How was your bank holiday weekend? Here in the UK at the end of August we have a public holiday and we all get a long weekend. It's the time of year when the motorways turn into car parks filled with people heading (usually) for the coast. And it's also when it usually rains. Heavily. Some months ago I got tickets for a 3 day music and car festival and I crossed my fingers and hoped for sunshine.
Our tent is somewhere in this crowd and to look at those dark clouds you wouldn't believe we came home with sun tans but we did!This wrist band represents my first proper festival so naturally I flashed my band at all the check points in the coolest way possible as if I had been going to festivals since my pram years. Truth is, I'd made myself a promise that I wasn't going to complete my 50th year without having added this to my list of experiences.
Didn't it look bright and colourful when the clouds lifted?
I'll list the bands we saw in a minute but here were some other things to take pics of.This is how I want to go to work. I'm sure my old megane could do this manoeuvre. How hard can it be.
Here's a stunt rider literally jumping through hoops.
I wouldn't like to land that bike from that height. Reinforced saddle anyone?I remember the Boomtown Rats rocking my little teenage world and have a special soft spot for the uncompromising lyrics "Don't wanna be like you, don't wanna live like you, don't wanna talk like you at all. I'm gonna be like, I'm gonna be like, I'm gonna be like ME!" Thanks Sir Bob.
And this is why this post is titled as it is. All around us were parents, many with very young children, sharing the music of their youth with their children, lifting them high so they could see the stage, dancing with them and singing to them. The evenings were cool and damp but the atmosphere was warm. It was good to be reminded of the power of music. Many years ago I helped organise an International Arts Festival in Newcastle. We had groups from Spain, Poland, America, Italy, Indonesia and Russia. Relations were sometimes strained as national and political mistrust hung in the air. This was the time of Glasnost and Perestroika and the Berlin Wall was still firmly in place. A Russian choir and an American dance troop had finished a performance in the oldest church in the town and were standing at opposite ends of a church hall ignoring each other while the local vicar dispensed tea and biscuits and tried, unsuccessfully, to smile away the tension in the room. One of the Russians uncovered a piano in a corner of the hall and started playing. A few of his friends joined him and the music which had been classical (their speciality) changed to pop. Heads turned as they began singing Beatles songs in perfect English learned from Western radio. The atmosphere in the hall changed dramatically as we all, Brits, Americans and Russians drifted over to the piano, hesitantly at first not wanting to break the mood. We joined the singing, nodding recognition of the familiar songs and hoping the smiles would melt the barriers. This was after all, a time when there was huge mistrust between the nationalities in the room which wasn't helped by the fact that we'd discovered the KGB minders with the choir had ignored UK Embassy conditions and were armed. But the music broke through even their forbidding disapproval until we were all singing at the top of our voices. The highlight was "Nah, nah nah, na na na nahhhhhh, na na na nahhhh, HEYYYYY JUDE!!" We sang that over and over and over for at least 20 minutes. No one wanted it to end, the Americans and Russians had their arms round each others shoulders and the vicar was in tears. A week later we were all preparing to return home and addresses were swopped between people who had no common language other than music.
Here's a trick you can try with your JCB digger.
The fireworks drew a "wwwwwwoooooooo" of delight from the crowd.
This group are The Red Barrows and they perform ground based aerobatic displays. It was lovely silliness performed with great gusto and suppoerted by a delightful tongue in cheek commentary.
I don't want all these sunny pictures to give you the wrong idea. There was still mud.
The crowd getting set up for the evening.
A lovely red sunset.
....and out come the umberellas as the rain begins again...
Children In Need is a big UK charity who raise money all through the year culminating in a full evening of fund raising and feedback on how the moeny has been used on BBC TV.
This was our route back to the campsite through the fairground.
Apparently there were 30,000 people there.
The busiest area was always in front of the two main stages. And the beer tent.
The children had these cute little covered trucks and saw everything in comfort.This is what happens to the quality of photography when your blogger has tested 7 different types of gin in the tasting tents. I didn't do Gary Barlow justice which brings me to the line up. Seasick Steve, Texas, The Feeling, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Midge Ure, Level 42, The Shires, The Beautiful South, Paloma Faith, Scouting for Girls, Boomtown Rats, Jools Holland, Bellowhead and Take That. Not bad huh?