Wonky Donk Festival, Pike Farm, Organford, Poole

20th-22nd August 2021

There have been many changes put in place at this year’s Wonky Donk Festival; lord of Wonky manor, local musical entrepreneur Hawkeye Hoolihan has moved the site just down from Halls Farm to the neighbouring Pikes Farm. Pike Farm is a much larger, much more accessable space with room for this festival and Hawkeye’s other events to further flourish. This year’s event is now over three days and has its own App; where people can check out who is playing when and also live stream many of the acts performing. In many ways this year’s line-up has been dictated by the effects of the pandemic, with many of the overseas bands unable to travel. However, at their own cost “Moonshine Wagon” travelled over from Spain and self-isolated for a period to enable them to play.

Despite the change to the larger site, the festival as a whole remains as intimate as ever with the same familiar faces that have been coming to the festival since it started. From the moustached security guy on the gate; to the event’s very capable host Suzie Smith, to festival manager Jill Masterman; they all greet you by name and chat like long lost friends. The event starts in earnest with a little bit of London transported down to Dorset in the form of “Carradine’s Cockney Sing-a-long”, before even starting Mr Tom Carradine (who’s actually from Coventry) goes amongst the audience handing out songbooks to the audience in preparation of his set. The set itself includes all the classics “Roll out the Barrel”, “My Old Man’s A Dustman” along with tunes from Mary Poppins and The Beatles. The show is so engaging and no matter what age you are, it’s hard not to be drawn into Tom’s infectious delivery. The Wonky Donk crowd clearly show their positive appreciation, as the singer leaves the stage and rumour has it he will be back next year.

Caradines Cockney Sing A Long
Caradines Cockney Sing A Long 

The Jimmy Hillbillies are next and the seven-piece throw all they have into their set with a reprise of the Wonky “Chicken Train” that sees the crowd getting on-board with the bouncing train trailing around the site. The space in front of their stage is full of people bouncing around to their infectious tunes that all seem to feature some more than familiar moments. All seven are top class musicians and performers who each bring something unique to this band and you cannot help but be drawn in by what they offer.

The Jimmy Hillbillies
The Jimmy Hillbillies 123

After Adam & Jerry aka “The Mccurdy Brothers” give a masterclass in “dirty swamp-style blues” using their unique homemade instruments, it time for the four Spanish beards of Moonshine Wagon. After performing here four years ago the band have returned each year, upon request of the Wonky Donk audience who have taken these guys to their hearts. They most certainly are a wonderfully skilful bunch of guys whose music fits in perfectly with the Roots theme that the Wonky Donk Festival offers. Their energy, delivery and host of great songs show them as worthy headliners.

The McCurdy Brothers
The McCurdy Brothers 
Moonshine Wagon
Moonshine Wagon 12


Words, Pictures & Video by David Chinery (Chinners)
Additional Digital Content by Tim Heywood
Vegan Chilli by Jill Masterman

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