It is often said that the difference between lunacy and genius is minimal. So creating a family festival which includes comedians who can sometimes complete sentences without using the ‘F’ word, Cabaret shows which includes content of ‘adult nature’ clashing with the Royal Jubilee, may have appeared to be a recipe for disaster, but it was quite the opposite.

The Apple Cart festival used all bar one of the indoor stages erected for the previous days Field Day Festival, this proved to be a godsend as the ‘great British weather’ did its best to ruin the event.   

There were plenty of activities to keep children of all ages happy including: the Village Green which held the Jubilee Village Fete Games including Pantomime Horse Derby, Corgi Crufts and a cucumber sandwich eating competition along with some fair ground rides.  The House of Fairy Tales Presents. Candelit Films a small mock Hollywood studio where in 40 minutes they take small groups of children to create a silver screen action movie. Plus there is the Art Car Boot Fair and other workshops. The Comedy tent had attracted some of the highest profile comedians and was full all day, while the Cabaret Stage boasted six hours of non stop entertainment.

Unfortunately, probably due to the weather there were delays on both music stages which made planning a challenge, so alas it wasn’t possible to see all the artists we had hoped to.

Lianna La Havas  was previously a backing vocalist for Paloma Faith but is now forging a successful career as a solo artist. As she walks onto the stage in her classy black and white outfit, she is clearly surprised by the size of the crowd. So much so that she  takes a photo for her social media page of which if you check she is true to her word posting pictures of music lovers from around the world.  She delivered a compelling set which kept crowd engaged throughout, her finale was a beautiful rendition of Is Your Love Big Enough.

Penguin Café are a continuation of Arthur Jeffes father Simons own band Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Made up of a number of high quality musician's their songs are like mini piece’s of musical art. They managed to make you feel like the sun was shining and this ensemble was the perfect addition for this eclectic festival. Dispite being late on stage and suffering some technical issues we would have liked to see more of them.

Billy Bragg delivered a great set of love songs, protest songs and sing a longs, there were references to Clegg, Cameron, Bankers, the Levenson enquiry, football and the Jubilee.  As the rain hammers down ‘Uncle Bill’ comes out with a statement about Britisishness, ‘There’s only one thing that unites Britain whether you’re a monarchist or republican, Tory or Labour… And that’s the crappy British weather’.  

Towards the end of the set around 50 large Apple Cart yellow, green & red balloons were thrown into the crowd giving Bill an opportunity to get the crowd singing the West Ham anthem I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles. Being a true pro he continued with an updated version of Waiting ForThe Great Leap Forward & finishing the set with a rousing rendition of New England.

Kid Creole & The Coconuts wearing a dapper purple suit and looking as stylish as ever now in his early 60’s was accompanied on stage by some younger show girls. He sang and danced his way through a feel good set with classics such as Annie I’m not your Daddy bringing colour, glitz and calypso to the tent. Something for everyone, from the children to grand parents alike who sang along to a number of his chart toppings songs.

Kevin Rowland DJ set in the dance stage tent looked a bit lost with the array of decks set out in front of him. The former Dexy’s frontman however soon got the damp wellie clad crowd dancing starting off with some classic soul anthems.

Adam Ant made his comeback last year and seems to have been on the road ever since. The crowd always enjoy his sets, but alas the voice and the swagger have diminished a bit over the years. Saying that it seems from the crowds he draws that the dandy highwayman has now turned into one of our national treasures who can do no wrong.

It says much for Apple Cart’s ability to keep everyone happy, with the weather being so foul. But the only time we saw a child crying was when he couldn’t reach a balloon, during Billy Bragg’s set.  Lets hope for better weather next year so more families can enjoy what Apple Cart has to offer.