I can’t remember the last time I was at a proper festival. I suppose it must have been the Hebridean Celtic Festival in 2000. Even then it probably doesn’t count as a proper festival experience because I could lay down in my own bed in the wee small hours.
So when I got offered the chance by Alex to go to the Secret Garden Party and show some films at the explorers' tent along with other filmmakers like Phil Stebbing with his important and ambitious Lifeline project, it seemed like an offer that couldn’t be refused. Big thanks to Olly for setting this up. I showed Living with the Mek and got some great feedback.
Apart from the fact that I got to buy a new tent and go camping, (I Love Camping), we heard great music, met fantastic people, learned to hula-hoop and in general were thoroughly inspired. Top tip, the next sport to sweep the western world will be 'Sock Wrestling', you read it here first.
The Saturday night was an epic. It followed a very merry afternoon with Jamie Buchanan Dunlop that nearly put paid to the night’s entertainment, but once the evening really got going there followed a series of bizarre encounters.
By far the most unusual experience was spending the hours before dawn with a knight in shining armour. My first encounter with Forest, the trainee radiographer and Medieval Knight, lead me to think that he may have been a tipsy fancy dress wearer who had succumbed to the weight of booze and armour.
It turned out that Forrest the Knight was just resting before a historically inaccurate but none-the-less spectacularly titanic clash with Duncan the Viking. Beware, it seems that it is almost obligatory to be a tipsy fancy dress wearer at the SGP, but not thankfully, to engage in flaming combat.
While at the fireside we also met Kata, the sustainable forestry person from the Eden project and Jason an inspiring ex-city man now hedger from Exmoor. It was that kind of night, or should I say knight.
Go, but don’t tell anyone else because it’s a secret.