As summer breaks, the annual Quayside Music Festival (Bank Holiday version) and Fayre in the Square gather in Weymouth. Two days of music, food, drink, and boats in the center of town, accompanied by the first crush of heaving crowds along the beaches.
We arrived a bit late, so parking was pretty much impossible. A stop for fish ‘n chips was mandated along the walk into town, gathering strength for pressing through the crowds, before moving on to the beaches (and the Queen’s 90th birthday commemorative sand sculpture).
British beaches are all windbreaks (actually, privacy screens) and deck chairs, ice cream and sand shovels. On occasions like this, the crowds are punctuated by Punch ‘n Judy puppet shows, Mini-golf and donkey rides, perhaps only seen in combination along the Jersey shores in the US. But it really is summer.
I prefer the sailboats and cafe’s lining the inner harbour, sprinkled with food stalls and punctuated by fishing families. This summer, I tell myself, more time for the wind and the water.
Then on to the Festival, properly, all swaying people, music and drink. We snagged a table and angled to get a picture from social media onto the big screen.
The Fayre across the river was new this year, and the better venue. It was impossible to find room to sit, but the restaurants were doing brisk business on nibbles and beer and the music flowed over a thousand small-group conversations.
By seven pm, it’s wound down and over. Its amazing how fast the vendors close up, the crowds disperse, and the beaches clear. The herd, it seems, moves on quickly in search of the next oasis.