Jocktoberfest 2019 – preview

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JocktoberFest 2019 – A preview big on memories, short on facts:

Hello there all. Unlike my fellow castaways who washed up here at TheNettle, I didn’t get to Belladrum (Note – it’s an ‘Under The Sea’ theme for JocktoberFest this year. I’m going to milk the thematic wordplay out of that until I get sick of it – fair warning).

Bella a lovely festival. A piece of wonder – everyone agrees. However, not having a pirate’s hoard at my disposal last month, I had to sit it out, Otis Redding style. This is a strange way to start a review on an entirely different festival, with an entirely different feel – I do realise this. However, as Belladrum is probably sitting fresh in the minds of many, it is a good counterpoint to show both what J’Fest is, and what it is not. And as I missed Bella because of the vast amounts of money required to both get there and eat and drink there, the first points of comparison go very clearly to those putting on the show at the Black Isle Brewery, for the pure fact of being able to afford to get there. At about ¼ of the price, I’m not only getting there, I’m planning to indulge (in an adult and responsible way, naturally) in the other good things of the festival.

Some of these things are in the realms of the Gods. That it is ‘under the sea’ as a theme, I hope that they haven’t piqued the interest of Poseidon – there’s been a blissful run of quite unseasonably fucking fantastic weather at JocktoberFest the last few years, and I’m hoping that this continues, and is not feeling under the sea in either the campsite or the staged areas. There’s a whole heap of straw they inevitably put around, but here’s hoping it doesn’t need to soak up the mud and the rain, and that the sunshiney goodness run of the last few years continues.

Of the things that can be controlled, they do it well. As a brewery, they have both the opportunity as well as a good knack of trialling a range of their experimental and upcoming beers on the punters. I was more than happy about that last year, although what I thought was the pick of the bunch (Brown Bear Ale, from memory) never made it into the pubs, so maybe there’s more going on in that calculus than I know. If you are from the Brewery and thinking of putting this beer back on this year – please do. I shall ensure (in an adult and responsible way) that it is a profitable decision…

Anyway, the beers are good. The music is good. The food is good. I have missed out on the lamb the last 2 years, so have another suggestion while I have the chance – if your gonna kill one sheep for the pleasure of the bloodthirsty mob, why not another? Twice the profit, twice the greasy joy on the lips of the paying public. We could even sacrifice them in the name of Poseidon in the hope He keeps the waters at bay. Mmmm, sacrilicious!

When it comes down to it, JocktoberFest boils down to a few simple things. A small festival where you get characters at play. People you know, and people you bump into enough times in the small space that you get a chance to know them if ya wanna. The dressing up thing is always a thing which is taken on board by a good % of the crowd as well, so besides being hilarious and creatively inventive, it is also a good angle to start up a chat if you’re that was inclined. Which many seem to be at this festival which is all about the snug comfy closeness of it all.

In terms of music, I can honestly say I haven’t much paid attention yet. However, I’ve perused Fremsley’s useful, short rundown and have a few options now to start thinking about.

All you really need to know is that they focus on local as well as up-and-coming acts. The festival gives them a chance to perform in front of a decent, happy, swing-along-into-it crowd. What this means for the most part is that the crowd gee-up the bands, the bands who are having an opportunity gee-up the crowd, and it is a lovely rising tide of good times there right at your fingertips, should you choose to be down in the stage area. You might just as easily be soaking in the sun and atmosphere up at your tent, or knee-deep talking intense bollocks to someone for the sheer joy if it. These things all happen at J’Fest.

If you’re inclined to angle towards the bands, you might not know all of them unless you’re a die-hard music aficionado, but it really doesn’t matter. It is a festival in which to explore such things. To try new bands, check them out, enjoy them if you do, wander off if you don’t or go and lie in the sun near your tent just as likely as well, full of good food, good drink, and those warm fuzzy feelings that primary school teachers like to talk about. I’m hoping to get to see some new bands and become a fan of some of them, but if I don’t then I know I’m still going be loving JocktoberFest for the other bits of goodness floating around.

If you’re inclined towards such things, as all at The Nettle are, then head along. There’s gonna be at least one thing there that’ll make you happy you did.

  • Cornwallace.


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