I have just booked flights to Ibiza.
This will be my first visit and it was a very spur of the moment.
After hearing the sentence ‘oh my god, YOU haven’t been to Ibiza? But you would love it!’ for what felt like the 6000th time, I absolutely had to bite the bullet and just book a flight.
It’s only a short visit but I intend to make the most of it and hope that this visit will be the first of many.
In addition to a previous post concerning festival season I thought I would expand on Godsplash Festival which, like all good things, has been given a make-over and freshened up for 2011.
Introducing Cloud Cuckoo Land, a boutique performing arts festival that will be held in the clouds hopefully somewhere not to far from the original Godsplash feel and furore.
Starting out in the backgarden of the Letts family; who have been regulars at Glastonbury since they could crawl and probably before, Godsplash has spent 3 years gathering pace and interest from the local community over a weekend in early August which is normally filled with sunshine and smiles.
A beautiful blend of local people, performing arts and an eclectic mix of music you can expect everything from chilled reggae, some indie rock, a bit of electro-swing and later into the Friday & Saturday nights some dubstep, drum and bass dreamyness before smoothing back out into something a little more calm for those still bonding round the bonfire in the wee hours of the morning.
In the past during the day you can catch up over a cuppa in the Mad Hatters Tea Party tent, complete with sofas, armchairs and witness an impromptu acoustic set from whoever fancies it really! Later in the afternoon snack on bap from the hog roast with lashings of apple sauce. And for the evening head over to the infamous retro, Red, London Buses for the cabaret cocktail bar or into the main tent for some seriously strong cider.
This year however there are changes to be had and all sound very exciting. The festival formally known as Godsplash has transformed into Cloud Cuckoo Land and it intends to be an environmentally sustainable festival. Totally non-profit (all proceeds will go to Brake the Cycle charity http://www.brakethecycle.org.uk/) it will be held on a totally eco-farm in the Cheddah Gorge which has also hosted such festivals as The Big Green Gathering.
The best news of all, the festival will have hot showers on site!!!
The main tent from Godsplash remains and is set to host their biggest and best line-up to date. The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Tent will be there too but this time you will be entering the Cuckoo Land instead for that impromptu jazz set or acoustic jam. And it seems the intention to turn the cabaret cocktail bar into a speakeasy style affair with the electro-swing DJs getting the Bugsy Malone wannabes tapping their feet to some serious tunes on board those big red buses.
The Tree-House Cafe which can normally be found in Dalston will be feeding the masses with education about what they’re eating and trying to inspire a new nation of home cookers with their exotic, organic and most importantly local produce and recipes.
All in all it looks set to be an awesome weekend to come, Early bird tickets are on sale now and are only £35 so make sure you get yours!
So last year was my first full summer in London and I spent much of drunk on cider and navigating my way to various park based festivals and music events.
I kicked off the proceedings at Hyde Park with a King’s of Leon gig. The sun was shinning, the evening was warm, I was wearing a sequinned waistcoat and tassled moccasin boots and it was perfect…bar the queue to the bar and then naturally the queue to the toilets too. KOL were pitch perfect and despite not being an avid album purchasing fan, complete with song lyrics, I got well into the swing of every tune. On top of this being part of a crowd so large felt nice, as though I was part of a moment in history. One of those times when you can all look back and say, remember when KOL played at Hyde Park? Yeah, I was there. One disappointing aspect was that KOL don’t seem to like to interact with the crowd much and there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of performance about their live shows, but my what a voice that scruffy haired lead singer has!
Next on the agenda was Lovebox in east laaandaaan’s Victoria Park. Attending as part of birthday celebrations I found Lovebox to be full of well, a whole lotta love expect when trying to see any of the acts that weren’t on the main stage. Shy FX inside the building with the yellow cab sticking out of it, nah…Booka Shade in the aptly named relentless tent, after thousands relentlessly queued for hours, no chance. In other words despite Lovebox being in its 7th year things were badly managed! Who has ever been to a festival where an act don’t perform because too many people want to watch them? It was a total joke, after paying £30 for the ticket I didn’t expect to be left out in the cold, I definitely didn’t have the patience to start queuing at 8pm to see Booka Shade and thank god coz when security turned everyone away at 10pm I was already getting my toe-skank on somewhere else. Two acts I did enjoy watching were Empire of the Sun and Paloma Faith although I never feel like the atmosphere is amped enough when acts perform outside of a tent. The rainbow tent had to be the best, off a beaten track and with no queue to get in I spent much of my time stomping around in there.
After Lovebox came LED in the same location, different day. The weather put a real dampener on this event from the word go, especially as I had chosen to wear non-waterproof shoes, a jacket with no hood and my anti-moisture, instant frizz, perfectly GHD straightened hair down without the backup of a so much as a hair band. However I attempted to remain optimistic that it wouldn’t bucket it down and even if it did I wouldn’t care! This was helped by my VIP status which meant access to an undercover bar complete with sofa lounge and seriously posh portaloos. After a few cocktails in actual pineapples my friend and I decided to venture out of the VIP zone and bang into Annie Macs set, after much pushing and shoving to get to the front I realised it didn’t actually make much difference how close you were to the speaker to the volume of the music, a locational hazard of the day festival. Being a residential area means the sound system has to be muffled and half-hearted instead of the deafening sensory overload I was after. Standing roughly 100yards from a 10ft speaker I found myself hardly having to raise a shout to carry on my conversation…not what u want from a festival tent. Largely unimpressed by LED I actually left much earlier than anticipated and ended up at a grime night in Hackney that cost about a fiver to get in and satisfied me so much more than any VIP cocktail creation could.
Finishing my summer of London park life, I headed over to Clapham Common for SW4. After venturing down the year before and just hanging around outside only to feel disturbingly jealous of the heavy base coming from inside, this year I was excited to feel the rhythm. Again the great British weather did me proud and there were definitely more than a few raindrops on arrival so don’t think because it’s just a day fest that u don’t need to be a little bit prepared! SW4 killed it for me mainly because I got to see some cracking DJ’s, Steve Aoki, Boyz Noize, Herve and Fatboy Slim although Fatboy did pretty much play the exact same set that I’d see a year previously in Dubai, although this was prior to his rehab stint so maybe he doesn’t remember that?
A pitfall of all these festivals though are the pretenders…those who wouldn’t dare venture to the sticks and camp for a week without their 4 tonnes of must have luggage, the type of girls AND guys who look they’ve breezed in the field for the first time in their lives. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the country and our summers consisted of camping parties in Marques with decks and a generator pumping out serious old school D ‘n’ B but to me part of the appeal of a festival is the second day in when u feel like crap, look like crap but so does everyone else around you and together you all pick yourselves up and create entertainment and atmosphere; yeah its amazing to see your favourite acts live but it’s just as amazing to form your own act back at the campsite at 3am and play to either your amused or annoyed tent neighbours.
Saying that I will be sampling Wireless festival this year, which is held at London’s Hyde park over 3days and I’m still very open-minded about day festivals, I mean drinking in a park during the day and listening to live music without being arrested of called a tramp is pretty fun stuff, not that either of the latter have happened to me! And argue as I might I can’t deny it’s always nice to sleep in your own bed at the end of the night; plus no-one likes taking down a tent!
Unless you are living under a very large rock; and even if you are living under said rock it will probably be picked up and moved within the next few months so some drunk teenager can, poorly, erect a tent its place; you should be aware that tickets for the summer’s 10,000 festivals are starting to go on sale and selling out in ooh probably the time it took me to type this sentence.
So I figured I would add my two cents on which Festivals I will be trudging to in, sadly not Jimmy Choo, snake-skin hunter but still very nice all the same, floral wellies.
Had I all the money/weekends/organisation skills in the world, my summer festival 2011 list would probably look something like;
However, unfortunately I do have time/money constraints and am also not one for planning in advance so don’t often get around to buying a ticket for something that doesn’t register in my calendar for the next 4months. I mean what ever happened to just showing up on the day?! Why does ‘fun’ have to be so bloody organised and pre-arranged these days?
I guess what I’m really moaning about is the fact that I always seem to miss the boat with ticket sales and they all seem to have sold out before I have even realised they were on sale! Annoying.
So in lieu of the above list I am recommending the following festivals…
Both are relatively small and unheard of which means tickets are easy to come by and you can camp close to the action! Plus my mate runs Godsplash (not a bible bashing, jesus, cult fest, I promise!) so of course it is a winner and like Charlie Sheen I’m bi-winning.
Although you don’t get to see the big names, I see this as a bonus! Yes Jessie J will be incredible at V and Beyonce irreplaceable at Glasto but I always like to discover new acts and perhaps even get the chance to have a chat with them after.
At Godsplash last year I saw Dutty MoonShine who I was, to be quite honest, blown away by. Their eclectic mix of electo-swing was just what I didn’t even realise I was looking for and dropping the Bare Necessities into their set made my weekend. These guys played everywhere last year from Glastonbury, to Secret Garden Party and Bestival and hopefully their hectic summer schedules will see them at Godsplash again this year.
I also saw human beatbox machine Bass 6…who at first listen I naively thought was a CD. Super fast and super slick his ability to make some ridiculous noises with nothing but his god given mouth is unreal.
Here he is doing his ting…