…or rather Panda-monium!
Rugby shirts were flung in the air for James Haskell, lead singers danced with the festival panda on stage and the crowd chanted loudly - for when he said ‘Tinchy’, they sure said ‘Stryder’!
On the 8th and 9th of July, PandaFest 2022 momentarily swapped the usual whispers on the wind that whistle through the Lanivet countryside to base on the breeze and the sound of cheering festival goers, a wide range of local musicians and some incredible acts from all over the country emanated from the fields at Manor Mead.
Bodmin Life spoke to musicians, festival fans and stall holders and some of the words that were used to describe PandaFest were ‘Community’, ‘Intimate’, ‘Sunny’ and ‘Buzzing’! These four words alone perfectly describe PandaFest 2022.
One of PandaFest’s co-organisers, Jordan Collins spoke to Bodmin Life earlier this month and was keen to stress how important ‘community’ is to PandaFest. Jordan told Bodmin Life that PandaFest’s aim is, “…to be that one local event that is in everybody’s calendar.” Their desire to appeal and reach the community was reflected in the stalls and food vans that were booked for the occasion.
KBSK, Bodmin’s very own performing arts CIC run by Adie Dove brought so much energy, joy AND bubbles to the sunny day-time activities! The KBSK teachers and volunteers ran workshops and their talented group of young people performed slick dance routines throughout the festival.
On the Saturday, these incredible performers danced on the main stage and KBSK performer, Megan Hendry also gave a notable and impressive singing performance! No doubt she will be back one day as a booked act!
Bodmin’s incredible Polyrhythm also had a tent that displayed lots of different instruments from their music library! They encouraged festival goers to join in their jam sessions and try their instruments, supporting them with spontaneous free lessons. Suddenly those that came to enjoy music were playing music, thanks to Colette DeGiovanni and her talented team.
Other stalls included Plastic Free Bodmin who were promoting their work as they aim to make Bodmin a Plastic Free Community as part of the Surfers Against Sewage initiative. They were suitably positioned next to Cornwall Mind who had brought with them a rather beautiful mermaid!
By including these community groups PandaFest provided the local community and young people attending a chance to explore some of the creative opportunities and organisations Bodmin has to offer.
On ‘The Jungle’ stage on Saturday at 17:00 Jack Britten played his set to a growing audience. Jack was a confident and professional performer and definitely one to watch out for! Get your signed T-shirts now!
Bodmin Life caught up with Jack and asked for his one word to describe PandaFest and he chose ‘Intimate’. It was a great choice!
Each band and performer had a close and friendly relationship with their crowds. Incredible performer and a Glastonbury favourite Beans on Toast was barefoot on the grass with his audience, ducking under selfie hunters as he sang, Rotten Mango were fleeing local super fans and Jack got an extra applause when his sister, Sammy joined him with a saxophone solo on stage. Jack may be a self-professed ‘heartbroke romantic’ but this was a heart-warming performance.
However, BBC introducing south and west favourites, Ferris and Sylvester may have to win the most heart-warming act as they performed an incredible set full of energy, crowd work and close harmonies while Issy Ferris carries their soon-to-be newest little band member!
Bodmin Life also found out that Lanivet local, Jim Moores was excited to discover his music hero was playing with their latest band, William the Conqueror. Jim Moores has followed the music of Raurri Joseph, now lead singer of William the Conqueror, for many years and carries an old set list of Raurri’s old band, Grey Dog, in his wallet. Raurri kindly met with Jim and Bodmin Life and he was touched to see the old set list which turned out to hold great sentimental value to him.
This was an intimate festival at its finest!
The sun certainly shined on PandaFest, so it’s a good job that they encouraged refillable water bottles at their ‘no single use plastic’ festival and the Rooster Rojo Tequila slushies were certainly a welcome refreshment to those that were drinking!
Blue skies met green fields and provided the perfect backdrop for the main stage on Friday, when the wonderful Bailey Tomkinson began her set. It’s rather lovely that Bailey chose ‘Sunny’ as her word to describe PandaFest, for as a performer and as a person she just exudes sunshine!
Bodmin Life were particularly keen to catch up with Bailey after her fantastic performance earlier this year at The Old Library and Bailey told Bodmin Life, “It is great to be back in Bodmin performing!” As a singer/songwriter from St Ives, Bailey’s music is certainly the sound of summer on the beach and she was a real PandFaest highlight!
If you’re a local that pops to the quiz night at The Hive, you will know Laura Mac! Bodmin Life found Laura with Rewind Cornwall, Cornwall and West Devon’s newest radio station and Laura and her team chose the word ‘Buzzing’ to describe PandaFest 2022.
There was a great atmosphere, but it was certainly ‘Buzzing’ in more ways than one as the organisers had some unexpected attendees, or should I say atten-bees that arrived Saturday morning. A charming temporary hive and cordoned off area near the entrance of the festival was made to accommodate some stray bees who hovered in harmony with the festival goers!
Every performer and band were awesome and helped to create the festival buzz and vibe and there were some particularly great performances from Hanterhir, Off the Lights, DM Street and Marthagunn and James Haskell was a real after dark favourite at The Jungle stage.
However, the real buzz came from the hyped-up crowd, full of energy, ready for the festival’s headliner Tinchy Stryder! The PandaFest panda danced with the crowd until the field was tightly packed and the crowd whooped, chanted and cheered when Tinchy Stryder strode across the stage!
The moon peered down on children playing on the PandaFest sign and lights danced across the main stage like the northern lights as Tinchy Stryder’s classics filled a field in Lanivet!
Well done to the PandaFest team for bringing this incredible event into our community. Don’t miss out – pop PandaFest 2023 in your diary and grab your tickets now!