Our first festival


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This weekend, Little Miss and I went on our first visit to a music festival, her at the age of 11, me at the grand old age of 45 and 363 days! I can’t believe its taken me so long as I was a huge music fan in my teens but never quite had the confidence to join friends at our local festival, Glastonbury when it was a little more authentic than the event it has become now.  Our main motive for this festival was to see Jess Glynne who is one of my daughter’s favourite singers.  I had tried to get tickets for her tour earlier in the year but there was a no under 16s restriction, so when the opportunity to see her at the music festival arose, we quickly signed up.  Whilst it is a camping festival, we bought day tickets, I was worried about the traffic but we drove straight through as we entered and left the site and there were no problems on the road.

Whilst I knew a little about the festival, I was blown away by its attractions and events, it sells itself as a family event and there really was so much to do.  In the afternoon, we wandered around the lower garden where we ended up painting a mega cardboard castle and writing a story in a creative writing workshop. I think these quieter activities helped us have more energy later on in the day, but they were so good and engrossing. I thought the creative writing workshop was excellent and to have a real life author leading the session and enthusing the participants inspired us all.  I would have loved to have explored this creative area more, we did pop in to the literary tent to see the skinny jean gardener and this was such a welcoming hub too, the talks for the coming days looked brilliant.

The time just zoomed at the festival and I had a few acts I really wanted to see, starting with Vic Reeves dj-ing.  There is lots for the children at the festival but also the adults and there was a whole generation of us keen to see one of the cult comedians of the 90s, he did make me smile and dance.  My bemused daughter at this point went over to have a go on the world’s largest bouncy castle but I stayed and had a dance on my own, I didn’t care,  it felt fun and liberating!  I really  felt that at this festival you could be you.  Before we went to the main music stage, we had festival eyes made up with lots of glitter and sparkle and walked back to the car for a quick change.  On the walk back, we stopped off at the Caravanserai , a real curiosity of indescribable French culture and kitsch, it was fascinating and so surreal, well worth a visit.

The first act we saw at the main stage was the Human League.  Now I saw them 25 years ago on an 80s tour and I don’t know if its their act or real, but again they seemed distant.  I like to see my artists excited and happy by their music.  My favourite song of their set was Electric Dreams and everyone was singing and dancing to the party favourites.  After their set, there was a 45 minute break, so Little Miss and I did more exploring this time to the Dangly Dell, this was a hidden gem, beautiful lights lots of rainbow colours, a play area, retreat etc.. I loved that at the festival you just followed a path and ended up somewhere so different.

Jess Glynne was the headline act and she came on stage just after 10pm.  Amazingly we had managed to get really near the front and had a stunning view.  Jess was everything we had hoped for, a brilliant singer, making honest, witty and empowering comments to her young audience between songs and simply loving her time on stage.  I’m so pleased that my daughter’s first live music experience was with such a strong and talented female artist. My daughter was transfixed and I have to admit as I saw her watching Jess I did blink back happy tears (before quickly returning to singing and dancing myself)

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Our day at the festival was the best mum and daughter time.  We were both so excited and happy to be there and embraced everything we could do, whether it was the creative writing session to having our glittery eye make up done! It was one of those magical days where the weather is perfect, the atmosphere so warm and welcoming and the venue and all the little details so well thought out that you wander around in a little bubble of happiness.

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