Crowds expected at festival that puts town on the map

Colin Dolton

Colin Dolton Buy this photo

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Rose Hill, Iffley and Littlemore. Please call me on (01865) 425422

WALLINGFORD is set for the biggest weekend of the summer as BunkFest returns for the 13th year.

Organisers expect about 20,000 people at the free festival, which runs from Friday until Sunday night.

The main stage on the Kinecroft will be headlined by Afro-Celtic dance band Baka Beyond on Friday night and 3 Daft Monkeys on Saturday.

Anglo-Scottish group Tarras will round the fun off on Sunday.

The event will feature workshops like musical instrument tutorials, dance acts, a ceilidh and a beer festival.

The town centre will play host to a street fair on Saturday and there will be a children’s BunkFest featuring travelling children’s entertainer Mr Alexander.

Festival director Colin Dolton said: “I am sure it is going to be better than ever.

“It is hard to say how many will turn up but we are hoping to get about 20,000 people over the weekend.

“Baka Beyond are an old favourite, they have played here two or three times and it is great to see them back.

“Allan Yn Y Fan sing a lot in Welsh, so it will be interesting to see how they go down.”

Mr Dolton said the workshops and beer festival were an increasinly important part of BunkFest.

He said: “We have some great tutors doing things like fiddles and ukuleles, so you can go and enrol in one of those and have a tutor take you through it.

“There are different levels from beginners right up.

“The beer festival is a festival in its own right and people turn up for the beer; there are almost two different festivals.”

Wallingford Town Council’s Betty Atkins said she could not wait for the festival: “It’s absolutely amazing, it’s wonderful. To me it brings the whole town to life.

“The atmosphere on the Saturday morning is electric. I am absolutely smitten with it, Saturday and Sunday are wonderful.

“I really hope it continues for years to come, it brings so much business to Wallingford and the town just has the most amazing atmosphere.”

Although most events are free, camping tickets are £30 each for adults, and give access to the site from Thursday to Sunday.

Mr Dolton said BunkFest had “really put Wallingford on the map; it has been recognised as one of the biggest open access festivals in the country.

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