“Har-fest” – A Festival Finding its Feet

Every Music Festival has humble beginnings, Reading Festival is said to have started as a jazz festival in the 1960s but has now – as you well know – developed into one of the largest rock festivals in the country, and the biggest one (Glastonbury) began just over forty years ago with a mere 1500 in attendance compared with it’s 135000 maximum capacity these days. Even the little known Y-Not festival, which earlier this summer had The Wombats headlining, began only as a project by some students at Derby University wanting to put some bands on on the outskirts of the quaint town of Matlock. It is no surprise then that deep in the heart of rural Lincolnshire, close to the live music Pripyat which is Boston, a small Music Festival is beginning to establish itself as a tradition to many of the young people in the area. Har-Fest takes place in what is an obvious place for a festival; one of the many flat wheat fields in the fens.

With a lineup featuring numerous bands playing a huge variety of music over a good twelve hour day it really does cater to the needs of the eager Bostoners. But, somehow, it is less about the music than having something which is ours and only ours. For too long the teenagers of Boston have made do with grimy pubs which accommodate Cover Bands made up of musical has-beens in their 40s playing songs from a bygone era. Finally, someone decided they’d had enough and made the effort to put on their own festival. It may be basic in that the stage is on a trailer and the toilet facilities are… well, a ditch at the edge of the field, but still it retains a charm about it that some of the bigger festivals can’t muster with all their wristband checking, overpriced drinks and commercial “cool” t-shirt stands.  Apart from a few who grumbled about the cold or the ever-changing lineup there wasn’t a truly bad word to say about Har-Fest 2012 so I’d wager that it will be back next year, bigger and better than ever before. Who knows, in ten years we may all be waiting eagerly on Radio 1 for the Announcement of the lineup of Har-Fest 2022…


The Gazebos Playing at Har-Fest. Rights; E.Cooper