In early spring, when I returned to England, one of my heart’s desires was to go to a summer music festival. I hadn’t been to one for a couple of summers, I guess, and was really adamant this summer needed to include at least one. My friend K agreed a festival needed to be on the agenda and we spent time on and off over the next few months trying to find one that suited us, and to try to recruit others to join us. Bestival, Green Man, Shambala, Big Chill…various options were put out there, chewed upon, rejected or fell through. But then we chose the small and quirky Croissant Neuf in Wales. Purchased tickets! Booked time off work! Sorted. And, would you believe, I also procured tickets to End of the Road, with another friend. Hurrah!
One day (a Wednesday, I think it was), as Croissant Neuf approached, I discovered quite by chance that I was the owner of a very interesting retina. A detached one, in my right eye. From eye docs there was talk of surgery. From tk there was talk of “wot ’bout my festivaaaaal?” Never fear. This is not a sad tale: dear reader, I made it to the festival. My eyes and I enjoyed it quite a lot. It was a lovely distraction, being in Monmouthshire, amongst bright colours and music and trees and creative, childish fun all around. (I was to be admitted to hospital the following Monday, and didn’t really care to dwell on it. Although the op did go really very well in the end. I now have a buckle on my eye, not that you’d know to look at me, of course, but I think it’s a quirky thing to have.)
My favourite performer was Martha Tilston, who is awesome.
So that was August.
Soon September came and with it approached…End of the Road. 5000 people in the Larmer Tree Gardens in north Dorset, with really good music (and lots of North American musicians – even better!). And I heard there would be peacocks. Of course I was excited.
Some highlights? Well…
Best use of brass on a Friday night: Modest Mouse
Songs for a Sunday afternoon: Dylan LeBlanc
Laurels for lovely lyricism go to: The Low Anthem
And the award for making me cry (a little bit, in a really nice way): Iron & Wine
Fantastic stuff, friends.