A reminder about the Mersea Island Food, Drink and Leisure Festival at the Vineyard, East Mersea this weekend. If you haven't been in previous years, do try to come along - entry is free and there's masses of parking space. If you have been before, then you'll know that (come rain or shine!) - it offers two really great family days out, and a celebration of the best of our island life.
In addition to showcasing local food and drink producers, there's a wealth of stalls, displays and demonstrations covering every aspect of Mersea's rich past and present. You can see the full range of attractions on the Festival's website.
A major part of the weekend's enjoyment is provided by the singers, musicians and dancers who perform throughout event on both days. Many Session regulars will be appearing on the main stage (see below for listings), and this year, in addition to the music on the main stage on the top lawn, on the Sunday there will be an 'Acoustic Tent' on the lower lawn. All musicians are invited to come along and play/sing for as long as they wish - just as on a normal Thursday night at the Coast Inn.
So whether you're a Session regular or not, if you plan to visit the Festival on the Sunday, then do take along your instrument (or voice) and give the Acoustic Tent a whirl. It may be that the event attracts audience and musicians who haven't experienced the Mersea Session before and will be inspired to come along on a Thursday night.
In order to drum up some more support for Thursday nights, the following flier will be available at the Acoustic Tent for people to take away:
Here's the list of who's playing on the main stage at the Festival (all times are approximate):
11.00-14.00 Blackwaterside, Moondance, Arran, Josh Wilson and Guests
14.00-14.30 Mersea Dance (30 mins)
14.30-15.30 John Leyland (30 mins) and Guests (30 mins)
15.30-15.50 Alimah Dance (20 mins)
15.50-17.00 Al and Tony
11.00-14.00 Blackwaterside, Moondance, Lantern Band and Guests
14.00-14.30 Zumba, Carol Irvine (30 mins)
14.30-14.50 Hymns Singalong (with Greg on midi accordion) (20 mins)
14.50-15.30 Paul Kiff (40 mins)
15.30-16.00 Ellie Scrivener (30 mins)
16.00-16.20 Alimah Dance (20 mins)
16.20-17.00 Verão (with Helen Abbey) (40 mins)
(Great to see some new faces down at the Coast Inn last night, and special thanks to Barry for accompanying Bill in 'I'm Getting Married in the Morning' - one of Mr Kitchen's show-stealing numbers from Brightlingsea Operatic Group's recent production of My Fair Lady. )