An arboreal artwork that traditionally marks the start of the countdown to East Anglia’s fast-rising FolkEast festival has been unveiled.
The annual dressing of a 65 foot dead oak tree on the festival site at Suffolk’s Glemham Hall Estate began in 2013. Visible from the nearby A12, it has become a recognised totem heralding “six weeks to go” before the start of three days of festival fun.
Now in its fifth year, the festival is organised by husband and wife Becky and John Marshall-Potter who are committed to creating a sustainable festival for Suffolk in the 300-acres of 16th century Glemham Hall, home of Major Philip Hope Cobbold.
This weekend the couple’s tree surgeon son Barney and colleague James Parker hopped aboard a cherry picker in wind, rain and sun to reach the highest branches of the tree and dress it in its new vivid coat.
Katherine Ellen of Clothworks in Halesworth donated 120 metres of bright pink material and the branches were strung with colourful bunting supplied by Fi O’Reilly of Carolyn’s Haberdashery, Leiston, making an eye-catching emblem for next month’s FolkEast (August 19-21).
This year we have made the tree especially colourful in celebration of the life of Raewyn Hope Cobbold. Every year the daunting task of dressing the oak falls on Barney and James and we are really grateful to them for giving up their weekend. The wind made it a bit tricky but drivers on the A12 were very supportive, hooting their horns in appreciation!
Donna Stockley, events manager at Glemham Hall said:
We’re thrilled to see the tree wrapped in all its glorious colour and the bunting looks wonderful blowing in the breeze – it is now such a firmly-rooted tradition, we can’t imagine FolkEast without it.
FolkEast continues to prove it is nothing like other music festivals. This year it will be packing a punch with three powerhouse band headliners – the musical whirlwind that is Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band, a rare appearance by seven-piece Blowzabella and an exclusive UK festival performance by Irish supergroup Usher’s Island.
Weekend tickets are available price £115 (adult), £98 (full time students, senior citizens) and £65 for Youth tickets (12-17 year old) which must be purchased with an adult ticket. Family weekend tickets for two adults and two 12-17 year olds are £320. A great offer sees free admission for children aged 11 and under and optional camping is included with all weekend tickets, with a £25 charge for campervans and caravans.
Located close to the A12, the festival will also be running shuttle buses to the site from Wickham Market station.