The first ever Ramblin’ Man Fair festival was held at Mote Park Maidstone Kent last month. Billed as a festival of Classic Rock, Prog and Country & Blues, it had two main outside stages and a third under canvas stage, offering forty-four acts with some very exclusive performances. These included a UK exclusive show for the Scorpions, The Allman Brothers Band’s Gregg Allman playing his only UK show for 2015, a UK exclusive show from Camel and an exclusive festival appearance from Marillion.
Saturday was a gorgeous sunny summer’s day and all about the Classic rock stage. The highlights of the day was Saxon’s performance ( although I have to say once Biff mentioned that he used to do a bit of rambling in his early days, he did then go on ‘rambling’ at bit too long himself!!…). Then came the headliner – Scorpions, with an incredible performance and a super multi screen back drop and raising drum kit.
Sunday was a completely different day with it raining for most of the day, only clearing up around 7pm, just before the headliners were due on-stage. This for me was the weaker of the two days for performers. But there were some great performances on all the stages, including Blues Pills, Solstifar, The Quireboys, The Temperance Movement, Rival Sons, Seasick Steve and headliner Gregg Allman. On the Blues stage I managed to see some great sets from Danny Bryant and Joanne Shaw Taylor, and on the Prog stage – Anna Phoebe, The Pineapple Thief and headliner Marillion.
I find festivals are great for going to see acts that you either haven’t heard of or just not seen on their own tours. But they do have the drawback that you can sometimes miss some great performances due to stage clashes.
My verdict overall was that it was a great inaugral Ramblin’ Man Fair, with some great acts and only small issues to improve for next year’s event.
Ramblin’ Man Fair returns to Maidstone’s Mote Park on Sat 23 – Sun 24 July 2016
Words by: Robert Sutton
Images by: Robert Sutton Photography