The UK has to be the world capital for summer music festivals, led by the daddy of them all, Glastonbury. Roughly every five years, though, the festival isn't held. This 'fallow' year allows Somerset venue Worthy Farm a chance to regenerate and, inadvertently, it also allows other festivals to carve a bit of a niche for themselves. That's the case this year, and A Rum Do is one of several smaller events hoping to catch the eye of perhaps a few Glastonbury refugees, as well as those fancying a change from the (consistently excellent) Big Chill.
The weekender is born out of the tuxedo-and-ballgown club nights of the same name that have been running in Bristol over the past year. Don't be fooled by the black-tie though – lavish fun are the key words here, not stiff and boring.
I had a chat with organiser Richard Mauger, who says "We know a lot of other festivals tip their hat to cabaret and performing arts – with festival goers wandering into a tent, see a single act and walk out. It's all a bit hit or miss in our view, rather like a lot of random atoms meandering all over the place… We like to gather loads of atoms in one place, create a real buzz of performance and then…release! We will encourage you to dress for the evening performances, and don't worry, if you forget your glad rags, we've got some you can hire for the night."
The focus of the fun will be a glitzy Crystal Palace Spiegeltent (pictured above) and there will also be an inflatable, fully-working church. As well as the cabaret, the likes of Mr Scruff, Fred Deakin of Lemon Jelly and Quantic will also be playing, and it all takes place in the grounds of the famous and picturesque Baskerville Hall near Hay-On-Wye. Tickets for the whole weekend cost £85 and are limited to a very cosy 3000.
A Rum Do Summer Weekender takes place between 18-20 August 2006.