THE lifeblood of a successful organisation is repeat business. The sell-out 8th Deershed Festival is a case in point. Many of the 11,000 attendees were likely there having been before, or heard glowing recommendations. Try explaining to a three year old why John Shuttleworth is more fun than careering around the hay on a wooden bike. Some battles are unwinnable.

Despite family skirmishes, the atmosphere was overwhelmingly positive. The new Wilder Wood created a captivating set of stories that drew people to this secluded corner into their spell. Those in the science tent worked wonders. Families that made it past the helter skelter were able to feast on some lesser known, but highly musical acts.

Tom Wilson kicked proceedings off in fine style on the main stage, looking very comfortable in the spotlight. The beguiling H Hawkline brought shades of Talking Heads, a rare Welsh wit and keening voice to set the bar high in the adjoining Lodge Stage. Most preferred the noise of Manchester’s Cabbage to Jesca Hoop (their closing line “We were Cabbage” one of the weekend’s most memorable lines, while Hoop’s Pegasi provided one of the best songs).

It is hard to love Teenage Fanclub, although they are harder to dislike. Their headline Friday set was comfortable and unerringly tuneful. Scots then dominated the second day, one bookended in rain. Bathed in golden light, Roddy Woomble was unexpectedly excellent, with newer songs trading blow for blow with his much loved Idlewild songs. King Creosote risked bagpipes, and also came away the victor, his slight songs surprisingly effective on a large sun-baked crowd. Hyde Park Brass blew off the roof off wherever they popped up.

While tents were dismembered on Sunday and the shower queue snaked and steamed, a wonderful voice took flight: Jalen N'Gonda is a soul star in the making. Festival stars The Divine Comedy were one paced but wonderful with Neil Hannon entertaining the tired and ragged band (but not said three year old) to bring the curtain down in his Napoleon and banker’s costumes. A festival that North Yorkshire should be very proud of.