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Watchet Music Festival 2019
Behind the Scenes
3 Coffee's and a Coke ……
Jon Avery and Keith Dennelly Festival site volunteers in many areas ….. a review by Annie Cole Photography.
Another Tuesday evening and I was on my way to Burnham On Sea to the Somerset and Dorset pub to meet Jon and Keith. After a trawl through the great metropolis of Bridgwater with all its roadworks and diversions I eventually arrived with no time to spare, dinner would have to wait.
Keith was at the pub in his Watchet festival crew tee shirt and introduced himself to me. Jon arrived a few minutes later threw his keys on the table and introduced himself, strangely the people on the next table looked at the three of us, drank up and left … I do wonder what were they thinking?
Both Jon and Keith have been volunteering at Watchet festival for the past 7 years. Jon and Keith met Mark and Jackie Bale Festival Directors when they were at the Newt Beer Festival and Jon and Keith were playing in a band called Penthouse Shed. I have heard of the band back in my misspent Youth and am sure I have seen them at some point.
Penthouse Shed were invited to play at Watchet Festival and from there a great friendship grew . Keith was gigging with his own band Insomniac Jack with his own original work.
Mark and Jack approached Jon and Keith and asked if they would be interested in becoming involved with the running of the festival site, additional support with production and traders and media over the festival period.
Jon is MC for the main stage over the festival period and helps out with monitoring the camp site. Keith organises the pitches for the traders on site and is a professional photographer for the festival.
Keith also writes for the UK Festival Guide reviewing the different festivals which go on over the season.
I asked John what his musical influences were?
I have a very eclectic taste in music from blues, through to funk and dub to metal. Some of musicians who have influenced me are Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Neil Young and of course Keith Dennelly. Keith is the one person who has had the biggest impact musically on my life. Keith has educated me and is an absolute legend. He has broadened my musical horizons.
Keith commented that Watchet festival has something for everyone, all genres of music are available to suit all people. The range is very diverse, the festival has the feel of a great community party and has no specific identity or label which can be attached to it. The festival crew is a great big family where everyone gets on with each other so well.
What do you both gain from the festival?
The enjoyment of making a small grass roots festival what it is today . It is such a great thing to be a part of the festival and to have been there from the early days. Both Mark and Jackie are so well respected for the work they do for the festival and community.
Both Jon and Keith are on site the week before the festival to assist with setting up the site and the closing down of the site.
As for the bottle of Jack Daniels and the camper van roof….. well that's another story for another day.
Watchet Music Festival