Time Tunnel

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention Memories – Gareth Williams: Time Tunnel

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention is less than a week away. Over the past few weeks we have had every member of the the band join us to share their memories of special guests that have joined them on stage during their sets over the years. You can read all those articles here. Their memories are wonderful to read.

Behind the scenes, there is one particular person who is heavily involved in the festival you may not know. Gareth Williams is the man who helps to direct many aspects of the festival. He is as much a part of the setup as the band are. He has helped keep this years bill together, which promises to be something special. You can see the full line-up below (and read our preview here).

Tickets for this years festival can still be purchased here. It is a bargain of a festival for what it offers.

To whet the appetite a little more for the forthcoming shindig, we welcome Gareth Williams, festival director, to At The Barrier as he shares a recollection of one of his favourite bookings for the festival.

Gareth Williams
Gareth Williams

There have been many highlights when I look back over my time at CropredyAlice Cooper, Steve Winwood and the like. However, I think my favourite moment, for very personal reasons, would have been when Horslips took to the stage.

I was brought up in Bangor, Norn Ireland, in the 60s and 70s and, at a time when very few bands were touring Ulster because of the Troubles, home-grown bands became heroes very quickly. Planxty, The Bothy Band etc established themselves on the international folk circuit, Thin Lizzy was storming the UK charts but there, emerging from the background, was this folk-rock group, Horslips – and we loved them!

Fast forward a few years to Manchester, where Maart Allcock and I attended many a bouncing, sold-out Horslips concert. Great shows and the band always had time for a chat with the fans after the concert. Maart and I ‘worked’ the bar at Del La Salle College in Middleton once for a Horslips gig and what wasn’t sold during the show was consumed in great quantity by the band and bar staff well into the wee hours.


When the idea of them playing Cropredy came about (via our friend, journalist and Horslips biographer, Mark Cunningham) they hadn’t played a full festival show for some years. So,I jumped on a plane to Belfast where they were rehearsing for a St Patricks Day concert with an orchestra to sort through the finer details.

I met the crew and went through the technical aspects of what would be required – and then met the band over lunch. They were every bit as affable and welcoming as they had been back in the 70s. They sounded great and I knew it was going to be great.

When they eventually hit the stage at Cropredy, I was of course too busy to watch – I’ve missed some bloody good bands at Cropredy! However, hearing that music wafting over the field transported me back to those teenage years in Bangor, as only music can.

Good times.

Our thanks go to Gareth for his words. Horslips aren’t on the bill this year, however there is a typically varied live up on offer.

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention takes place on 11th, 12th and 13th August. You can buy tickets online here.

Here is a little taster of things to come with one of the bands on the bill this year; Holy Moly & The Crackers.

Fairport Convention: Official Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

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