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The Port Eliot Festival takes place at St Germans in Cornwall 19-22 July, boasting a mixture of bands, DJs, writers, food, flowers, fashion and more. With Beth Orton, Dominic West, Tim Burgess and Andy Kershaw in the mix, organiser, Venetian bridge enthusiast and Embers frontman Louis Eliot tells us how it's all going to come together.
How are the preparations for this year's festival currently going?
"Very good, nearly there now. It will get especially exciting in the final week beforehand. There's always a great buzz in the air when the tents start going up."
What acts on the bill are you most proud of booking this year?
"I'm really looking forward to Stornoway. They're only playing a few dates this year and their bucolic harmonies drifting across the site on a summer evening will be pretty perfect I think."
Who else are you looking forward to this year?
"Toy, Beth Orton, John Cooper Clarke, The Bees..."
Have you managed to 'sneak' any personal favourites on to the bill, if so who?
"Music wise..a great new band on rough trade called Palma Violets catch them here first, The Staves (who will be performing in the church) and a DJ set from a massive act whose name we won't mention, but lets say the clue is in the description: they'll be known as the Bristol Hi-Ffi Soundsystem and will take over the Bowling Green on Friday night."
Can you recommend us some non-musical thing from this year's event?
Yes! Jessica Hynes, John Cooper Clarke (his limerick master class in The Idler Academy last year was genius), Jon Ronson, Robin Ince, David Sims' photographic studio, Wild Swimming, Mik Artistik and kayaking!"
You have people coming from lots of different worlds, music, fashion, food, books, etc. How does everyone get along? Have you ever seen some surprising collaborations or conversations over the years?
"Wilko johnson talking to Jarvis Cocker about astronomy! Wilko has a huge telescope on the roof of his house. His bug eyed fervour for the subject's as entertaining to witness as his machine gun guitar playing. Lucy Cooke, who is the Idler Academy's zoology mistress, gave a lecture on sloths and was invited on tour by British Sea Power as their support act."
Based on the books, music, food and fashion elements, is Tim Burgess this year your ultimate booking - he's currently covering all the bases from cereal to memoirs?
"He's playing records too! Yes he's going to be pretty busy. I'm pleased we'll be exhibiting new paintings by Paul Simonon and we've always had unscheduled performances so you should see people doing more than just what's advertised in the programme."
Any site changes festival goers should note?
"Umm, just a bit of fine tuning really. We have a new programme called The Odditorium which will make use of one of our late night venues. You have to enter through a door in some bushes."
What's the latest travel advice ahead of this year's event?
"We've never had any access problems. We are just across the Tamar, 10 Miles into Cornwall. It's also very easy to get to the festival by train. It's on the main line from Paddington. Get off at St Germans and you are a two minute walk from the gate."
Is there one act who you haven't booked yet are you still desperate to have on?
"I'd like to have The Polyphonic Spree, PJ Harvey, Nick Lowe..."
Finally can you arrange it for us to go drinking with McNulty?
"McNulty is a law unto himself, and quite nifty on the dancefloor too. He'll [Dominic West] be appearing on two different stages over the weekend. That's thirsty work. I'm sure if you offer him a drink he'll be very grateful."
For more on Port Eliot, including the full line-up and latest ticket news, head to Porteliotfestival.com.
10:53 AM | 12/07/2012
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