind BBQs, painting faces, coordinating bands and serving everyone else drinks on the bar, not to mention all those who worked behind the scenes providing much-needed support setting up and taking down and making good the site after the event – a massive thank you to one and all. In particular, we would like to extend special thanks to Vicky Boddy, Nick Cregan from Stage Struck, Mark Wilsher from Set Up Scenery, Chris & Tim Haynes (C&T's hot stuff BBQ) and Simon Drake (Emma's brother, honorary resident and bar-man extraordinaire). We'd also like to thank all of the sponsors and supporters: Supreme Being, Cambridge Building Society, Awards for All, Red Back Design and Volac.

And most importantly thank you to everyone who came along to the event and supported the amazing talent we have in the village.

Until next time.....

Emma Grant

Click on the photos below to enlarge them.

Photo:Orwell singer Gemma Burge

Orwell singer Gemma Burge

Photo:Sue Cooper

Sue Cooper

Photo:Vicki Hawkins & friend

Vicki Hawkins & friend

Photo:The buffet

The buffet

Photo:Charlie Cooke

Charlie Cooke

Photo:Future stars?

Future stars?

This page was added by Martin Grigor on 17/02/2013.

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