This week I delved into the world of music festivals by visiting the Isle of Wight for Bestival.
4 nights, camping, middle of September. Good fun, no doubt.
A common theme of the weekend is fitting things into small spaces. (No sexual innuendo there). Clothes, tent, chair, blow up bed, pillow, endless amount of toiletries, crates of alcohol, food and all my fancy dress outfits into one manageable amount proved tough. Especially with me being as vain as I am, and deciding to take my whole wardrobe. Then fitting this into a car with three other people is the next challenge. Then fitting this car onto a ferry at 6am on a Thursday morning, with 80 000 other festival goers wanting to go. Then fitting 80 000 festival goers onto the small island of the Isle of Wight. You see where I’m going with this?
The journey was pretty smooth, however, it was only once you arrive at Bestival and you have to take the treck will all your stuff on your back to your camping location that things get hard. My bag, 90L big, was just killing my back. I’m not made out for lugging things from one place to another, especially in wellies.
Picking a pop up tent, was one of my finest ideas. Chuck it out the bag an it’s up. Honestly, I don’t know why everyone doesn’t have these things?
So camp is set up, camping chair in place, sun is kind of out, first beer is opened. All is needed is to dress up as a hippie, in line with the Summer of Love theme, and you’re in the Bestival fantasy land.
I have to say, I was quite disappointed of the lineup this year… With rumours of Muse pre-event never coming true, I was left with Chemical Brothers and Mark Ronson as the only acts I wanted to see. What it did mean though, was there was time to see things/try things I’ve never done before. Here’s a quick list of what I managed to fit in at this music festival.
– Touched a bird of prey
– Hugged a Llama
– Had an oil massage
– Sat in a ‘front room’ of 6 people listening to acts I’ve never heard of play.
– Explored an ambient forest
– Found a ‘Secret party’
– Played Mini Golf
– Saw three blokes get married in an inflatable church
– Bought endless amounts of terrible fancy dress
It must be said for the four days, I did not have a care in the world. The atmosphere is about as friendly as I have ever been part of. There was not even a hint of any animosity during the weekend, it was the summer of love after all.
Despite my complaints of the lineup also, I had a belter of a time to the acts I saw, ‘The Cuban Brothers’, not Chemical, was a hell of a laugh that stands out in my mind. The Jacksons making you boogie, what’s not to love about that. Singing a long to a man playing piano in a secret party in a forest, what’s not to love about that. More pyrotechnics and lights than you can imagine at The Port, what’s not to love about that. A sofa where a guy just plays acoustic music, what’s not to love about that.
Okay, the toilets can be pretty rank at times; The rain on the final night was borderline unbearable; Not being able to stand up in my tent drove me mad. Showering with cold water in front of thousands of other campers was painful; Never having phone signal was irritating. But as I walked past the 8ft Love robot and world’s largest disco ball, to treck up the now muddy hill back to the car, I could only think how I didn’t want to return to normality. Maybe the hippie life is for me. (On edit: Having re-intergrated to the real world and office lifestyle, you’ll be pleased to know I haven’t grown my hair and taking the hippie lifestyle).