Did Someone Say its Hornsfest?

The Horns Pub in Crondall is pretty much HQ for BTR. John and Judith who run it are huge promoters of local live music and put on music nights there every Thursday and Saturday.

When BTR formed it only seemed fitting that we should support something at The Horns, there just seems a gravitational link between us as like orbiting planets in a live music Solar System.

And so it came to pass that the annual music festival known as “Hornsfest” became a BTR Production – an organic transition as it happens as BTR members WychWood have run the festival for the last two years anyway!

Now there is just something about Hornsfest that makes it stand out from other local festivals. Its indoors for a start (we don’t care about the weather!). And its cozy and warm and welcoming with no hint of commercialism. It attracts the core of the local performers who want to play here and if they are not friends already soon become part of the family. So, it’s a nice festival. Everything about it is nice and that fits right in to the BTR philosophy and mission.

This year had a few differences from previous ‘fests. It was slightly smaller scale, ending at 8.30 pm. It was set up in the middle of the pub rather than against the end wall and the BTR folks were running the PA system, which had been done on previous occasions by our good friend Iain Cooper.

But the changes just seemed to make it better; more intimate, more involving for performers and audience and an event that seemed to breathe with its surroundings.

And so, after much anticipation the ‘fest began! WychWood who were doing most of the organizing and hosting kicked off proceedings and the performers then took to the stage at 40 minute intervals (including change-over time), until the final act (The Mark Nelson Trio) ended in fine style!

This blog isn’t long enough to report on every performance, but it is no word of a lie to say that every performance was excellent with a wide variety of bands, duo’s, trios and solo performers. Everyone gave it their all, much helped by a busy, enthusiastic and supportive audience, kept fed and watered by our accommodating hosts.

As with all Hornsfest’s, the event supports a chosen charity and this year it was Multiple Sclerosis (MS), represented by the Basingstoke Chapter and their spokesman – Colin Pocock. There was a raffle, a guess the number of jelly beans in the jar competition, various collection boxes going around and “bows of hope” to be bought. We think that over £200 was raised. All marvellous stuff!

As the final song was sung (a Slade number with audience participation) there was an overwhelming sense of a job well done and a sadness that it was over. And that’s the thing with good events – you don’t want them to finish. Our first major BTR showcase, and it couldn’t have gone better really.

So, thanks again to everyone involved, organisers, pub hosts, performers, audience, charity representatives and the old place itself – The Horns – we raise a glass to you!

This years’ fest is left with a warm glow and a promise – “we’ll be back!”