For me, the second week in April always starts of what I tend to think of as ‘Folk Month’.
It always starts with the Bastard Session (in this case on the 14th), and then the week after that it’s Folk Weekend: Oxford, the local folk festival that I am an artist director for (handing the local artist stages). Now this year, for the first time, St George’s Day falls on one of the Folk Weekend days, so that’s sort of two fiddles with one bow. But normally it falls on a different day, and there’s often a separate session just for that.
And then the week afterwards it’s May Day. Which, in Oxford, is a big deal:
All the local Morris sides perform in town, and there are folk sessions going on all day. (Oxford friends: yes, this video has most of you in it – particularly the part on the steps.) Last year, of course, it was also the final Bellowhead gig, and so that added a whole new level of crazy to the proceedings.
(Although it’s not only the English that get excited about the start of May and the coming of summer. Much of the northern hemisphere, of course, decides it is a necessary point to party. In Poland they have a number of holidays, and it is often seen as the beginning of the barbecue season – imagine having a whole season in which you can barbecue!)
And then we’re into May, when, for the side I play for, the Morris season starts, which usually goes through to about October. So that means much more drinking on weeknights and wandering round market towns looking for a cash machine while dressed as a skeleton on weekends.
Basically, by the end of May I’m shattered.