Potterne, and its Festival

It’s one Devizine overlooked somewhat last year, arranged rather last minute, clashed with Full-Tone, but was still a 1,250-strong sell-out nonetheless. Potterne is not all about Ruth Pearce and Mummer plays, it has an annual festival, and so I caught up with organiser Richard Fred Kerley, to question him about this year’s.

Two hundred tickets have gone already, for the sunny date of Sunday 27th August. He told me, “We have increased tickets to 1,500 this year.” Ticket prices capped the same last year, and are tremendously reasonable; adults at £15, under 18s for a fiver and under 5s go free.

Once known as Potterne Beer Festival, I asked Richard if the beer-tag had been dropped to make it more universal. “Yes,” he confirmed, “we used to concentrate on beer when we first started. Now it is more about music and families.” Still got a handsome beer glass on the poster with a large selection of beers and ciders promised, so never fear!

“Good line up, we think,” Richard continued. With two tributes, Forever Elton and Bootleg Bee Gees, and the Fortunate Sons, I agreed, plus some our fav locals here at Devizine, astounding brit-poppers Billy Green 3, those faithful Truzzy Boys, and the amazingly talented Illingworth.

Noting children’s entertainment on the poster, I expressed, though I’m personally not one for bouncy castles these days, I think this is an often-overlooked important feature at our smaller local festivals as the last thing you need is bored kids! “We have two bouncy castles and face painting,” Richard informed me, “which is extra this year.” Then he boasted three food stalls; pizza, hog roast and a burger van, he sure knows how to push my buttons!

But here’s another great thing about Potterne Festival; there’s nothing Royston Vasey about it, it provides a free bus service from Devizes. “The bus runs from outside Devizes School,” Richard explained, “to the Grove, starting at 11.45, roughly every twenty minutes.” One might fairly conclude it’s bonkers to provide Devizes folk with a means to escape and flood their village, but hey, sometimes you need to let them off their leash, and this all sounds good to me!

For updates, here’s their Facebook page.


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