Nobody loves a good party or festival more than the Welsh.
Well, apart from the Irish, who, famously, like to party at funerals.
The Scots have a reputation for partying hard, as do the Cockneys, who enjoy a knees-up. And the Mexicans, Italians and Spanish love a religious festival, complete with parades, costumes and music.
So, let me start again. If the rain stays off and there’s a plentiful supply of portable loos, the whole world enjoys a festival.
As well as today’s big festivals, like Glastonbury and Reading, there are hundreds more all over Britain every year, some having their origins in medieval times, when they attracted huge crowds on the village green.
There was always a long queue at the wolf-burger stand!
Villagers would join the Lord and Lady of the Manor to celebrate the coming of Spring or a successful harvest, with singing, dancing, juggling and human sacrifice.
Okay. I exaggerated for comic effect.
There was very little juggling.
Decades before dance halls and discos became places for the opposite sex to mingle, festivals were the only social gatherings where young, unmarried people from different villages could meet potential future partners.
Otherwise they married their cousins, which today is unthinkable.
I could never marry my cousin. Although, in a good light, Stan’s not bad-looking.
If you haven’t experienced one, there are festivals to suit all tastes and they’re not all outdoors.
Rock, folk and jazz festivals. Food festivals. Literary festivals. Flower festivals. Beer festivals. Film festivals. And my favourite – comedy festivals.
These events are important for the local economy and give us the chance to practice our communication skills whilst preserving what our ancestors did generations ago.
Except today, if we pull, we can adjourn to a warm tent or hotel room, rather than a haystack,
The biggest comedy festival in Britain is Edinburgh in August, which I’ve visited a few times. I’ve also performed at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, which this year runs from May1st to the 3rd.
Between those, there’s one closer to home – the Neath Comedy Festival.
I recently met Paul James, from Neath, who is one of the busiest and hardest-working comedians on the circuit, making a name for himself with a style that delivers slick, side-splittingly funny original one-liners.
He has gags that many comedians would give their agent’s right arm for.
He was also the founder and drive behind the Neath Comedy Festival, based at the Clowns Pocket comedy venue, which has been running and growing over the past few years, giving new talent a chance to gain valuable experience, whilst also enticing some already well-established TV comedians to the town.
Many of them used the Clowns Pocket to test material prior to performing at other festivals and on TV.
Clearly Paul has entrepreneurial skills which he uses to his advantage and are serving him well.
Neath Comedy Festival starts in July.
Will I be appearing?
As the man said to his wife when he found somewhere to park….watch this space!