THE Trowbridge Village Pump Festival is without doubt one of the town's biggest success stories.

After starting in the back room of The Lamb pub more than 30 years ago by a few folk performers, it has grown into one of the country's most popular festivals. And this year, the 33rd event at Stowford Farm, near Farleigh was better than ever attracting thousands of people and an international musical line-up including the Waterboys, Suzanne Vega and Los De Abajo.

The family friendly festival, which ran from Thursday to Sunday evening, not only outsold its ticket capacity but the festival followers who camped next to the site also drank dry the beer supplies from festival sponsors Wadworth.

One of the highlights was when 345 dedicated spoons players set a new world record.

The Guinness World Record Organisation approved the endeavour and told the organisers that the Largest Spoons Ensemble record had never been attempted before.

The event was organised by the Wiltshire-based street theatre group Stripey-Jumper and the spoon players were led by Jonathan Nibbs, a spoon player of international repute to the tune of Knees up Mother Brown.

Stage one opened on the Friday evening with top acts Hank Wangford and Reg Meuross followed by Eliza Carthy and finishing with the pulsating sounds of African Caribbean music of Osibisa.

And with the festival enjoying one of its hottest weekends yet thousands of festival followers flocked to the Stowford site for the Saturday line up of Karine Polwart, Altan and the Waterboys.

The evening closed with a great live show from the Barcelona Band Costo Rico.

But for many the Sunday performance was the icing on the cake.

The evening acts opened with one of the most popular acoustic roots duo in Britain, Show of Hands, who have sold out twice at the Royal Albert Hall.

Flying in for her one-night gig was show favourite Suzanne Vega.

She travelled from Los Angeles for the event travelling straight back after her hour and a half slot.

And Mexican group Los De Abajo pumped up the action with an energetic performance that finished with band members jumping off the stage into the audience while the music continued.

Visitor Lesley Turner tours many of the festivals in the south west. She said: "The Village Pump is by far the favourite for me. There is no other event quite like it."

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