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 Another year another Rockfest

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oldun
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PostSubject: Another year another Rockfest   Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:05 pm

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Hi everyone - Mindya will be holding its 5th FREE Rockfest August 22, 23 and 24th. The first day will be setting up the stage, sound, lighting etc. and then starting around 6.30pm probably with the Kmet's speech and folk singing. Then new/young groups will be playing and competing in a competition with the winners getting a recording session. An excellent idea to help young bands getting some publicity and air play. The next two days established groups will be playing plus Jim Hawkins Jimmy Hendrix Tribute group, Purple Haze playing on the Friday. The event will climax with the ever popular Vasko the Patch and Evgenii Dainov's Magistri and Blues Traffic. All information on FB Mindya Rockfest open g :Party2: :Wav: :Band: :Band:roup.
Unfortunately last year our local shop was refused permission to extend opening hours which upset a lot of campers and those wanting cigarettes and ice-creams. This year Tom and I got up a petition to put forward to help get the licence so hopefully it will be open this year.

It will be great to see more English faces in the audience and more stalls offering crafts etc. Karen's book stall will be there as usual. Last year the audience had grown to around 3,000 or more from the origingal 500 in 2009. We are both very proud to have sponsored and supported this festival in the village and this will be our last one. We are leaving Bulgaria soon after for another adventure back in Blighty. Mindya is now firmly on the map and has the support of Veliko Turnovo Obshtina and is officially registered as a non'profitmaking organisation.
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Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:43 pm

thanks for the pics oldun ... it looks like another great rockfest ... long may they continue g
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:14 pm

T Guys sound and looks like it was a great day - so glad all went well. Only sorry I missed

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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:23 pm

I can't believe it Itchyfeet. Status Quo Rick Parfitt and Frances Rossi were my favourite group at the time. Our paths could have crossed because my dancing daughter took me to see them at Wembley but don't remember which year. Sometime in the 80s. She had tickets from someone she was working with at the time. Fancy that!
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Chris
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:41 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I can't believe it Itchyfeet. Status Quo Rick Parfitt and Frances Rossi were my favourite group at the time

Small world oldun and itchy! I've seen the 'mighty quo' in concert over 50 times and also had the pleasure of playing guitar along with Rick and Francis on stage. Great guys and fabulous days!

(although if I tried to play Caroline or Down Down nowadays my fingers would probably start bleeding!) [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

By the way, when I was living in Sofia, I had a phone call from Fish (ex-Marillion front man) who was trying to arrange a concert in Bulgaria (I've known him some time). I sorted it out for him and he played the NDK on 5th October, 2005 (and kindly gave me a handful of backstage passes for helping out). It was a great gig and he's been back several times since and also done gigs in Bansko and Plovdiv.

Here's to Bulgaria: Rock Capital of the World
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itchyfeet
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:39 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I can't believe it Itchyfeet. Status Quo Rick Parfitt and Frances Rossi were my favourite group at the time

Small world oldun and itchy! I've seen the 'mighty quo' in concert over 50 times and also had the pleasure of playing guitar along with Rick and Francis on stage. Great guys and fabulous days! Here's to Bulgaria: Rock Capital of the World

It sure is a small world Chris you would have certainly been at the concert when I chauffered Rick. He was a true gentleman and I also chauffered his son who is studying at an arts school in Surrey. His son is playing keyboards and hopes to join his Dad with the Quo later in life. I also chauffered other famous celebs including Jon Bonjovi and The Petshop Boys, Jon Bonjovi was going to a Jeff Beck concert in Hammersmith and The Petshop Boys were being awarded a Golden Disc for one of their Albums. A friend of mine, John Harris was lead guitar with the Pretty Things and I worked alongside him at The Evening Standard in Fleet Street and I have played the drums with him a few times. It's an interesting life and it is all the more pleasureable when you meet famous people face to face.
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:23 pm

Thanks for sharing the pics..I can see how much fun I missed. You and Tom are looking well.
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cheekychops
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:07 pm

I missed it this year but I will be there next year as usual.
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bigsavak
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:58 am

Anyone know if Rockfest is on this yesr?
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sallyann
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:14 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I missed it this year but I will be there next year as usual.


Yes, of course - the last weekend of August 2015.
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BGmoaner
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:10 am

Great I will be going, I have never missed one since coming over here 4 years a go I can highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in music of this kind.
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:50 pm

How my quiet Bulgarian village became ready to rock

When expat Ann Thomas received a windfall, she could think of no better use for it than starting a rock festival in her adopted home.

You may think it unusual for an Englishwoman in her late sixties to start a free Rockfest. Even more unusual that this is what happened in a very small village in central Bulgaria. Well, I did just that.

It was spring in our beautiful village of Mindya, which has a population of around 300 – mostly elderly residents. My partner was taking his usual evening stroll to the local bar when he met up with a man who hails from the capital, Sofia, but has a family home in the village. His name is Evgenii Dainov, a professor at Sofia University, and speaks fluent English. He had a dream of starting a free Rockfest in the village.

This man is regularly on television giving his opinions as a political analyst but he is also a well-known rock musician with two groups who often tour Bulgaria with his equally famous rock friend, Vasko.

My partner later discussed the idea with me, and then, a few days later, I received a welcome windfall. The main problem for Evgenii was the lack of funds to make his Rockfest dream come true. We got together and I suggested I might help as a sponsor. I love all kinds of music and sing in the village ladies' folk choir. Why not? He jumped at the chance and plans were laid.

It was decided to hold the event in September and Evgenii did all the organising of groups, staging, sound equipment and so on. In addition, a committee was set up of which we were honourary members. We had posters and fliers, which appeared everywhere, from Sofia to Mindya. We even had an advert on the village bus. TV stations were interested and we all did interviews.

I was the novelty, of course, as the only lady on the committee. “Why?” was the oft mooted question. I don’t know myself, apart from the fact that the idea appealed to my nature, I suppose. Maybe I have gypsy in my soul or am a bit of a frustrated thespian – whatever.

The day dawned. Villagers from babies to babas (grandmothers) arrived in the village square to see what all the noise and fuss was about. The weather was not very clement, deciding to rain for the first time for months. However, undaunted, the professional stage and sound system was set up and by this time the rain held off. There was a soundcheck which boomed out over the surrounding mountains and then stalls began to arrive.

Beer tents from the local breweries were on site, of course, as well as various food outlets.

The local shop set up a barbecue outside for the traditional kebabchkes, which are a kind of skinless spicy meat sausage. A pan of chips bubbled away and plates of bread were offered around, too.

There were Bulgarian craft stalls, selling everything from jewellery to painted antique roof tiles plus the usual offerings for the children of balloons, sweets of all descriptions and candy floss. There were also tables for the locals to set up to sell their own honey and gifts. It was amazing to see the transformation of our small square with its central statue of Mother Bulgaria.

At 6pm our choir, including myself, gingerly stepped up onto the stage and our mayor, Ivan, gave his opening speech of welcome to the gathering of around 500 rockers who had been arriving all day on their bikes, choppers and Harley Davisons, all sporting the rocker’s gear of leather jackets and T-shirts with the names of their favourite groups, plus, of course, the newly manufactured Mindya Rockfest.

We sang four traditional songs looking very bright in our costumes. My solo was very nerve-wracking, I can tell you, but it was part of a popular song, which was for all Bulgarians living abroad, so it was quite applicable for this British expat to sing. I do not think of my voice being good but the Bulgarians loved it.

Then the real rock and roll began. The music leading up to the usual crescendo of sound with guitar riffs and drum solos plus some very humourous songs from Vasko and his group, in which he also plays his harmonica. The whole evening was cheered and clapped, waved and filmed on video, as happens at rock festivals everywhere. Even the tiniest children stayed up to watch the last few acts. One group asked the children up on stage to dance.

What a day! It ended with several interviews with the press and TV and again made me a bundle of nerves pushing their mikes in front of my face and asking why I would sponsor this and why it was happening in such a small village.

I told them that I had done it for the village and, while a Rockfest might seem a strange choice, the idea was that the 'big boys’ on the circuit who usually make all the money, would not be involved and everyone could attend for free. It brought our village, who have made we foreigners so welcome, a higher profile.

Bulgarian villages do not fare well in the government’s thoughts so any publicity about what they are doing to help themselves does attract more income from the community. Now we have Bulgarians buying in the village who want a second home away from the city, plus a few more foreigners of various nationalities. Mindya is a beautiful, safe village and close to the historic town of Veliko Turnovo so it is an excellent place to buy now it is "on the map", so to speak.

After it had all finished at around midnight the rocking campers who had set up tents in the surrounding fields or down by the river, had jamming sessions and barbecues, which continued into the early hours. No one minded the sounds piercing our normally quiet village and the next morning everyone, including us, set to and cleared up. By 8am nothing remained from the previous excitement. No litter or evidence of a Rockfest at all. Amazing and a tribute to the organisation.

Our Mindya Rockfest is now an annual event and about to enter its fourth year. It lasts two days and we have foreign rock groups wanting to perform. Unfortunately, we haven’t enough funding yet to pay for the touring and accommodation for them. There are bigger sponsors now – what a nightmare it was getting them – but not enough in the coffers just yet.

But watch this space because Mindya is now the place to play!

It just shows how big oak trees can grow from little acorns, and it was all down to my windfall.            

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bigsavak
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:18 am

I do mis Oldun since she left Bg, I use to love reading her posts, I think she inspired a lot of people over here with what she did. Hope she is having a good life wherever she is ?
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:23 am

If I remember correctly she went back the Blighty but agreed she was a real inspiration to us all not only because of Rockfest but her writing's about life her were brilliant. I'm sure we have not seen the last of her though. T
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PostSubject: subject   Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:28 am

I hope she is happy...wherever she is these days.

I miss Annie and the chats we used to share.
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PostSubject: Re: Another year another Rockfest   Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:04 am

Miss her too but no doubt she will be back soon as the Rockfest is due this month so she will be checking in hopefully.... As far as we know she and her hero are doing well he is working in UK now too an you know Annie she will be keeping busy with all sorts.. Probably started a choire there too now g

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