I'm back. I have been to my first music festival and survived. Not that I didn't expect to survive but you know what I mean. I am told by my daughter, who now has three festivals under her belt, that this one was small, old and not very hippyish. I have to agree. It was all in one field and I felt confident enough to let my 6 year old wander at will. So small then - not like the vast cities of tents that you see at the Leeds festival and the like. Old? Well yes. I'll give her that. It was almost entirely made up of families with children under about 10. And I didn't see anyone that could possibly be described as a hippy.
That doesn't mean that people weren't filled with festival spirit. There were lots of expensive looking wellies. I saw women resolutely floating around in maxi dresses with halter necks and bejewelled flip flops. Contrast this with me looking at my glamorous best in jeans, walking boots, two t shirts, a hoody, a fleece and a waterproof. And it was still pretty parky. Those women, who had clearly read their Sunday Times and so knew that maxi dresses are the order of the day at a festival this year, must have been freezing.
Apart from the music, which fired out from three separate stages around the site, the focus was most definitely on the children. Ours had a go at weaving wigwams from rags with varying degrees of success. My youngest just wrapped randomly which resulted in a wigwam that had a look of a rather badly organised laundry. The two middle girls were more methodical, weaving the rags in and out of the bamboo structure and even leaving a space for a door. Clearly architects in the making!
There were lots of other craft activities for them to have a go at, a circus school with juggling, stilts and the like and of course the bands to watch. At one point a troupe of morris dancers, all dressed in black gothic garb and looking like something from a period drama, tripped on to the field and began doing things with sticks and bells. I have to say that, notwithstanding their costumes, they did look slightly uncomfortable to be performing in front of a field full of bemused festival goers. One had to wonder where they usually performed? Is there much call for Dracula's Dancers outside Whitby - or even there in fact?
For anyone that might be interested in going next year, I can report that the food, in the main home cooked, was delicious and reasonably priced and that the loos were clean and plentiful.
But did I enjoy it? That's a hard one. I didn't not enjoy it. The kids and my husband had a great time and that in itself gives me pleasure. But if I am brutally honest I have to confess that if it weren't for them, I would have left around 3.30. By then, I had seen what it was all about and was tired of sitting in a field. Will I go again? I suspect I will have very little choice in the matter but yes, I will go again, relatively happily, if required.
But I don't feel like I have wasted the last twenty years of my life by not being a regular festival attendee. I suspected that it was something that I could take or leave and I was right. And there's a comfort in correctly anticipating my response to something. I think I know myself quite well really. But perhaps I should buy myself a maxi dress in the sales and put it away for next year?!