RotW used to be a free music festival based around Hitchin town centre using the church and various open spaces. As of last year it was moved to a private park and started charging as it was losing money. It's run by volunteers. I've been a few times and seem some cool acts. You don't get many big names, but then you are not paying much either. This year it cost £20 for a family of four per day, which is less than a single ticket at many festivals.
We were there yesterday, Saturday.Acts we saw included:
- Panda Police - Local teenage rock/pop band
- Oka Vanga - British guitar duo in a similar vein to Rodrigo y Gabriella. Bought their CD
- Rebel Control - Reggae
- Askew Sisters - Traditional folk duo
- Hjaltalin - Large Icelandic group that reminded me a little of Arcade Fire. Nice use of bassoon
- Toque Tambor - Local amateur samba group supplemented by singers, guitarists, dancers and a guy who did a nice line in tambourine juggling. Got everyone dancing
- Lol Coxhill - Very free jazz stylings
- Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman - Stunning harp and guitar duo. Some of the best acoustic playing I've heard
There was lots more going on with six stages and the arena for sport and arts demonstrations. Lots of 'alternative' stalls. We had dinner (pancakes) near the Bubble Inc stall and were treated to some great bubble making. I'l like to have stayed to see John Otway, but we had to get the kids home.
The move to a non-free festival has the changed the nature of the event, but it's still a wonderful, family-friendly event.