The 8th of July 2022 had arrived, and Pandafest was back with a vengeance. This year yielded some real diversity. From rock to rockabilly, skiffle to ska, and dub to club. Topped off with a sweet slice of trippy prog-rock, this bash certainly lived up to its promise of good music and good vibes. Two stages together with stalls, Rewind Radio satellite tent, burger bus and bar, all blessed with glorious sunshine...what could be better?
How about an opportunity to make music of your own?
Polyrhythm had this covered. Bodmin’s innovative music library had set up camp with their marquee in pole position near the main-stage with a truckload of guitars, amps, keyboards, drums, ukuleles and open mic-stands. More musical instruments than you could shake a stick at. Practically a replica of their HQ in Bodmin, transported here and staffed by our handful of enthusiastic local musicians. In-between the stage acts the Polyrhythm crew took up the baton... took up instruments and played short medleys of popular songs to festival goers milling around the side attractions, generating interest.
A teenager still buzzing from her dance troupe performance decided she wasn’t yet done. In she came and took up a microphone. Garry cued the track, and the youngster delighted the gathering as she sang her solo. As more onlookers dropped by, it wasn’t long before I was being asked why all these musical instruments were on parade. “Are you a shop? Only nothing is priced”. “Not quite, we’re a music library- instead of books we loan out musical instruments for free. We do have premises in Bodmin town, what you see here is our shop window”. “That right? What a good idea, I’ve not heard of anything like that before” “Yeah we’re pretty unique, fancy a go on anything?” “Well once upon a long ago I played bass guitar, it’ll be caked in dust by now, and heaven knows what became of my old amp”. “We can easily fix you up with one, just have a peek at our website and take your pick, then come down to the shop and get sorted.” Moments later he’d selected a bass from the rack, and was plunking away. I accompanied him on guitar and he was soon grinning from ear to ear, then his lad took over. I showed him some basic moves which he soon got the hang of, and was playing away happily before his proud Dad. Before long our tent had slowly filled with youngsters, exploring the array of instruments on display. Polyrhythm was getting into swing, and all the crew had their hands full guiding these musicians of tomorrow. We nicknamed one young fellow “Duracell” because he played the bongos nearly all afternoon without pause, obviously having fun. Good job the main drum kit was wired up with headphones...
Day two at Pandafest, and the sun still had his hat on.
Me too. Today I had prepared for the heat. Clad in whacky shorts, turquoise T-shirt and bushwhacker’s hat; I cut a figure like an Australians nightmare. Hopefully I could blend in with the revellers. Fat chance of that happening, as I don’t have a single tattoo.
Unlike the weather, activity around our tent was a bit of a slow burner this morning. No matter as it gave our crew an opportunity to jam amongst ourselves for a while, and get some music going on. This would do the trick.
Soon enough, we were again handing out instruments to curious festival goers as they took our lead and enjoyed the musical mayhem. Today proved to be far busier, but what the hell...it was great fun to be part of this magical atmosphere. I was really impressed by the number of children enthusiastically tinkling the keyboards, taking up microphones and singing without any inhibition at all. They all continued even despite being drowned out by the thudding of the band performing onstage. I can only assume that they too are blessed with the selective hearing that until now I thought that only we husbands employed.
What a weekend! Sun, music and fun.
Only music can enter the ears and emanate your whole being. This is the mission of Polyrhythm. Unlock your hidden talent and make music, it doesn’t matter how. We are here to help make this a reality.
Big thank you to all those who made this fab weekend possible.
See you next year.