Wednesday, 01 August 2018 23:46

Reporter's debut festival at WOMAD will not be his last Featured

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FOR much of my life, I foolishly told myself that festivals weren’t for me.

“My favourite musician is Bruce Springsteen and many of the other names on my iTunes song list are dead now”, I said.

“My music knowledge is... well... non-existent”, and “My puny immune system will fail me again.”.

While all of those things are true, after spending the weekend covering WOMAD (my first ever festival), I am now ready for more.

The only performer I had heard of was Goldie, who I had seen in that forgettable James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough.

It turned out that Goldie actually played on a day I didn’t go. But regardless of that, getting the chance to explore the Charlton Park grounds, meeting happy festival-goers, performers, cousins, friends, finding acts I had never heard of before finding them to be beguiling and ruddy good, was a treat.

A sort of joie de vivre, you might say.

It didn’t start particularly well, mind. After spending a good hour or so trying to put up our borrowed tent into the crumbling ground, we headed off into the festival field, only to return a couple of hours to later to find our tent had been completely blown over.

Thankfully our beverages and camping gear had stopped it from flying off to Malmesbury, but our pegs were mangled and a second go at putting it up was about as likely as Leeds United getting promoted back to the Premiership. Very unlikely indeed.

So we packed up our tent and headed back to the car, crestfallen.

Faced with having to drive down the road and sleep in the car (we weren’t allowed to do that in the car park) or pay bucket loads to stay at a hotel or something, I called the wonderful press office team.

Borkowski PR made some calls and arranged for us to stay at a wonderful tent in Camp WOMAD, which was already assembled. Yabba dabba doo!

We were finally able to relax a bit and properly enjoy the delights this place had to offer – and there were very many.

I learned many things over the two days. One, that I am now a big fan of Scottish band Talisk and the Bollywood Brass Band with Jyotsna Srikanth, among others.

Two, that WOMAD has an unreal amount of gorgeous food and things to do.

Three, it is very important that you check the weather forecast before you go to something like this, or you may have to borrow a jumper and a raincoat to save your bacon.

And finally, getting to interview festival goers and artists is a real privilege – one I will not forget any time soon.

Oh, and photographer Gary Jones snapped a man proposing to his girlfriend. Pukka.

So even though very few people will care about what I am about to say; watch out earth, I am ready for more.

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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