Those of us in the know would probably suggest that these Sidmouth folk fashionistas are ahead of the curve. Either that or off the scale in terms of their headgear and finery. As ever, Sidmouth Folk Week brought a splash of colour to that most traditional of English south coast resorts.
The action, for me, was away from the stages and marquees - in the streets and in the pub sessions. I was only there for two days but it this rainy summer season left enough of an impression to make me want to return for longer in future years. The annual street 'dance off' between Great Western and The Smiths (Hammersmith Morris) was a particualr highlight, taking morris dancing to entirely new pastures which involved one 'social commentary' move that incorporated pauses for group selfies several times. Genius.
On Monday night I spent a joyous two hours in The Radway Arms revelling in an English tunes session after a particlarly tasty curry at the Sidmouth Tandoori (almost next door) - well worth the half hour wait outside. Sidmouth magic at work.
My first Sidmouth was 1989 and that season as well as the following were sunny ones. In 1991 I was privileged to be the first musical curator and host of a new area of the festival - the Bulverton Marquee, in those days just a simple white tent, but we had some amazing parties that year, every night a hootenanny with stand out highlights including The Oyster Band, Edward II, The Barely Works, Alias Ron Kavana and Abdul Teejay's Rokoto.
My most recent memorable return to Sidmouth was in 2009 when I went up against Jim Moray at The Late Night Extra's Silent Disco ... what a triumphant night, not least to hear 400 people singing Teddy Bear's Picnic acapella. Moray's set was masterful with assorted edits and mixups putting Steeleye Span alonsgide The Who in the same track and overlaying Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' with a Seth Lakeman fiddle tune.
Sidmouth - always full of delights and surprises.