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Ben and Jerry’s Festival 2011 – Free Ice Cream Anyone??

24 Jul
Fancy a day of music, funfairs and free-ice cream? Then the Ben and Jerrys Sundee festival is for you.  Now in its 7th year, this is an event that just keeps getting better and defiantly gives you a double scoop of fun with the addition of a second venue in Heaton Park, Manchester this year.
Fun and games were had by all on the free funfair rides; perfect for the big kids amongst us.  Nothing like eating your body weight in free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and then getting on a carousel!

Happy Little Lady
(Complete with Essex Girl Sunglasses)

Music plays all day, and this year the line up was brilliant.  Steve Cradock, Fun Loving Criminals, Ash and Ocean Colour Scene kept us entertained all afternoon and really got the crowd going.  Being a smaller festival makes it the perfect place to take children (under 5’s go free) and my little lady loved dancing around to the live music, she’s taking after her mother already!
Seeing James Buckley, who plays Jay in award winning The Inbetweeners, make an appearance on stage with Steve Craddock and then again with Ocean Colour scene was worth the entrance fee all on its own.  Turns out he’s quite the guitar player and is performing on Steve Cradock’s new solo Album Peace City West.
Alongside the music and funfair rides there was much more on offer. City Farm were on location with their cute animals, the lovely people from Dorset Cereal handing out boxes of delicious muesli, toe wrestling competitions, coconut shy, RSPCA stand, Face paining and a Pimms arena.  And as always, the Ben and Jerrys Sundae Festival was climate neutral so we could indulge guilt free in our free Fairtrade ice cream to our heart’s content.
Tickets for Ben and Jerry’s Festival normally go on sale March time – and with all of this for just £17 a ticket this year, I will most certainly be front of the queue to get tickets again for next year!

Wifes Night Off – Friendly Fires Gig, London

15 Jul
I’ve always been some what of a floozy when it comes to music, never sticking to one decade or genre to sum up my musical tastes. I have the attitude in life of try anything one (within the confines of what is legal and proper of course!) and when applied to music this mantra has always seen me right.  I’ve discovered over the years music I had beforehand written off as ‘not for me’  was actually not too bad once I’d taken a listen or seen them play live – the latest being my mum getting me into Seth Lakeman after me previously writing off folk music as something I’ll revisit when in my 40’s.
With all of this in mind I jumped at the chance of some new music experiences when the ballot for iTunes festival tickets opened earlier this year.  I applied for tickets for any nights I was free during July with crossed fingers and toes.  After numerous ‘unfortunately you have not been successful’ emails I was delighted to open my laptop up last week to see a big fat ‘congratulations’ waiting for me in my inbox.  I’d won tickets to see Friendly Fires at the Roundhouse in Camden.
At this point I must admit I had heard of Friendly Fires but wasn’t 100% sure if I knew any of their music, I had however been told they put on one hell of a show so I was all fired up for a great gig. 
I was most certainly NOT disappointed! As a venue the Roundhouse was fantastic. It was intimate yet spacious; we never had to wait longer than 5 minutes at any bar and even standing close to the back of the crowd you still felt like you were almost at the front of the stage.
The show itself was brilliant.  I knew most of the songs they played and was singing and dancing the night away.  Lead singer Ed MacFarlane is an awesome showman and turned a good show into a great one, he is worth seeing for his dancing alone, something I have since found out he is famous for. 
Me and @kittykat_j_85 enjoying the gig (sorry about the quaility – taken on phone, while dancing!!)
Thanks to Friendly Fires, iTunes and The Roundhouse Camden for such a top night, I will certainly be looking for tickets for when they return to London on their up and coming tour.
To apply for tickets for remaining date for the iTunes festival 2011 visit