#Latitude15Monday, July 20, 2015
I returned home from Latitude with a slightly pink nose, covered in freckles and dust, with a crescent moon of sunburn on my back from slapdash sun cream application and differing necklines, a festival hat, a buzzing feeling, and a hankering to do it all over again.
Tired, achy, happy.
My first experience of a large music festival and here's what I can tell you.
Walking - lots of.
Dust - lots of.
Loos - not as bad as I expected (but this comes from someone who used to go to Scout camps as a child when the toilet facilities consisted of a tin bucket with a loo seat in a small dark, usually hot tent).
Showers - communal *shudders* I'm definitely not an 'all girls together' type.
People - all ages, mostly friendly.
Queues - long but moved swiftly.
Food - varied and pretty good.
Pulled pork sandwiches, cheese and crispy bacon toasties (from the 'Toast Office' *chuckle*), pakora, wild boar burger, freshly made stone baked pepperoni pizza, pork noodles, potato wedges with cheese and sour cream, strawberry milkshakes made with fresh strawberries, and hot doughnuts with scalding coffee.
Tents - as far as the eye could see, close together with a lattice work of guy ropes to navigate / trip over. I've since discovered that you can buy fluorescent guy ropes which I would highly recommend, there's nothing like the sound of someone tripping on your ropes and the immediate fear of someone landing on you to spoil a good nights sleep.
Entertainment - amazing!
We seemed to quickly develop a habit of daytime comedy, followed by music in the evenings.
My favourite comedy acts - John Robins (above), Tiff Stevenson, Andrew Maxwell (I'm a little bit in love with this man's mind), Joe Lycett (who is now on tour and I'm seriously tempted to go and see), Sara Pascoe, Marcus Bridgestocke and Tom Deacon. All funny, and lovely, and in danger of me stalking them on Twitter (it's already begun).
Other things I enjoyed - Doug Segal - mental illusionist. Guerilla Science presenting the Fire Organ: Seeing Sound (above). Hanif Kureishi: A talk with the audience on creative writing. Edith Bowman in conversation with Sarfraz Manzoor.
What would I do again?
All. Of. It.
What I didn't expect to do
Be constantly confronted with the butt cheeks of teenage girls in short that where simply too short
See babies so young they were only just able to hold up their own heads, wearing ear defenders (take them home, put them to bed, come back when they're old enough / you can leave them with the grandparents).
Grab the backside of a very drunk teenage boy to stop him falling on me and my friend
Share with the world how much toilet paper I like to use. Outside the toilet stalls was a bank of toilet paper dispensers, so you had to decide how much you might need before going in. I don't know why this amused me, but it did.
Help a child in Rwanda.
I was under strict instructions from the husband to keep my phone charged at all times, which meant I bought a battery pack from Music Angel and in doing so I bought a battery and a LED light for a child in Rwanda. The battery is charged at school (by way of solar panels), at home it is used to power the light (which is powerful enough to light an entire room), so they have light to work by. These batteries can last 5 years. I just thought I'd mention this because I think it is a superb idea. You can read more here.
What would I do differently?
I wouldn't spray Jungle Gel in a small tent.
I'd have fluorescent guy ropes
I'd put suncream on with more care
I'd take a trolley to wheel my gear to the campsite. I couldn't have packed any lighter but my bags were still heavy as hell by the time we reached our campsite
Maybe take a bigger tent, I'm getting too old to be wriggling into my skinny jeans whilst in a horizontal position.
I wouldn't forget a nail file. Or a mallet.
I'd take my favourite Yerba Mate teabags (and steal boiling water from Sophie).
I'd take more photographs.
My husband, my cats, a proper toilet, a shower, and my bed where all very welcome sights to see when I returned home. I was a little disappointed to discover, after my shower, that my tan was little more than several layers of dust, but I can't wait to do it all over again next year.
Did you go to Latitude? What other festivals would you recommend?