[Image: Beacons 2013. Photo by Giles Smith]
How often do we hear the phrase “where has 2014 gone?” – summer has just begun, the flowers are in full blossom and the festivals are in full swing.
Instagram uploads of festival-goers dressed up for the occasion with flowers in their hair and shorts so short they really should be wearing tights… Summer brings out the best in people, and of course the worst. There are some things no one wants to see unless you’re in the comfort of your own garden. For people like me, the people whose wardrobe is full of black attire with the only splash of colour coming from the horrifyingly short dress you wore when you were 11 – summer causes panic. It takes an abundance of sun cream and the certainty of shade to get the likes of us out of the house.
Saying all this, summer is a very beautiful time. Butterflies land on your nose as you eat a scrumptious afternoon tea next to a canal somewhere exotic in the heart of Leeds. And the lemon sorbet on top of a 99 from Scarborough takes the heat away after a hard day preparing and building the sandcastle fort only to be consumed by the sea. Bliss.
Last year, I went to my first ever music festival at the ripe age of 18 – Leeds festival. It rained. Typical. When I came home, I told myself (as I was washed the mud out of my hair), I would never go to a festival ever again. However, you’ll be pleased to know that I will be heading to Yorkshire’s very own Beacons festival this summer after all….I definitely won’t be camping though!!
Beacons 2013. Photo by Giles Smith
What is it about festivals that entice us? The sense of community? I certainly didn’t feel any sense of community at Leeds Festival, the sheer volume of people was a little overwhelming. I’ve never experienced a smaller festival however. I am particularly looking forward to the variety of 20 street food outlets, including Bundobust the hottest new Indian street food cuisine known to man, which opened its doors in Leeds in July. This puts my mind at ease, knowing that Beacons will be far enough away to ‘escape life’ as it were but still include all the home comforts.
A festival is a celebration of the arts. The small, independent festivals hit the nail on the head and Beacons is no lesser to this fact. What is it we expect from a festival? Me? I like the idea of being somewhere where you can celebrate creativity, music and of course, the food. Yes, we can get this from gigs and whatnot, but there’s a curfew. Festivals let you live the adrenaline and hype without the fear and dread of work or university the next day.
The appeal of Beacons festival to me is the promise of creativity, pouring from the posters and leaflets we’ve seen slowly take over Yorkshire since February! It appears that not only is Beacons a music festival, it also embraces arts and film. If you’re a National fan like me, the Documentary ‘Mistaken For Strangers’ – which showcased last month in selected cinemas across the UK – will be showing at the festival – nipped that one in the bud! The festival organisers have also put together a ‘Make and Do’ feature, involving Yorkshire’s own ‘The Print Project’. I met these guys early this year at a Vintage Fair in Saltaire, (wherever else?) and they were lovely.
Mistaken for Strangers
I think it’s vital to have more than just music at a festival. Music is wonderful and I often go to gigs of new bands to try and broaden my horizons (or something like that anyway), but maybe it’s good to ‘get involved’, instead of spending your whole weekend smashed. On a Sunday perhaps? Yeah!
Beacons Festival warmly welcomes families – you’re never too young to experience live music. Parents had better have them tucked safely in bed before they try to catch the last few tracks of Action Bronson though…! It appears that many of the smaller independent festivals are reaching further afield and becoming family-friendly. Don’t get me wrong, the big festivals do too – Glastonbury had an incredible family area this year – but the smaller festivals seem more suitable. Even I need a lay down and a chocolate biscuit after walking from one stage to the next!
Being a young music writer, my Beacons festival experience will involve music, running off to the press tent to charge my phone, a couple of Hot Chocolates from Laynes Espresso, a Patty Smiths Veggie burger and not to mention a trip into ‘The Space Inbetween’ for my weekend indulgence of Art Installations and visual attractions.
I will be making sure to catch the likes of Dusky, Darkside, British Sea Power, Action Bronson, Galazians & Golden Teacher…but the question I really need answering is what colour wellies do I purchase?
AUGUST 2014 from Cat’s Monthly Column with TSOTA
Head over the Beacons website to see exactly what to expect from this year’s festival www.greetingsfrombeacons.com
TSOTAs’ TOP PICKS:
The Print Project: Letterpress Printing Workshops
Mistaken for Strangers
Salt Song, Into the Woods
And don’t forget Fancy Dress Friday!