The Glade / 2004
It was brilliant. The people were out of this world, so friendly, polite and *human*. We pitched up on Thursday afternoon and camped in the campervan field, so it already had...
It was brilliant. The people were out of this world, so friendly, polite
and *human*. We pitched up on Thursday afternoon and camped in the
campervan field, so it already had the feeling of a free outdoors party,
right from the get-go.
The layout of the site: Big, but not too big - you could stroll from one
end of the entire site to the other in about 15 minutes. The seven
arenas ran the gamut from laid back chilled grooves to banging techno
with a smattering of most things in between. Two arenas (one
indoor/outdoor and one outdoor playing psy trance) which I really
enjoyed, having not really kept up with the psy trance sound since '98.
The breaks arena, which had a really sloppy, but funky approach, the
housey sounds of Sancho Panza (which I regrettably didn't get to
experience) and the festival sounds of the main tent. Kaukus roadshow
were there selling Guinness and Pimms and there were stalls aplenty
selling 'essential' festival/hippy gear for those whose tastes coincidenced.
Highlights musically were James Munro, Hallucinogen, Liquid Connective
crew, Dreadzone Sound System, Eat Static, System 7, Mixmaster M. The
sound systems were all of a very high quality and there was always
enough room to sheik d'jbouti. Music, though, was just one component; I
found time enough to chat to maybe 60 people I didn't know from Adam.
And gazing in wonderment of the gorgeuous setting also took up a marked
portion of my time. I was there in total for five days and it certainly
didn't drag at all.
Food was reasonable if you were a veggie, though I heard complaints from
one or two about a lack of bacon for breakkie. But with our own cooking
facilities we ate like travelling kings, sharing food with neighbours
and passing round skunk fudge, mushroom omelettes and dosed sugarlumps,
like it was the 1960s again. ;)
Substances. Fresh mushrooms aplenty everywhere and lots of psychedelics.
In the outdoors setting, this was fine. Saw very few casualties, lots of
merrily fucked folk, but few vegetables.
Icing on the cake was all the lighting and decoration that had been
installed. From inflatable glowing stars and otherworldly tentacles, to
kaledescopic lighting effects on trees, suspended discs acting as
projector screens and a uv fairieland powered entirely by Solar panels;
it really was tip top production values, that I couldn't believe had
never been held before. It certainly was up there with the best small
festivals I have been to (Megadog beach festival).
Just one very minor gripe, the security between the campervan field and
the main field were a little overzealous. No alcohol/drugs allowed on
site and they were searching almost every bag that came on for large
quantities of these.
The cross section of people was also pretty diverse. I met and chatted
to Brian (The beardy stone henge access dude made famous by that English
Heritage prog last year), Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy, my
neighbours from York/Whitby were both in their mid 50s. There were also
youngsters, too, who seemed to be revelling in the safe and secure laid
back alternative living experiement that was being conducted.
It certainly was a belter of a festival. They're allowed to do it all
again next year, so we'll certainly be doing it too. Those who don't
like tr**ce should stay at home, please, as it's sure to be vastly oversubscribed.
So, my third festival of the summer was a doozy. Only wish I hadn't sold
my Big Chill ticket, now....but Nepal this autumn is our next joint
goal, and holiday has to be conserved.
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