There’s no doubt that we all enjoyed Country 2 Country, and if you follow me on Twitter You’ll have seen me doing a countdown to next year’s event. However, there’s no need to think that you have to wait a whole year for another weekend of country music, not when we have Maverick Festival coming in July. Billed as the best on roots music, and often referred to as a weekend of Americana, in a world where lines between genres are blurred, there’s country music, and some of the best at that.
Held over the Friday to Sunday, July 4th-6th, Maverick Festival has just recently announced that Holly Williams will be appearing. Yes, that same Holly Williams, the granddaughter of Hank Williams, Sr. who released her third album, The Highway, last year. It was that album that put Holly Williams on my radar and ever since hearing it I’ve wanted to see her live, and now I can, at Easton Farm Park in Suffolk.
Let’s be honest, Holly is worth the price of admission alone, but that’s not all you get, oh no, not by a long shot. Ward Thomas may be a name you’ve heard quite a bit recently, as this is the band name that twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy go by. First they played the pop up stages at Country 2 Country, then they were interviewed by Terry Wogan on Radio 2, and their music played, and now they are playing gigs over in Nashville while their EP is released this coming Sunday. One more thing, they are absolutely fantastic! Go over to iTunes and spend the best £1.79 you will in quite some time.
Larkin Poe are absolutely perfect for the Maverick Festival with their enchanting mix of folk and Americana. I have a friend who has waxed lyrical about them for years, and it was him who introduced them to me. In fact it’s with him that I’ll be seeing them the week before Maverick in a place called Chipping Ongar, where the venue is called Ongar Zinc Arts Centre – so Larkin Poe! So yes, another world class act appearing in Surrey at this great festival. I can’t talk about Larkin Poe without mentioning Astrid, who is a one woman Larkin Poe Twitter street team, and a great job she does too.
That’s just three of the acts announced, there’s also the legendary Mary Gauthier and whole load more that you can see here. As if the talent on show wasn’t enough, I think the most remarkable thing about Maverick Festival is that it will cost you just £75 for the whole 3 day extravaganza, and that includes camping on the Friday and Saturday nights.
Bear in mind the music is just one part of the weekend, as there is also comedy, dance, film & workshops. There are five stages stages, indoors and out, which includes the brand new out-door Sweet Home Alabama stage, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a great name for a stage! So we have music, we have more, but what about food – it’s going to be hungry work going from stage to stage, watching amazing acts and taking in all that is on offer, so what can I eat? I’m not going to even try to paraphrase what Maverick Festival have said themselves, so take a read of this:
Featuring a spacious camp site, bell tent meadow and tipi village, and a carefully selected range of delicious food stands catering to meat-eaters and vegetarians alike with pizza, paella & pasta, Mexican chili, duck pancakes & crepes, hog-roast and hand-made hamburgers, cupcakes & gourmet milk shakes, all washed down with freshly squeezed lemonade & freshly ground coffee, local Suffolk cider and a selection of award-winning regional ales, wine & lager.
They had me at paella, but throw in duck pancakes and a splash of lager and I may never want to leave. Three Chords and the Truth, on last year’s festival, said the sixth Maverick Festival once again turned Easton Farm Park into a little piece of Americana nirvana, while Life Is A Festival said Everyone on the farm that weekend was there to listen to some kick-ass music. No matter what style you liked best, the bands were giving their all, we met plenty of friendly Americana-loving folks and the festival was intimate enough to have chats with some of the musicians over a coffee. I don’t know about you but I think that makes it sound like the most appealing weekend of music, and more, that I’ve possibly ever encountered. It’s in July too, so there’s a half decent chance of good weather, but don’t quote me on that – crazy things happen in the skies these days.
In the weeks leading up to Maverick Festival I am going to do my homework on a lot of the acts I don’t know, as much like Country 2 Country, as soon as the schedule is revealed, I’m going to need a game plan. Head over to the website and take a look for yourself, then book your ticket and I’ll see you there, First pancake is on me!