In a field somewhere, full of stars,
enchantment you could almost hug,
cupped in hands, with sparkle and dust,
you can carry it off in your pocket.
It’s magic, so catch some you must.
Catch a glimpse of follies too
enormous knitted daisies,
bluebells from yon Brobdingnag
bring you down to earth, coax a smile,
a tear in a song’s moving tag.
Nearby a winch wheel’s silhouette
casts shadows rumbling dark as night.
Here food to spare and racing sheep
yield a home grown breakfast, fresh
as the air that feeds its fare.
Amid the throng, unmannered crowds,
by day an unrelenting sun
glints from beads of sweat
that pour from a steward’s brow,
to sounds of string on fret.
A veil of purple haze on moors
a crown on green and rolling hills
dragonflies and butterflies greet
pink spotted sheep not far away
warmed by the simmering heat.
In a field somewhere, the sound of music,
here the family and other folk sing.
Cambridge beware of your conceit
size matters not to connoisseurs
here is where you’ll find their feet.
Under witch’s hats, the stage is set,
powered by love of music’s brew,
but here, no trouble; nothing jars,
here, the sun shines all day long
and Underneath the Stars.
© 2014 John Anstie
All rights reserved
(This was written five years ago, in response to a particularly special experience at the very first Underneath The Stars festival, in 2014. Originally a festival of folk and roots music it is now much more than that. It features two stages, one of them as big as any you’ll find, anywhere on the festival circuit; the second for standing or sitting on the grass, smaller and intimate, both under cover. The performances on both alternate between them. Still small, clean, intimate and very family friendly and special, this festival has so much culture to offer, including street theatre, workshops, the very best food and beer! And as a measure of all that it has to offer, they sold out of tickets over two months ago!
In less than two weeks, we will be attending for the sixth consecutive year, as volunteer stewards. Also a measure of how it draws us in every time and how great a job the Rusby family have done to make this little festival such a success.
Their website is here: https://underthestarsfest.co.uk)