9 May 2014

My First Wilderness Festival!

AKA 

How to Have Too Much Fun / Embarrass Yourself / Go Crazy at a Festival

wildernessfestival

This is way overdue, but BANG here’s my post about my time at Wilderness Festival 2013, held last August in beautiful Charlbury near the Cotswolds. It was a rather last-moment decision to attend (like many of my big life decisions..) and omg it was THE best decision ever! SO here are about 50 photos and some accompanying text in an attempt to best share with you my experience at what I frequently describe to my friends as ‘The Best Festival Ever’ 🙂

The THING about Wilderness is that.. it’s not just a music festival. I like to say that it’s a festival that celebrates LIFE! Because there’s so much to see and to. It’s full of stimulating activities and experiences which enrich your life.

There’s fantastic FOOD, art, beautiful people, poetry readings, dance classes, cricket, circus shows, fire twirlers, wild swimming, archery, crafts, hula hooping, a BUBBLE STAND, night-time raves in the forest, lanterns, fancy dress, face painting, books hanging from trees which you can take and read, a SPA, science lessons, horse-riding, cooking classes, speed dating… there’s just SO MUCH that I get overwhelmed and excited just trying to recollect it all! Just imagine ALL THIS set upon rolling green hills and big beautiful trees..

campsite

I borrowed a Cath Kidston tent from my dear friend Hannah – and set it up ALL TO MYSELF. If there’s one festival camping tip I can divulge it’s HAVE YOUR OWN TENT. Having the space and privacy is amazing! Also I get to lay around naked without a care then the sun gets in and tries to burn me alive during the late mornings.

malaysia flag

There were three of us in the group who were originally from Malaysia one of the girls actually brought a Malaysian flag to the festival! We were wondering if there were any other people there who were from Malaysia as well.. we concluded: probably not. They set up the flag at our campsite. How cute!


FOOD

2013 headlined by Polpo, Hix, and Ottolenghi – i.e. they catered the nightly banquets.

There was also food by Moro, St John, and J. Sheekey.

foodstalls

I had most fun eating throughout the day from the many stalls that served the festival all day! I have to say, it was rather refreshing not to see the usual crappy kebabs and other junk food that you’d usually find at other music festivals :p

foodsign pulledpork

^pulled pork meal

cheeseburger

^freakin’ awesome cheeseburger.. drooling right now. RIGHT NOW.

saltbeef

^salt beef on fries topped with cheese

edible flowers

^edible flowers

Yeah, EDIBLE FLOWERS. From one of those health food thingies. Of course I had to at least try it, so up to the counter I went and collected my free cup of.. flowers and other plants. There was some kind of dressing drizzled on top but you know what? IT SUCKS. That’s the truth. So dry and.. tasteless..hmm.

Eating that enriched my life in terms of introducing to me what it’s like to be a wild grazing herbivore (one tick off the life-experience list!), but nothing more..

teatime bus

^a little teatime section complete with big red London bus!

moro

^Having breakfast at the Moro tent

There were lots of haystacks to lounge on.. isn’t that so hipster cool? Hahaha

SUNSHINE / PLAYTIME

We were SO lucky. The sun LOVED us and showed itself all through the festival! Needless to say everyone was in a great mood. It was truly a festival full of love (fuelled and encouraged by sunshine).

field of people

During the day, people would just laze around on the grass. You’d never get bored because there’d be so many quirky people to watch. Art to see. Books to read. Music to listen to. Games to play. You just can’t be bored.

grass time

We were happy just to BE on the grass!

us three

^Linda, Me, Aishah

i love sun

We’d spend ages on this particular hill near the lake, soaking it up. Every day.

lakeside

It was one of the quieter areas. I thought of rolling down the hill, but fortunately I had enough brains to restrain myself for fear of rolling all the way into the cold water.

SO, I went to a water-free zone to do my rolling and land-hugging instead:

crazy1 crazy2

^dry swimming here.

crazy3 crazy4

My friends were so embarrassed that they stayed away and used the camera to document my actions instead.

I did all sorts of rolls – forwards, backwards, sideways.
I was SO HIGH ON SUNSHINE. HIGH ON LIFE. I couldn’t stop!

I started talking to random people passing by, trying to persuade them to join me on the ground.
I crawled around like an animal. I felt like an animal. I slithered around like a worm.

It was one of the funniest/happies afternoons I’d ever had. You know when you can just LET GO and not CARE what anyone in the world thinks (they think I’m crazy).

But hey, look at these cool chicks:

biting friends

Aishah later indulged in my madness (how could you resist really) and then got bitten by me.

bee cause

^I also met a bee! And look how our colours match.

I’m wearing: Top from Malaysia // F21 shorts // Saltwater sandals

confetti

I thought it was a good idea to collect pieces of confetti from the ground in an attempt to recycle/re-throw them.

I thought wrong. Don’t try this. It’s not worth the effort.

huggg

^Yeah I know you can see a little something orange but it’s just a spot of my bikini, ok?

My dress was designed/made by Joyce. Shoes are Converse. Headband from Topshop.

FESTIVAL STUFF

breakfast

We would pass this little breakfast section every morning when walking to the main festival grounds from our campsite (there are more unpictured).

Lots of great food to choose from AND free Innocent smoothies on your way out.

The camping facilities were all great – clean and sufficient to meet demand.

hulahoop

A hula hooping area! Too bad it seemed to be only for kids.
I for one happen to be pretty good at the hoop. Haha!

drawing  drawing 2

^Group/cooperative art to get your creative brain working!

craft area

You can also make your own festival headpiece using REAL LEAVES AND VINES AND FLOWERS! Nature! YES! No plasticky, gimmicky stuff! Hehe

wishing tree

Write your deepest wishes on a paper leaf and pin it unto The Wishing Tree! Or be really nosey and read what other people wrote (I chose this option).

lesbian love stories

^One of the random books you can find around the festival. Free for you to read! And full of love <3

boat swing

^Happy swings for the kids!

Oh and then there was this weirdo playing guitar with a beatbox and singing weird stuff. And mad girls dancing. I loved it:


SUNSET / NIGHTTIME

A magnificent sunset presented above us every evening. Wait maybe I missed one evening. Not too sure there.

The headliners in terms of music included Empire of the Sun, Noah and the Whale, Rodriguez, and Tom Odell. I loved the first two most!

festival sunset kigu pals

We decided it was most comfortable and warm to roam around after dark wearing our animal onesies from Kigu.co.uk.

bubble man
^The Bubbles Inc Stand

OMG this was one of my favourites ever! It just blows bubbles ALLL DAY AND ALL NIGHT LONG. Small ones, big ones, smoke filled ones, etc.

Here’s a clip of the quirky umbrella dude spinning bubbles:

flying trapeze

There was a nightly flying trapeze theatre/dance thingy going on.. it was amazing!! I forget the name of the company which runs it.

Oh and here’s a clip of Empire of the Sun performing one of their biggest hits, Walking on a Dream:

Making our way into the valley in the forest every night was an adventure in itself. You’d see scores of people in their crazy impressive fancy dress/costumes.. some draped in LED lights or smothered in paint and glitter. Lanterns and flags and other lights adorned the trees. A whole variety of music coming from different sources. People dancing. People rolling around on the ground (see? i totally belong).

You could feel a definite ENERGY. PARTY ENERGY! Haha.

green party

Then you’d past certain areas, like the green one above, where people would be chilling out or milling about as others weaved between them, heading towards the parties. Somewhat like a pre-party drinking area.. I suppose.

forest rave forest rave 2

^There are two pics of the same scene cos I couldn’t decide which coloured light was better? Haha

Who knew that partying at in the forest could be SO FREAKIN’ AWESOME? Well the festival organisers knew but anyway.

I was outta control! The music was so good! I ran up and down the hills. I jumped around till my knees hurt. We brought a shitload of glow sticks with us and shared them with strangers – who then became our dancing friends of course. I smiled till my face hurt.

And.. No festival is complete without a pair of Prizmeyez diffraction glasses! I take mine with me everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

prizmeyez

On the last night, I decided I wanted to party the entire night until I was absolutely pooped. I ended up at some after-party somewhere. I shared a bonfire with some randoms. I made some new friends. We laid on the ground together atop a hill and watched the stars glow in the night sky above. We hugged. We rolled on the ground. We talked about serious things. Ridiculous things. About food.

Soon, I felt the sun starting to rise and I thought, ‘ok, time to locate my tent’.

It was a long walk across the festival grounds. BUT SO BEAUTIFUL! Everything was shut and empty; void of people.

I realised I had my camera with me. Why not use it, right?

I took some pictures of the festival emptiness. It was rather surreal.

Then I took a picture of my face.

festival face

I came across some haystacks under one of my favourite trees that I’d lay on to watch the fairy lights above the previous nights.

‘I’m coming!’, I said to the haystack, as I set the camera on self-timer.

haystack
^Result!

I also took this..

wilderness lion

And then I made this video..

HOW did I think that it was a good idea to roll UP a hill???

All I know is.. if I was happy enough to have done that AND recorded it, it must’ve been a damn good night.

THANK YOU WILDERNESS FESTIVAL FOR A MOST SPECTACULAR WEEKEND! 
See you again this summer. And you guys, get your tickets HERE

Oh yeah, thought I’d share this little comparison chart I saw in the papers following the festival, hehe:
comparison

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