Back in 2018 I’m fairly sure that I was the only DJ given the freedom and privilege to play at FollyFest. I was shoved onto the stage in the Crown’s Courtyard for one hour or so squashed between two bands and that was it. By the next year I had Mike L on board and we did a double act, again all over in an hour and a half. Roll forward to this year’s FollyFest and the whole situation has shifted with no less than 14 DJs playing over the whole weekend on a dedicated stage in the courtyard. Eleven of those 14 are now part of the Los Amigos vinyl DJ collective,  that’s a transformation as only one year ago we set out for our first appearance at the back of The Bell as Five Amigos.

Friday evening FollyFest 2023. A warm and sunny day, with smooth setting up of the stage and PA in the Crown’s Courtyard by Martin Long, with help from Charlie, and all set under a blue gazebo for sun and rain protection. Some issues with stage wobble and vibration resolved by treading carefully while on stage. Mike and I set up and launched into our tunes just before 7pm. I went first and offered a whistle stop tour of the Caribbean from Trinidad to Jamaica to Cuba and Puerto Rico. This was setting a mood and tone for early arrivals. Mike L continued with the reggae feel and then slipped into the soul arena as more came into the courtyard. seeking respite from the square outside and in search of food and drink. I launched into my Northern Soul set of 45 minutes which finally got some of the enthusiasts dancing on the crazy uneven cobbles, not an easy thing to do. (Possibly the most difficult dance floor ever for this kind of music,) Mike L played his storming second set which included a bit of sing-a-long to The Real Thing’s ‘You to me are everything’. Now there was a sizeable and excited crowd growing all the time so by the time we came to the sound clash at 10pm we had an audience shouting for more. We played tunes back to back off each other, veering from reggae classics to disco soul tunes the atmosphere ramped up as darkness finally fell. Latin, ska, soul and reggae all came to the party. We stepped off stage at 11 realizing that we were done, it was time for a drink. What a wonderful, exhilarating evening it was, I didn’t come down until at least the next afternoon. The DJ stage at FollyFest with Los Amigos had arrived and there was so much more to come later in the weekend.