The serendipity lottery is in full spin. I was walking through a field and I ran into an old mate from drama school. We used to go to Glastonbury together back in the day. We immediately slipped into old festival shorthand, and it felt like the perfect company. We also hooked up with a friend from Wilderness, who was working artist liaison round the back. She’s considering going full time into festival work when she leaves university. So she knows all the bands and has strong recommendations for the whole evening.
The four of us spent hours together, moving quickly from band to band, settling where the vibe kept us.
The whole site is lit up at night in all the colours. Music competes with music, and every few steps at night the atmosphere changes completely. One second you’re underwater with long sustained notes, then you’re in a breakbeat rainbow, then it’s a patch of grass where a man in pants with a pint mug is imitating an orang-utan, then it’s a tree with glittery fire and unexpected nocturnal children. Unlike Wilderness they have a license that permits fire, so they build massive bonfires and people spin fire poi, and juggle fire batons. We had a lot of bands to see though. We started at Beak, who was grinding out evolutions of the keyboard madness that first hit the Bristol scene with Portishead. Then King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard for half an hour, in which time my university friend expressed great disappointment that “he didn’t play his aggressive flute. He’s the only man in the world I’ve ever seen make a flute aggressive.”
Then we wandered over to The Walled Garden for Alex Cameron. “If you had an estate, would you have a walled garden?” I’m asked. Yeah. With a maze. And roses. And a hot air balloon. And a secret bit of the maze where there’s always a party. I’d need a pretty big walled garden. Best get working on it.
We went back to catch Mount Kimble. They were extraordinary, or it could’ve just been the state of mind I was in. I mostly remember strobe lighting, and a moment when he told us all his daughter was in the crowd, and she was off yo to university in Wales. By the time Kimble was done, two of us had gone to bed. Another old friend emerged from the crowd. I was tired by now though and on survival mode. Most conversation was burnt out of me, but I still wanted to dance a little. I ended up back in the walled garden with all of her university friends. I danced a bit, sad a bit, looked at my watch. It was after 2 so I figured it was legit to crash and said my goodbyes. Excellent random festival night. Things were nicely aligned.
The tents for the performer area are very well placed, right behind the stages that you tend to arrive at last. I wrapped myself up properly this time, and didn’t knock the cork out of my mattress with my feet, so it stayed inflated. And I slept beautifully, warm and happy.
Then this morning, as I was staggering to my morning wee, another old friend first-name-last-named me. He has set up tent right by me, and is here with his wife and daughter, neither of whom I’ve met before. Another lovely bit of convergence, and one that satisfies me that coming to this hilltop field was the right call. Two more nights, and I’m going to enjoy them.
Oh, yes! And I played mini golf. Course of life mini golf. You can’t choose the ball you are. And then various lifestyle choices either help or hinder you as you go on your journey. Here is a young man diligently steering his ball towards consuming apples, instead of donuts or cigarettes. But watch out for the beer!