Waterful weekend

Great Linford Manor: The site of this weekend's festivities
Great Linford Manor: The site of this weekend's festivities

The annual Great Linford Waterside Festival returns this weekend.

For more than two decades this family friendly bash has been a staple on the ‘What’s On’ calendar, and this year’s programme of events is as engaging as ever.

And there is no need to wait until Saturday to get into the spirit of things – the main stage will be up and running tomorrow night with an acoustic showcase, and a set from prog-rock aces Solstice – the local players with the national pedigree.

Pack up a picnic, or else make use of the event barbeque but do pop along from 6.30pm...a bar will be operational too.

Back at the main stage on Saturday, an eight-band line-up will play for you, starting at 11.30am.

Among those making use of the mics, you’ll catch ska-ites The Bighead and a string quartet playing pop...that’s better than Cheggers plays pop (for those of you old enough to recall).

Organisation of Stage 2 has been passed to the marvellous folks at Monkey Ketttle, while Stage 3 will be all about the spoken word on Saturday, including a session of stories, songs and rhyme from midday.

Add in poetry and prose, book readings and signings and you’ll be well versed...literally.

The Arts Centre courtyard will be driven by The Culture Cart and their hand-crafted cart on wheels, hosting printing workshops including lino, woodcut and screen printing.

Free workshops inspired by the history of MK and the Great Linford heritage site will be offered, and you can visit the current exhibition housed at the centre, by artist Emma Wilde.

There is plenty more to follow during Sunday’s session – with the Bolivian Sunshine Dogs, MK Choir and Mr Wolfe on the main stage, Blue Cabs on the second stage and Equality Rocks heading to stage three for performance and dance.

All the usual stalls you would expect at the event – from cupcakes to books – will be vying for your attention, as will the food vendors and beer tent.

You want more? 

Not a problem.

How about archery, a water walker, dancing displays and a programme of music in St Andrews Church?

On Saturday, a circular bike ride around MK will push off from the front of the Manor house at 10.30am, and a dog show will give added bark to the bash on Sunday, from 1pm.

Admission is free, with only a small fee asked for parking – and you get a whole load of wonderful Waterside fun in return.

For the full line-ups visit www.watersidefestival.co.uk