On Friday evening the relentless wind and rain of ‘Storm Betty’ sent garden furniture at my home sliding across the decking and I seriously questioned weather reports which promised a fine, sunny outlook for the following day.

Saturday morning came and as I arrived at The Liskeard Radio studio to meet colleague Ken Strange the poor weather showed no signs of abating.

As we drove the short distance onto Liskeard School Cricket Field we saw a number of trade tents, food stalls, entertainment stands, beer tent and a huge stage in the throes of being set up as the main focal point of the day...this was The Ploughman’s Festival 2023!

We were joined by colleagues Sharon, Barry and Christine and the ‘Infamous Five’ set about the task of erecting our marquee, banners and PA in the drizzling rain and wind...it really was touch and go!

Our task for the day was to entertain the crowds of visitors and support the long 

list of bands performing on the main stage and we were well up for that!

A little later than scheduled, the first stage performance of the day was an excellent, crowd-participation, worship service by St Martin’s Church with bright uplifting songs, a fun quiz won by Sharon and Christine and a prayer for brighter weather.

In the meantime Barry was looking at our biggest challenge of the day which was to establish a continuous internet connection that would allow us to broadcast the event live across our airwaves a little later in the afternoon.

As the weather finally broke into the warm sunshine and blue skies the crowds came and before long a steady stream of revellers were setting up blankets, deck chairs and settling in for the entertainment to come...they wouldn’t be disappointed!

The first two acts of the day were ‘Black Friday’ followed by Looe’s very own ‘Division’ who continue to improve as a talented young local band.

By the time The Taylor Trio and Robi Mitch took to the stage we were up and running with the live broadcast, the first opportunity we had had since last year and it seemed to be working well.

As early evening approached next on stage were ‘Damn the Wolves’ fronted by brothers Jody and Rick Martin together with Brett Stepto who turned out to be a massive hit with the crowds and it was clear to see why these guys had recently managed to play on both BBC Radio 1 and Kerrang stations.

We did, of course seize the opportunity  to invite them, and The Taylor Trio to join us at the Liskeard Radio Studio to perform live sometime within the next few weeks...we will, of course, ensure listeners are given plenty of notice of the show dates.

The final act of the day were ‘Jonahs Lift’ an energetic band who had revellers dancing enthusiastically right to the end of the evening and who earned the rapturous applause they received.

The whole day was an amazing success and so much praise is deserved by brothers Matt and Barry who, together with Viv Twornicki and the Ploughman’s Festival Team organised and ran an event that ranks as one of the major highlights of this year’s calender.

For us, at Liskeard Radio, it was yet another great opportunity to engage with the local community and entertain them with our music and chat, something we like to think we do well.

Next time I’ll be outlining our involvement in Looe Festival 2023.