Words & Photography by Kieran Webber
The Great Estate has solidified itself as the “most rambunctious garden fete” in Cornwall, maybe even the south-west. In it’s short time being around they have built a strong reputation for unique events, delicious food stalls and quality music. It’s also worth noting that the festival takes place in the grounds of Scorrier House, a beautiful stately home located in the Cornish countryside.
The festival also has one of the most unique and diverse audiences, with families, couples and groups of young people all mingling in peace. The festival can be enjoyed by all and this relaxed, happy atmosphere can be felt in all corners of The Great Estate.
On arrival the first thing that was apparent was the increase in capacity, the camping grounds had been extended further into the lushious grounds. The winding paths that lead the festival helped build the excitement and mystery. The Alice in Wonderland themed signs set the weird and wonderful tone for the festival ground itself. The adventure had started and we were ready to be engulfed in music, fancy dress and good vibes.
As we left the wooded areas the delightful glow of the sun came beaming through the wilderness, instantly warming our skin. As with most festivals you are praying for good weather and this years Great Estate had been truly blessed.
The first taste of music we got was from the fantastic Plastic Mermaids, a band who had traveled from the Isle Of Wight to shower us in a barrage of psychedelic-indie pop. Their set was a beautiful showcase of their elegantly balanced sound, the guitars working in unison with the percussion and bass whilst harmonious vocals dance eloquently on the top. They were a great introduction to the our stay at the Great Estate but unfortunately their sound was in short supply, hopefully for next year we get more bands of this ilk.
Taking a break from the music we took a wander round the grounds, taking in the many sights that are on offer. Floating towards the screeches and hoots coming from the Madam Wong’s House Of Wrong we were greeted with a burlesque performance from Taluhlah Lu. You really don’t know what to expect from each tent and corner of The Great Estate, you can always expect the unexpected. The amusing surprises weren’t over yet, as we entered The Secret Gin Garden, a beautifully charming corner of the festival. As we entered the sounds of a well spoken woman tickled our eardrums, she stood in the small stage dressed in a victorian dress and corset with a floral crown atop her head. A classy looking lady but there was more to this act than meets the eye. After a quick introduction she started her first song which was littered in innuendos about anal sex. Her next track was about teabagging (dipping your tea bag in the cup), it was utterly hilarious and her performance was met with an ocean of laughter. Unfortunately her name is eluding me but we will keep you updated if we find it out!
After some deliciously scrummy food from The Vegan Pyramid it was time for Saturday’s headline act James, who are known for hits such as ‘Come Home’, ‘Laid’ and ‘Sit Down’ to name a few. It cannot be argued that James know how to put on a show, within seconds of the opening song ‘Sit Down’ lead singer Tim Booth found himself crowd surfing. The crowd erupted and he ate up every bit of adoration he received. Throughout the set he harnessed his energy into a variety of wacky dance moves, similar to ones showcased by the rainbow warriors of Peep Show.
They closed the night off in spectacular style and had crowd in utter awe, rounding off an absolute belter of an evening. Once again The Great Estate filled our bellies and hearts with that familiar warm feeling. We’ll see you next year for more good times!