Fowey Fringe Festival 2008 : 15th-18th May 2008

Another one down!

So the second Fowey Fringe Festival came to a close last night with the triumphant return of the AC Cobras playing to much adulation in the King of Prussia. Throughout the day bands had been celebrating the return of sunshine at pubs and other venues all over Fowey.

We have to extend a huge "Thank you!" to all of the performers and venues who took part in 2008, and we hope to have you all back for more of the same in 2009!

There may not be will be a main Du Maurier Festival (it will run between Thursday 7th to Saturday 16th May 2009, inclusive) for us to be a "Fringe" to next year, but it seems that there is enough desire on the parts of musicians, performers, audiences and venues to ensure that something happens in 2009... watch this space!

We've also been asked about the possibility of mini-Fringes, perhaps just one-off events throughout the year to encourage local music... let us know if you're interested and we'll see what we can do. There has also been talk of weekly live music in Fowey, say every Friday night, so that at the end of the working week, people can come to Fowey knowing they can just turn up and see live performances in the pubs, restaurants and hotels. There is no doubt that many performers would much rather give a live performance to a live audience than endless practising. Whether you are a performer or just interested in the idea, do get in touch:

Fowey Fringe Festival 2008 - Signing off

It's all over...

It all kicked off with Sarah McQuaid at the Fowey Hotel on Thursday and Will Coleman showing us some of his Cornish Shorts in the Gallants. Sarah was really well received, both at The Fowey Hotel, and later at The Russell in Polruan where she teamed up with All Folked Up and went back to her Irish roots. The Tribute Band had warmed up the audience there. Later in the evening, the pub was packed, leading to dancing on the streets! Will Coleman's film shorts were extremely well appreciated by the capacity audience. Mischievous Undergarments wowed their audience, as did Choughed to Bits and Kickin' Chicken. Howling Coyote served up his unique style of guitar playing and song at the Red Herring to a very appreciative audience.

Friday night was amazing. I thought I had seen it all, until I attended the Skwardya gig at The Fowey Hotel. I never thought I would see a band playing 'Just want to dance the night away' (a hit for the Mavericks in the 80's) in Cornish! Even more strange was to see the residents enjoying the rendition so much they were line dancing to it!! They then did the Beatles 'Eight days a week', also in Cornish - very unusual and highly entertaining. The audience was regally entertained by these polished musicinas. The marching bands were a bit stymied by the weather on Friday night, so the programme was changed at the last minute. Town Quay was full of sound as Crowders, playing their fiddles etc. started off the evening, to be joined by the Samba Band, then the Cornish Marching Band. When we were doing the bookings, we had been sent a demo CD by a band called Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Their music sounded very different to anything we had heard before, but we thought they might well work at The Ship. It is no exaggeration to say that is was probably the highlight so far. The audience reaction to Julian Gaskells high energy playing was fantastic. They had the whole place dancing, jumping around and begging for more. They played until well after midnight. They will definitely be on our wish list for 2009.

Elowen was a great success in 2007, and again this year. They are such a talented group of musicians. If you missed them, they will be playing at The Safe Harbour on Sunday at 8pm. Another star of 2007 was Brian Stevens, and we are thrilled to have him back this year. On Friday he played at the King of Prussia, and then later at The Russell. Tonight (Saturday) he plays at The Ship at 8pm. Clive Blake, see the notes below, is an accomplished poet who will be performing at The Red Herring Saturday at 8pm. On Town Quay, if you like a swashbuckling performance by some of the best live musicians in the area, come and listed to The Gumbo Flyers.

Caracana starts the day off for us at 1pm on Town Quay, and again at Gallants at 4pm. Lost in Space are performing at The Galleon tonight, Kim Guy (from Elowen) is at the Toll Bar at 6pm, and The Tribute Band, extremely talented guitarists, will be playing at The Fowey Hotel at 6.30. On top of all the acts we know about, there is every chance of other musicians just turning up in the hope of finding a venue, so wherever you are, you are likely to see something spontaneous happen.

Saturday was filled with incredible music. After 3 days, it was great to keep bumping into people who were sharing their experiences of the Fringe - hearing people saying things like - 'you should have been at ***** the band was fantastic'. Sometimes we heard about things happening that we had no idea were going to happen. The weather took its toll over the weekend, meaning that some events had to be moved indoors, but the show did go on. On Saturday night, every room in the Fowey hotels were full, so it does seem that the Fringe is here to stay. Unfortunately, on Sunday we had some last minute cancellations due to sore throats, but the Caracana and Keski entertained to a very high standard. Clive Blake's poetry was very well received at the Old Quay House. We have met with several people over the last 3 days who know about other bands and performers who will probably be with us next year. We will endeavour to keep the site up-to-date so you can be aware of our plans for 2009. Must away now - off to see the last act of 2008, AC Cobra's at the King of Prussia.

Check out the Programme for a complete list of what happened this year!

We'll be updating the site through out the Fringe with photos and hopefully videos of some of the events - feel free to email with any photos or stories you want to share!

Line-up Announced!

Whilst it's almost still changing on an almost hourly basis, we at last have an official schedule up on the Programme page - check it out and be sure to check back here for the latest updates!

Fowey Fringe Festival 2008

Now in its second year, the Fowey Fringe Festival has already established a superb reputation as the very best place to be to see incredible live performance at some of Fowey’s most wonderful locations.

Rather than having to buy tickets to see someone perform in a marquee, these events are much more intimate, with performers coming to play the pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants of Fowey purely for the love of doing so. None of them are paid, relying instead on public generosity.

Choughed to Bits playing last year

You might catch an ageing rocker playing an acoustic guitar, or possibly someone playing in public for the very first time. If you are lucky, you will see spontaneous performances of bands who have spent years practicising, possibly being joined by musicians from other bands together making quite unique sounds.

You could well find that your meal at a hotel is added to by a poet reading his or her own poetry. You will almost certainly hear Cornish bagpipes being played, see Cornish short films (at Fowey Gallants on Thursday 15th May at 6.30pm), hear musicians playing as they cross the river to perform in Polruan.

As none of the performers are paid, we cannot guarantee a programme. What we suggest is that you visit for the latest updates, or come during the day or night from 15th to 18th May 2008 and keep your fingers crossed to be in the right place at the right time.

The following venues are being used this year: Fowey Gallants, The Old Quay House, The Ship, The Galleon, Town Quay, The Toll Bar, Red Herring, Fowey Hotel, The Safe Harbour, The Russell in Polruan... and maybe other venues too!

How it all started: Fowey Fringe Festival 2007

If you remember it, you weren't there! Well, to jog those memories, and to find out more about how it all started, why not catch up with the website from last year, including lots of photos from the events:

Fowey Fringe Festival 2007

Many thanks to all this years sponsors: May, Whetter & Grose, Hobgoblin Music, The Fowey Hotel, The King of Prussia and The Ship Inn

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Pictures and videos appearing as it happens... watch this space!