I walked this weekend, for hours. Not up mountains but in, over and through mud. If you caught the news then you will have seen the Isle of Wight invasion reported as a chaotic quagmire of the worst kind. Tales of people sleeping in cars and being delayed for 9 to 14 hours. Thankfully not me.
There are people who write great reviews of music and festivals, not my speciality, and after reading a few This, from The Guardian sums it up pretty well.
If you haven’t been to a festival you will wonder what on earth possesses anyone to go and camp in a sea of mud. Not sure I can explain but I will give it a go.
First and foremost has to be the music. Despite the expense of a festival ticket today, if you add up the cost of seeing all the bands/musicians you can cram into a weekend then it is good value for money.
Take away the practicalities and festival goers will tell you it’s ‘the atmosphere’. But what makes that? I first went to Glastonbury in 2009 and remember sitting, yes in the rain, and feeling a complete assault on my senses. The colours, the sounds, the smells. A child in a sweet shop, Disneyland for grownups, Charlie at the chocolate factory, each and every applies.
May be it is the pure escapism. For a few days everyone forgets who and what they are. It doesn’t matter if you are a manager or a manual worker. There are no badges or hierarchy. No worries about the outside world.
Neither does age matter. My cumulative total of birthdays is such a shock to me now that I cannot help but surmise there must be a mistake. But I can dance in my welly boots without the ‘yooff’ muttering. They are far more likely to comment ‘I wish my mum would come to festivals’.
Instant friends are made merely because you sit next to them or stand on their toe, or they on yours. Sometimes you will exchange names and find out that your offspring study at the same university or your great aunts were neighbours. Other times you will walk away with a smile and never see them again. If you do meet again in the mêlée, then chances are you will be greeted with the hug of a long lost friend.
In the pictures you will notice the dress code, or lack of. It can be a time to express yourself, be it in tutus or wedding dresses. Strange how many men like to go in drag.
All are there with the shared goal of having a good time and if 50,000 people or more have the same goal, then it can happen.
I went to the Isle of Wight this year a) because there is no Glastonbury Festival, and b) there were a lot of acts on the line up I wanted to see. The boxes were ticked and I came away happy.
The Isle of Wight in particular. Would I go again? Probably not.
I would go again to Kendal Calling, and, of course, Glastonbury.
Photo note – Glamping off site meant I kept clean. Disadvantage was the mile walk from the car park each day. With the array of clothing needed this weekend the SLR was ditched and all photos were taken with my Blackberry… A few more on facebook
……………………….. sometimes you don’t even need your wellies!
Don’t forget books on the Isle of Wight here – even a Cicerone guide here