You probably know me well enough by now to accept that I refuse to act my age, love festivals, and can't stop dancing if the music's right! However, many my age (well over 50) don't like camping, even glamping or boutique, and are put off by the whole thing: the queues, the loos, and the youngsters.....despite the fact that many of the bands playing are well over 40, 50, & well beyond! To camp or not camp, that is the question.
Sadly, I haven't been to a camping festival since Latitude 3 years ago. But I have continue my usual summer round of concerts, live gigs & day long festivals. So far, having kicked off my summer doing a Robbie Williams concert and a day long festival in the same week, I personally think camping is much less exhausting as you can always go back to your tent for a snooze in between your favourite acts and there are no traffic jams or walking miles at the end of the night. I am still exhausted as I write this, and it was more than three days ago!
But for some, a festival that only lasts a day, may be just what you fancy so here's a glimpse of my first week of fizz, fun and festivals.
My oldest school friend, Dalia, and I went to see Robbie Williams in Southampton on the Tuesday. He put on an amazing show at St. Mary's Stadium, as usual, although he also seemed to be suffering from getting older as he complained about his slipped disc! We had a great meal, (carbs & protein both needed if you're dancing the night away) beforehand at Quay15, which kept us on our feet throughout the show, despite having seats, followed by walking, walking, walking,,,,,,,which seems to follow any gig nowadays.
But it was a great evening and despite the increased security following the Manchester & London terrorist attacks the 35 thousand strong crowd were relaxed, happy and very friendly as we all made the most of our start of a summer of music.
Just 3 days later and I was joining another friend Mary Lambert , who had also been at the Robbie Williams gig, for our second year running at the Wildlife Festival in Shoreham near Brighton. It was a much younger crowd than at Robbies but still very friendly, fun and happy. And I bumped into friends of all ages, including 16 year old Sam who edited my last video of the detox retreat!
We were disappointed this year with the VIP area that we paid an extra £35 for (another top tip if you're heading to a day festival). It was the same size as last years, with at least 10 times the number of guests. The drinks bar was ten people deep, it took 20 minutes to get served, hence the big jug of Prosecco, and the lines for the loos were endless. No better than in the main area. One or two places that sold food, with huge lines, and absolutely no sign of the "angels who will give you massages" that they advertised. Not good. We won't be doing that again. Oh and no increased security from what we could see. No one searched our bags and we saw one cop with a sniffer dogs - sniffing for drugs not bombs! Really?
Again, a really good meal before getting into Wildlife kept us going for the first 6 hours but we finally weakened and went for the quickest line (OUTSIDE the VIP area) we could find, which just happened to be selling freshly made doughnuts! Not our usual fodder but carbs & sugar are always needed when you're walking miles. Just loved the girls from Donut Dollies.
We saw some excellent bands & DJs including Pete Tong, Rudimental, George Ezra, Chaka Khan and Jess Glynne, and finally left there for the long walk home at 11.15 - not bad for two elders who started the day at 3.00 pm! We did nearly 20k steps that day, that's 8 miles! No need for the gym this summer.
On a final note, what to wear? The weather has been typical for the UK in early June, cold wind on the coast, lovely in the sunshine and mostly dry but chilly at night. So, layers are usually the answer in England......I took my favourite winter Parka from Seasalt , which did me proud for both gigs, as well as my vintage shirt, bra vest underneath in case it got real hot, head scarf and torn, boyfriend jeans (the holes have got a little too big for a woman my age to get away with, but do I care? Hell no!) plus my extremely comfortable & warm Skechers trainers. I wasn't cold or uncomfortable for a moment, and that's all that matters at our age!
Hope you enjoyed my first week of summer fun. But if you do fancy camping at a Festival this year, (and I would thoroughly recommend it and be quite envious) you may find this post I wrote on what to take and what not to take really helpful.
In the meantime, I have Goodwood Racing with a DJ night looming so expect a new outfit & more fun in the sun very soon. And please let me know what festivals & gigs & fun in the sun you're planning this year!