Having lived just a stone’s throw from Moseley for over 20 years now, I am embarrassed to say it took me a good 10 years to find out about Moseley Park & Pool, and the various events which are held there over the course of each Summer.
My first experience of this amazing oasis, and one of the even more amazing festivals held there each year was Moseley Folk Festival, back in 2012, and I have been lucky enough to make it back several times since.
Fast forward to the end of this summer and I find myself fortunate to be here again, on the Sunday, with my wife but sans kids (for a change) for my first trip ‘post-pandemic’.
Moseley festivals have always impressed me, with both how intimate and safe they feel and how they seem to be able to attract some pretty heavy hitters in the UK music scene, and this latest experience was no different.
Singing along to The Coral in that beautiful green space surrounded by lovely people was the perfect end to the summer, and we left with a happy glow that only the best festivals create.
From the moment we walked down through the alleyway and it all opened up in front of us like some sort of outdoor Tardis, I was immediately transported to my happy place.
The event seems to have become even better organised with yet further improved drink and street food offerings, and the vibe, as always, was happy and chilled. We got ourselves drinks, had a wander round to orientate ourselves and then found a spot to settle on the grass and listen to the various bands.
We thought the new (since I was last here) concept of having two stages side by side a great idea, allowing for relatively seamless transitions between the different bands, and whilst not all were bands we would normally choose to see it was great to be exposed to sounds from outside our normal musical sphere.
We had a lovely afternoon chilling, drinking, listening to the music and absorbing the eclectic, laid back world of this unique festival and marvelling at some of the outfits sported by adults and children alike.
As mentioned, this festival always seems to pull some great headliners out of the hat, and having unfortunately missed Supergrass and Seasick Steve, there was no way we were going to pass up on The Coral, one of my all time favourite bands who I had never managed to get to see before.
We enjoyed experiencing the very different sounds of Jethro Tull, and then bought a(nother) bottle of wine to drink whilst admiring the strings of festoon lights and various other atmospheric adornments waiting for The Coral to come on stage. Once they did, it was hairs on the back of the neck up time.
An incredible performance which did not disappoint, with all of the favourites played, alongside one or two of the less commercial songs from their albums. Singing along to The Coral in that beautiful green space surrounded by lovely people was the perfect end to the summer, and we left with a happy glow that only the best festivals create.
We love festivals, and have been to many, usually with the kids in tow, but this one has a special place in my heart as probably the best.
We definitely want to make a weekend of it with our family and friends next year, as we feel we just scratched the surface this year and know there is so much more to this event than just the headline acts, with so many great activities for all generations throughout the weekend, alongside the excellent food and drink offerings. The best little festival in the UK? We think so.
Words by Ken Byng for Grapevine Birmingham. *photo by Dave Freak