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Cider In The Barn 2016

Cider in The BarnCider in The Barn was held at Hitchcox Cider Store in Chalgrove, Oxford which was the perfect idyllic setting for this wonderful festival.

Just to give you a little bit of background – Cider in The Barn was born in 2015 and organised by Toby, one of the owners of the Hitchcox Cider Farm and Benji, a friend of Toby, my cousin, a Cider enthusiast and a member of the amazing band Eclectic. The festival in 2015 was just for friends and close family and went down really well which is why this year, they decided to try it out for the public to see how it goes with a view to trying to make something new and exciting that people wanted to go to. I have to say they succeeded. It was a brilliant day. The atmosphere was wonderful and friendly, the food fantastic, the bands were wickedly good and of course Mystical Mayhem Hippy Clothing was there 😉

Well I have to admit we were a little dubious as to how it was going to go.. It was our first ever stall at a festival, the first time that we had put up the stall and filled it with our wonderful hippy wares and, the first time that we had been let loose into the outside world…..EXCITED!!!!

It was a long long day (22 hours awake to be precise). We awoke at 6am full of the joys of spring, excited to get to the festival and start setting up. When we got out of bed what did we see, rain and lots of it.. the forecast stated that it was going to rain pretty much all day until 16.00. Bugger, is what we thought, this may make setting up very difficult and very wet. I was not looking forward to looking like a drowned rat for the day. Thankfully when we arrived at Hitchcox Cider Farm the rain subsided for a small time. We were greeted by one of the organisers of the festival and owners of the farm, Toby. Toby is an awesome guy who was super nice and helpful and directed us to our pitch. Here we go;
We managed to get the shell up and most of the covers before the rain began again. Phew! Once it was set up we then had to unload the van and make the stall look bright, colourful and inviting. We smashed it! (even if I do say so myself)

Mystical Mayhem Hippy Clothing Stall@ Cider in The Barn
Stall 2Stall 3 & Nici

We got the stall up and hippyfied in good time and were ready for when the festival started at 12.00.
Because of the rain, it took a while for folks to start arriving but when they did, there were a fair few of them. Boy did it rain though, it was raining so hard that we had water pooling on top of the stall which we had to keep tipping off (poor Simon got a soaking – good job we took a change of clothes). We really needed to come up with an idea to stop the water as it would cascade over the top sporadically and I didn’t want to end up soaking the poor general public (ok so maybe a little part of me thought that might be funny?!). Then, we had a eureka moment, I came up with the idea and Sy came up with the props, it didn’t look pretty but it did the job – water bottles. It really did work!

Stall Props

So, the rain finally buggered off and the people started pouring in. And why wouldn’t they, there was so much for people to do and see. There was wonderful food headed up by Sharon Garrod, a face painting stand for kids, and adults in aid for McMillan Cancer Research, a coconut shy and splat the rat along with great drinks and bands. Sounds like a perfect day to me!


This was the yummy food stall. Of course as we were there all day we had to sample a few different things 🙂 The slow roasted lamb in cider was to die for delicious and by far my favourite dish of the day. We also sampled a burger which was yummy and Sy had the sausages which he enjoyed. The food was well received by everyone. So much so that by the end of the night they had run out of everything except burgers and sausages.. Mmmm fantastic job well done by Sharon and her lovely team! Thank you for the lovely grub!

Next for the Cider, it was a Cider Festival after all. Not being a cider drinker I cannot understand all of the different flavours etc but I knew plenty of people there who said they were gorgeous. They had so many different flavours to choose
from – raspberry, plums, blackcurrant and there was of course the standard dry and medium ciders too. They went down a storm.
They did have a choice of ales for those who were not Cider drinkers and they went down well too, especially with Simon 😉
Simon Rainbow Parasol

Then the bands, wow they made some grand choices with the line up. We of course didn’t catch everyone as we had the stall to look after but we did catch these guys;A Boy Called Man

A Boy Called Man
A Boy Called Man is made up of 4 band members –
Christian Wilkins
Jason Pratt
Ken Kerslake
James Fidge
A Boy Called Man class themselves as an Indie Folk band and describe themselves as somewhere between Indie, Folk, a fiddle and dark melodic vocals. It was a great set so well done guys.

Click here to check out their Facebook page

Ctrl Alt IndieCtrl Ant Indie
As you may be able to see, all of the guys in this great band are wearing hats from Mystical Mayhem Hippy Clothing, yay! You may also see one of our tie dye t-shits in there.
These guys came over to our stall to take a look at our hats just before their set and they were such lovely fellows, we really enjoyed talking to them.
Ctrl Alt Indie are a covers band and covered some awesome songs. At the end of their set they even gave a shout out to Mystical Mayhem. That was a first and was awesome. Thanks guys, we hope to see you again soon.

Sorry Barry it seems the speaker is hiding you!
Now, Eclectic are a pretty awesome band. At present they are a covers band however, they are currently working on their own material which I cannot wait to hear. Eclectic cover an array of genres which just seem to fit them perfectly;Eclectic
Funk, Soul, Rock, Blues and folk plus pretty much everything else – you name it and they can do it, well!
Eclectic has 5 wonderful band members;
Marion Nicolosi
Claire Keep
Barry Light
Massimo Nicolosi
Benji Keep
Was a wkd set guys!

Click here to check out their Facebook page

Static Son

I think I see another Tie Dye T-shirt from Mystical Mayhem in this pic 🙂Static Son
Static Son are a great 4 piece Indie Rock band from reading.
Ed Wells – Lead Vocal, Rhythm Guitar
Jack Davis
Mike Watson
Sam Thurley

Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to hear too much of them but what we did was great!

Click here to check out their Facebook page

The Oubliettes are a great 4 piece band playing a mixture of covers and their own works. The band is made up of;
Eleanor Hawley
James Kell
Ben Watkins
James Shore
From what we heard we thought that they were a great band and really enjoyed their music.

Click here to check out their Facebook page

Echo TownEcho Town

Sorry for the poor quality picture folks
These guys were (insert swear word of your choice here) awesome! Although we enjoyed all of the bands we enjoyed Echo Town the most.  Echo Town was born from 2 brothers Ric and Rob originally from Leeds who now hail from Cornwall.
Between the 2 of them they can play a huge range of instruments. The sounds that these guys can make just from a few instruments is phenomenal! Playing their own tunes which they class as reggae folk, they most certainly had the crowd captivated and had their full attention. There was even a conga line at one point.
Ric who does the lead vocals at times reminded me of Country Joe McDonald from Country Joe and The Fish, another great band!
If you haven’t heard of these guys before or heard their music then you are missing out. You should go and see them for sure. You will be so pleased that you did!

Click here to check out their Facebook page

So, Echo Town closed the evening and the crowd started to trickle away. Some were heading home and others were heading back to the camping area to carry on the party. We were a little sad to start packing up as it had been such a good day but, we were absolutely shattered and were looking forward to getting home to bed.

We managed to get the stall packed up, said goodnight and then took the van home. By the time we had got back, unloaded the van at the warehouse, got home and crawled (yes crawled, it was about all we could manage at this time) into bed it was 4am. After a 6am start we were pooped. It was all worth it though!

It seems that everyone had a great night so a massive well done to Toby and Benji – outstanding!
Cider in The Barn 2017 is already in the making and plans are being made. I imagine dates will be released soon and preparations will be made to make it bigger and better than this year! From what I understand there is already talk of moving the festival into the orchards to make room for more people which I am sure after hearing about this year will be there with bells on.
Toby has invited Mystical Mayhem back for 2017 and we will be without a doubt. No need to think about it at all.

For those of you we met at this year’s Cider in The Barn we hope to see you again in 2017 and for those of you who did not make it then double the effort for 2017 because trust me, you will not want to miss out. It is going to be epic!