Our excitement levels were pretty high on the way to Samphire Festival, after hearing about the combination chilled vibes and scenic Exmoor coastal views that made its debut year in 2016 so successful. After our overloaded Ford Focus just about made the ascent up Porlock Hill, we were able to appreciate this all first hand.
Wherever you are in the festival, you’re blessed with uninterrupted views of the coast with Wales and Barry Island (for all you Gavin and Stacey fans) visible in the distance. The festival site itself is located a field away from the camping area and has a quintessentially boutique and homemade feel to it – all helping to create a sense of middle-of-nowhereness.
The first thing we did after familiarising ourselves with the festival ground was to head over to the main stage to watch The Correspondents, who we thought absolutely smashed it. The quality of the sound seemed far superior to many outside venues we’ve come across, with the ability to rattle your rib cage from quite a distance out. The quality of the sound did not diminish throughout, as we made various shapes to various disco classics until the early hours.
Waking up on Saturday, the daytime took on a very different vibe to the night, with much more of a relaxed and family friendly atmosphere, which helped cure us of our aching heads after staying up to watch the one of the best sunrises I’ve ever seen.
Danielle Moore kept them in a house
induced trance the whole set
Walking through the festival site you were greeted by huge metal slides running up the side of the hill, giant deck chairs perfectly poised to take in the panoramic sea views, and entertainment throughout the day from a French man with a (not so family-friendly) builder’s bum, who orchestrated a ‘who can roll down the hill the fastest’ competition.
With the hill running along the whole length of the festival site creating a bit of an ampi theatre set up, you were able to sit back and watch the bands come and go all day, such as Ishmael Ensemble, Freddie Dickson and DubMarta who were a late (but welcome) addition to the roster.
The Bristolian trio Elder Island were particularly impressive with their own brand of chilled out electronica, which was able to peel the crowd away from the hill and into a consistent groove by the stage. Their set was dotted with some familiar tracks from their self titled EP as well as an interesting cover of Gypsy Woman by Crystal Waters.
Crazy P were once again headlining a festival main stage and once again were oozing cool. They drew a large crowd and front woman Danielle Moore kept them in a house induced trance the whole set.
For such a new festival, it was a very impressive set up, with many of the teething problems young festivals encounter (toilets, soundclashes etc.) not apparent. It’s clear to see why they won best new festival of the year last year and easy to imagine them going on to make the event even better in the future.