Village Beach Festival

Saturday 16th June and we were part of the Thames Delta stage at The Village Beach Festival.

 

This is the second year Village Beach was held, a free festival that celebrates all forms of art in the area.

Huge “paint off” competitions, cultural demonstrations from a Capoeira group, and lots of music. As the little sister to The Village Green Festival, it is a great place to see a wide range of artists from the area, so we were very pleased to be asked to be part of it.

The Thames Delta team run a number of events in Essex, from open mic nights to things of this size, always with an emphasis on promoting local live music; just looking at the line up proved it was not about genre, but about good acts getting a platform to show what they can do.

As always, BTD turned up early to watch the final touches of the whole site been finalised. The sun was already beating down on us, so we decided to take it as an opportunity to find a corner of the field to sit and play a few tunes to get us in the mood. As the festival opened and families started to fill the space we settled in to the tent to watch some acts, the fabulous folky tunes of Matt Tubey and the fun times blues of WhateverNext were both setting the standard early.

As we got on the stage the heat started to rise and we were dehydrating before we'd even started to sing. The time passed like the blink of an eye and minus a quick microphone change mid set, things went well.

Watching live music is just as inspiring as playing is for us, and today was no different. Some of the best and brightest were playing on one of the stages and getting to see Tall Tree Tales, Chay Appleyard, Queensburys, and Bridge favourite Lee Sargent made for an exceptional day.

Checking the levels

Checking the levels

Sitting in the sun, hanging out with some of the other artists, we lamented at what a positive place The Village Beach Festival was that day. The park probably had not seen so many people using it all at once since last year and how great it was that a group like Bridge The Dark could share a bill with such a diverse and talented line up all based so close to each other. It goes to show that good live music is alive and well in Essex.

All in all a great day for live music, for art and for all of us.

Thank you to all that came to see us, Dorian and the sound crew at the Thames Delta Stage, Wagtail Productions for the photo's and the to the other bands we got to hang out with.

Looking forward to Village Beach 2017!

 

Ollie

SoSlam The Festival

On Friday 26th February Bridge The Dark took to the stage at the first SoSlam Festival in Southend-on-Sea. 

This was the first night of the first festival held at The Alex, a venue all three of us had been drinking in for over a decade, so we were all very excited to be part of the experience. As we arrived we were told that all but seven tickets remained for the evening and full weekend tickets were also shifting at a good rate. Good news for everyone.

Watching some of the bands before us, and talking with some fellow performers it was good to see so much positivity in the air and the feeling of something special was starting to happen in Southend.

The Alex has always been known for being a slightly "alternative" pub, away from the chains and run of the mill drinking holes in the area, and after a short closure for refurbishment earlier this year I think Southend was glad to have it back and that it was putting live music back on the map. Two floors of pretty much non-stop music for three days is quite a nice way to re-open your doors.

SoSlam are a small promotion company and are proud to say that all the money made at each gig goes straight back into promoting the bands or helping acts with recording fees. They have been running a song writing competition where contestants are given a lyric to work in to a new song and then perform it to a panel and an audience  to progress to the next stage. This was their first stab at a festival, working with some of the talent they have seen at the competition as well as other local acts. Again, seeing the team approaching this project with such a positive attitude added to the whole atmosphere of the event. 

We played our set sandwiched between fuzz punk rock & rollers, Indigo and the edgy folk group, The Kingdom, both of whom played storming sets.

Long may these events last and long may promoters, venues and live music lovers have somewhere to find some great and varied bands and artists.