I am not a massive festival junkie – I have been to Lovebox every year for the past seven, and I have been to a few others over the years, but they have always been day festivals in London. However, I do love my music! And I have VERY eclectic tastes.
This came to light a few weeks ago when one of the Awesomestow Twitterati asked for a Saturday morning music suggestion, and @martingreaves suggested Afro Celt Sound System who I have LOVED for years. I tweeted this fact, as did @mr_omneo and as these things happen, within a couple of days, the three of us had bought tickets to go to this year’s WOMAD festival in Wiltshire, along with The Girl!
The Girl has NEVER been to a festival – of any type at all…and *I* have never been to an overnight one. in fact, considering me & my family went camping about 6 times a year when I was a kid, it may come as some (or no) surprise that I haven’t even been camping since I was about 14. However, I know The Man went to WOMAD with a large group of friends every year for about 10 years – but not for the past 6! He didn’t want to come as he thought it might be a bitweird for him.
So, we packed our bags – luckily Martin had all manner of camping equipment – and off we went.
I could go on an on for ages about how brilliant it was, but I will try to keep it to a minimum
Things I learned at WOMAD
- Festival food has come a LONG way
- £8 for the weekend for me & The Girl to use the La-Di-Dah loos was the best £8 I spent! (Ceramic flushign loos, running wtaer in the sinks, hand-driers, uniformed attendants, people with scrubbing brushes, mirrors, toiletries…)
- Bubbles make EVERYONE smile
- Kids will sleep through anything
- Some people (in other tents) snore VERY loudly
- Many women do the 5am ‘I-can’t-wait-for-the-loo-any-longer’ dash from their tents
- My daughter really IS totally adorable
- Festival-goers are a bloody lovely crowd
- Drums are fab
- It’s amusing to see a lot of very respectable-looking white-haired couples in their 60s smoking spliffs and giggling to themselves
- It’s amazing how many times you can bump into exactly the same people over and over again in a crowd of 35,000
- I just loved the eclectic mix of music – but it was amazing how many acts I already knew!
- My daughter wasn’t to be a beatboxer
And this was MY WOMAD
- The Boxettes (workshop – where The Girl actually got up on stage with them)
- Pacific Curls
- The Boxettes
- Alabama 3
- Taiko Meantime (Japanese drumming workshop)
Alejandro Toledo & The Magic Tombolinos
- Hassan Erraji’s MoRoccan Rollers
- Faiz Ali Faiz
- Oi Va Voi
- Rodrigo y Gabriella
- Baaba Maal
- Procession practice
- Amparo Sanchex (Spanish singing workshop)
- Breaking the Guiness World Record for Mass Participation Air-Guitar (oh yes we did, we smashed the Aussies – 2,227 of us rocking out to Purple Haze beating the previous record of 1,883)
- The Dhols of Jaipur (Indian drummers workshop)
- Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
- I Am Kloot
- Creole Choir of Cuba
- Booker T Jones (and yes, he did Green Onions!)
- Gogol Bordello
It was a fabulous experience. The Girl loved every second of it. She loved the singing, dancing, drum-playing, tambourine-flashing (yes, I have had a flashing tambourine for years that I took along with me) moment of it – oh, and the eating. She loved the eating.
Festivals aren’t what they used to be. No burger/hot-dog stalls to be seen anywhere – everything was fresh, lodas of it was healthy, and a hell of a lot of it was organic and/or vegan. Apart from the churros and chocolate which were a massive hit with her too!
So – next year, we will be going again. This time, The Man is coming with us (I bumped into HIS friends who had gone for the first time again since having their 2 kids – so now he thinks it may be OK after all!) , and another friend who was totally gutted that I had gone without him this year.
I feel surprisingly stress-free, chilled out, happy and warm (that will be the slight sunburn!).