Monday, 22 May 2017

Summer Strum Monday Missive #8 - 22nd May 2017 - We're Going Through Changes

A change is as good as a rest

Welcome back to normal service following an unscheduled week off. I think I got myself into a bit of a Blue Funk coming down from the excitement of a couple of really good weekends - GNUF, Eurovision, al fresco times in the garden! Lol! Good times overload!! And then I had my hair cut and hate it. Nothing like a bad hair week to throw you off balance. Why do I never learn!? Change ... as good as a rest they say. Not when it comes to my hair!

So - what's changing (or not) about the Summer Strum this year? Here's a rundown of the weekend for you all.

We've still got this great website which is updated regularly by Ian Davies in between caravanning in Wales and flying his drone. Oh, and working a lot! He does work a lot!

Pretty much everything you need to know can be found on here and our Facebook page:

but let's take you through it anyway!

Here's where to find out who's playing (to be updated asap):

The same two stages will be running smoothly alongside each other manned by two great guys who give up their time and skills for peanuts and prosecco (Gary V the Sound Man and JulesCools (I listen, Hazel!). Midday til late.

I remember fondly the panic that beset the first day of the first Summer Strum in Hoylake when the MerseyRail SoundStation Tent set itself up pretty much opposite the main stage! How the hell is this going to work we asked ourselves? I remember Pat, Tracey and I hurriedly re-jigging the timings so that folk in the Tent played their 10 minutes during the changeover of the main stage acts - it was the only solution and it happened to work like clockwork! Phew! So we tried it again last year - and it worked. So we're doing it again this year! 20 minutes if you play on the main stage; 10 mins in Jules' Hootenanny Party Tent. CHECK!


New to the Main Stage is a mid afternoon showcase of Summer Strum Songwriters - folk new and old to the festival, who spend large amounts of their precious time writing brand new songs, are going to play them for us. How cool is that? It's a skill that I am certainly appreciative of (I still haven't written that song yet by the way!)

We will still have food stalls (more of them to choose from this year - including BubbleBox champagne and prosecco van! well - it's technically 'food') and Artisan stalls (that's what everyone else calls them!). There will still be facepainting (everyone loves their face painted right!?) and more stuff to do with the kids (and big kids) - spacehoppers, bouncy assault course and tag archery (I assume this doesn't involve sharp projectiles!). Hopefully junior rugby taster sessions will be on the menu this year and Andy Johnson will also be back in his storytelling tent with his whimsical tales - It's going to be a real family affair :-)
Please just ensure you keep an eye on your littluns and make sure they are safe.

Dogs are also welcome but please ensure they are on a lead at all times and pick up any smelly pressies they may leave behind them!

We still have free run of Hoylake Rugby Clubhouse and its spacious grounds thanks to the very wonderful Jack and Sue Kurton and their family who help out all weekend - from breakfast in the morning until 1am when the bar closes. Here's a map link:,-3.17313/Hoylake+Rugby+Club,+Carham+Road,+Hoylake,+United+Kingdom/@53.3917915,-3.1745454,590m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x487b2909971d4cf5:0x636afb9416a1d538!2m2!1d-3.1720098!2d53.3924461?hl=en.

Camping, and facilities, are still available from Friday night to Monday morning so get your pitch booked NOW and Holiday Inn has given us discount again for anyone not into camping - find the code on the homepage.
NOTE: Campers - please be mindful of your fellow campers who might want to sleep at night! Please also don't leave any valuables unattended in, or around, your tents.

Everything is within walking distance of Hoylake Station, the main street and a lovely beach. Remember folks - public transport ROCKS, as does foot and pedal power. Although there is parking (for campers and traders uppermost) do try to come by any of the above means :-) Find timetables here:

NOTE: Please use DUE CARE if crossing the trainline behind the Rugby Club.

After talking to you good folk and getting your views here's some new stuff that will be happening in the Clubhouse this year:

  • Friday night will still remain meet and greet night in the Clubhouse but Splintered Ukes are also treating us to a set of stonking tunes to start the weekend off with a bang. Bring your ukes along to jam with all your new friends afterwards!
  • Morning workshops are out and Jam 'n' Toast sessions are in. From 10am both days we have the mighty Wirral Ukulele Fanatics and D'ukes of Hazzard ukulele clubs running jam sessions, open to everyone. Beit campers wanting to blow out the cobwebs and warm up with a darn good singsong or members of the public who are curious about how uke clubs roll. Spare ukes will be on hand and songbooks will be shared.
  • Ukulele Club Liverpool will be holding their Summer Strum Blues Writing Workshop in the early afternoon of Saturday (details and time tbc) either in the Clubhouse or in a BUS! Ooooooh! Workshoppers will have the chance to get up on stage with UCL at 4:30.
  • On Saturday evening, by popular demand, Karl Parry has kindly offered to run an Open Mic session once the music has finished on the Main stage. So if you haven't already here's is your chance to perform! Details for signing up to follow.
Sunday will end, as always, around teatime with a buskalele. You will already be pumped up having danced for a good half and hour or so with Parker:Schultz so let's finish this festival off with the same bang it's going to start with - a good ol' bang sandwich!

Anyone who can stay behind and help take tents/gazebos down or sweep the site with bin bags are very welcome to do so!


Lots of Love

Em and Pat xx

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