Spoiled for choice?

What makes a festival different from a concert? It’s not only that Dixie Fields Festival is literally going to be in a field – okay there’ll be a couple of tepis and a covered main stage and a big top and, you know, facilities … but it is essentially an outdoor event. An actual Essex field, sprinkled, for the weekend, by that little bit of Dixie magic.

Music on the Saturday will run from 12 noon to 11pm. It’s going to be catchy, toe-tapping, heart-tugging but there’s much more than that – there’s all the extras, the fun things that are going to help build that Dixie atmosphere. We’re planning a proper day out — something that all the family can enjoy.

Like the bucking bronco maybe?

Or some line-dancing tuition? We’ve probably all experienced that happy feeling with darkness falls and  the music’s playing and inhibitions don’t seem to matter anymore – dance like nobody’s watching!  But it’s a different sort of pleasure when people are dancing together in the early evening, leaning those few simple steps that can work to any type of music –a Ward Thomas track, maybe?  So we have line dance supremo Gary Samms from Nulinedance coming to show us how to get started and even if you think you’ve two left feet — well, maybe your neighbour has two right ones…

Food and drink help give the Dixie feel. There’s a double smoker BBQ serving pulled pork and brisket, a diner for those hot dogs and burgers and an amazing selection of southern street foods – like po-boys, shrimps, rock oysters, okra and Cajun specialities. The less adventurous don’t need to worry – there’ll be pizzas and an ice cream van from the wonderful Hadleys of Lavenham. And if you want to be authentically Essex, then try a ‘Shaken Udder’ milkshake from Wicks Manor Farm near Maldon.

Some people enjoy shopping on their day out and we’re currently putting together a good selection of trade stands (more news will follow here), but if your ideal summer Saturday needs to be a whirligig break from routine then you’ll probably be heading for Harry Parrish’s fairground rides.

Or you can simply spread out your rug and sit yourself down on the grass with something long and cool from the on-site bars. And have you begun thinking what you’re going to wear? The photo shows Georgie, our organiser, spoiled for choice in an Alberta boot store. Sorry – we haven’t got that one sorted yet.