Raising your expectations of a festival, or anything else for that matter, can sometimes backfire when it doesn't reach the heights of enjoyment that you originally thought it might. The Big Chill looked and sounded like a festival that I was going to enjoy, some good music, comedy and also interactive art installations. Plus it is all set on Deer Park, complete with multiple lakes, a castle overlooking the site, and this year would be host to a sports day on the Sunday. We were going to be working for a new company called DC Site Services parking cars, not the best work but it couldn't be that bad, could it?
Eastnor Castle lies a bit further east than Tewkesbury, the modern day Atlantis, and overlooks the Big Chill site, a large deer park in the shape of a sausage. Quite a long sausage. The Big Chill was all sold out, capacity is around 35000, and the weather looked as though it should stay reasonably dry for the weekend with only the occasional shower. However, we arrvied on Tuesday afternoon, quite early in the hope that we might be able to get an early shift working for DC. The advantage that this work would have is that we were getting paid, not much to be fair, but some cash is always good, especially as we were now half way through the season. Also with car parking they only require 50 per cent of their staff for Saturday and Sunday, so we were hoping to get a couple of days off to properly enjoy the festival. However, finding the DC headquarters was proving to be a tough call. I don't think I can overstate the disorganised nature of DC enough, it was something quite amazing for a company that operates at a variety of festivals throughout the summer. To begin with they were operating out of someone's tent, and then we found out there were no early shifts, so we'd arrived early for nothing. Eventually when we did have to register we had no clue where to go, no obvious HQ, and the only way we managed to find out was through some people we recognised from another festival. Then the decision over day and night shifts was all done on a first come first served basis, with no real organisation. I quickly came to the conclusion that DC stood for Disorganised Cowboys.
Shambles aside, the site at The Big Chill is beautiful, albeit a little thin. The bad thing is that the main North carpark is located a long way from the main camping grounds. Mind you, compared to Glastonbury it's nothing so it's not that bad, but I've gotten used to turning up early and parking right near where I'm camping! For the general public though I was having to tell people that it was a good ten minute walk to the nearest camping, longer if ou wanted to be closer to the arena. Thursday was our first day of parking, and it wasn't too bad on the whole as we were mainly just pointing people in the direction of some other stewards who were parking the cars as they had done it before. However, it's not rocket science and before long we were up in the firing line getting people to park their cars as close to each other as possible, whilst leaving a fire lane all the time. The hardest aspect of the job was stopping people from just driving off and parking where they liked. Unfortunately most people seem to leave their brains behind as soon as they get behind a wheel, and the amount of times people asked me if they could park a little closer got a little tiresome after a while. Most people were ok, but another tiresome comment was people who couldn't understand why the parking needs to be done properly and when we kept trying to tell them just responded with : "Just chill out man, it's supposed to be the Big Chill." Jog On.
So ou first 12 hour shift was not bad, but we ended up finishing over half an hour late as our cover didn't turn up on time, I can't say I was surprised at all, in fact I was just glad that they turned up full stop. One problem was that we wanted to work on the Friday too, but when we got back they said all the Friday shifts had been taken, all because we were late because they were late relieving us. Not impressed at all, Amy and me managed to arrange to turn up at midday in the hope that they might need some extra people. So after getting a early night we turned up again on the Friday lunchtime and were lucky enough to get a shift, which would mean another 50 quid in cash so see us through the festival season a little longer. It was another day of repetition, but we just about managed to survive the same old questions. The end of shift saw us being moved to a different carpark, in the East, and when we arrived it was a scene of carnage. Triple parked cars, car alarms going off, the works. I felt sorry for anyone turning up around midnight on the Friday as it was chaos of the highest order. Thankfully we were done, and after picking up our money we relaxed in the knowledge that we could enjoy the rest of weekend with no more work planned.
Saturday turned out nice and fine, and we went for a good stroll around the site getting to take in the sights for the first time. One of the good aspects of The Big Chill is the artistic elements to the festival as they have art installations at various points on site. They try to encourage the public to get involved with the festival instead being passive in order to get more out of the experience. There's a couple of pianos dotted around the site, one is sat on top of the hill overlooking the lakes and the arena. It's often around these places that you have the most fun, and one of the installations on the hill was the Angry House, by David Bickerstaff. Imagine your Dad's old allotment shed getting covered in radioactive goo and mutating. This would be the result, as it's a house that as you approach begins to get angry, the doors bang and it generally doesn't sound impressed. It's a bit like that spooky shed in Lost where Jakob lives. At night time over the hill there the Fake Moon, a large helium balloon that slowly travels across the night sky mimicating lunar activity. There's also an arts trail with a variety of different art installations, which was only accesible after 10pm. Fashion also gets a look in here, with an ethical fashion show, as well as the chance to dress up and take part in regular shows throughout the day. One mistake the organisers did make was not ordering enough programmes on lanyards, which meant having to carry around an A4 programme the whole time which was quite annoying. The programmes themselves were being sold across site by Big Issue vendors, and a nice touch was the organisers letting street buskers perform on stage at certain points during the day.
It was something of a shame having to work on the Friday, the money was always handy though, and I only missed out on two acts that I wanted to see: Roots Manuva (who I've seen before), and Thievery Corporation (a little more gutted at missing this). However, there was plenty else left to see and we watched some of The Irresistible Force on the open air stage, who had some really stunning AV work on the big screens as well as some great electronic music. The were followed by Shoreline, who probably fall into the category nu-folk, and we watched a little of this before taking a walk over to the Comedy Tent in anticipation of Bill Bailey. We wanted to get there early so we would actually get in the tent and turned up over an hour before he was due to go onstage only to realise that it was already full. There were hundreds of people outside desperate to get in, and security had to erect a fence to stop people from overcrowding the venue. It was a big error from the organisers putting Bill on such a small stage, The Mighty Boosh warranted a spot on the main stage, and Bill Bailey would have too. Unable to get inside we listened from on the grass, and fortunately we were sat next to the Big Chill Radio which was broadcasting the whole show. Mr Bailey was brilliant as usual with a great range of jokes and songs. He started by talking about Jay Z's performance at Glastonbury and how he covered Wonderwall by Oasis. This mixing of British music was something that Bill commented on and he proceeded to give his own interpretation of a hip hop version of the Dad's Army theme tune. Worth checking out on youtube if you have a funny bone! The rest of set was incredibly funn and he proved to be a resounding success and despite not getting inside, it was well worth turning up to listen to.
After Bill Bailey and some cider we went to check out a great act called the Hot 8 Brass Band from New Orleans. Playing on the open air stage these guys got plenty of people grooving in the late afternoon sun with a great mix of jazzy brass, and finishing with a superb cover of Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing. Probably one of the most talked about acts of the weekend was The Mighty Boosh, everyone I spoke to was going to watch them, and we were no exception. After getting some free food from the crew catering we walked back down the hill to the arena and it was already looking pretty busy.
They didn't disappoint, despite being quite clearly inebriated, and it was a funny set with some very amusing songs. Everyone in the audience seemed to enjoy it, including the people in Cheetah costumes right at the front. In fact the cheetahs were part of the walking entertainment as apparenty last year there were lots of zebras, and this year they brought in the cheetah's to cull them. It was quite funny watching the people dressed up in cheetah costumes stalking people on stilts dressed as zebras! After The Might Boosh we wandered for a while, checking out a DJ set from Coldcut for a bit before walking back over the main stage to watch Plaid who were going to be performing at one point with Random Dance, choereographed by Wayne McGregor. Their set was really good, and it culminated in a brilliant finale when the dancers came on stage, all dressed in white. They took the phrase "busting some shapes" to another level with an amazing performance that seemed to last forever. Dazzingly white, it was a mesmerising finish to a fantastic set, and we both left the stage feelig like we had seen a unique perfromance. A short stroll took us over to the Castle Stage where we watched the end of an African Tribute to James Brown, that included Pee Wee Ellis, James Brown's saxophonist. Although we only watched the end of the set, it looked like it had been a great show. There was a collection of African musicians on-stage playing a variety of instruments and everyone was having a good time. The night was finished up with some classic Mr Scruff pulling out a gret DJ set, and at one point I bumped into Lucy who worked in the Foredeck on Scilly, which just goes to show that even at 35,000 this was a small festival.
Sunday wasn't as fine, but it was good enough despite the occaowersional light shower, and we made it up to the Enchanted Gardens for 1pm so that Amy could take part in a Hula Hoop workshop. It proved successful and she managed to learn some new moves and in the meantime I had a lovely blueberry smoothie. We even bumped into a couple of people from Glade, some of the miniture hat people that we had a laugh with and we had a catch up with them for a while before taking a walk down to the croquet lawn. Just across the lake there was a large wooden structure built by a company called the World Famous, and later that evening they were going have a big fireworks display and burn the whole thing.
It was definitely on our list of must sees for the evening, but up until then we didn't get up to a great deal. We spent a couple of hours watching some comedy, and then we went to the Castle Stage to watch the Peatbog Fairies. These were a perfect act for a showery Sunday, playing an energetic set of Irish folk music that kept everyone dancing, and Amy hula hooping! We recharged our batteries with a thali from the Thali cafe before watching the Buzzcocks, who played pretty much non stop until the end of their set. They put in a decent enough set, predictably finishing with Ever Fallen In Love, and they had most of the aging punks in the audience jumping around. As it started getting darker we went down to the lakes to watch the fireworks and the The World Famous set fire to their creation. There was plenty of anticpation surrounding the bonfire, and quite a crowd had gathered and they were not to be let down at all. We were sat a good a good distance away and we could still feel the instense heat coming across the pond. The falmes licked high up into the night and I can honestly say that I've never seen a fire like it. The fireworks that accomapanied the burning were brilliant as well, not too many high altitude ones, but plenty small ones that exploded into a corkscrew down to the earth.
Needing to cool off somewhat we walked make over to the Castle Stage to watch Mum (pronounced Moom), though it was strangely empty. I've been a fan of Mum for a while now and I was looking forward to seeing what they would be like live as I had the feeling they might be a little too chilled out, even for The Big Chill. Fortunately I had nothing to worry about and they put in a top draw performance with some amazing visuals. They're simialr to Sigur Ros in many ways, but this performance was much more dance orientated than anything done by Sigur Ros. The variety of instruments played onstage was something else, and the female vocalist has an amazing voice; pretty much what you come to expect from any Icelandic band. As we walked away I commented to Amy that I felt we'd just seen the best band of the weekend. I turned out to be wrong.
The Bays are a group who can be best described as a improvisational dance act who don't record studio albums. Every live show is different and it means that you get some fantastic live dance music. However, whilst this is interesting enough, they were taking things to a whole new level with a collaboration with the Heritage Orchestra. With a composer onstage, as well as conducter, Orchestra, drummer, bass player and DJ, this was always going to be something different. Luckily for those of us who had no idea what to expect everything got explained before they came on stage. In front of the musicians were a bank of LCD screens, the conductor had one too, and the composer would stand by the side of the stage and compose music for them to play in real time. This then got displayed on their screens, and the conductor brought them in time etc. All of this whilst some guys freestyled a load of live dance music behind them. It has to be one of the most original performances that I've ever seen and I was completely captivated throughout the entire set. They moved through a variety of dance genres, from ambient to jungle, and all the time we could see on the big screens the composers writing music, the conductor running over to chat to him to receive instructions before running back and relaying it to the orchestra. It was a shortish set, around 45 minutes, but I was completely stunned by it. Totally unique and an unbelievebale finish to the weekend.
The next day we were still talking about The Bays and The Heritage Orchestra, and if you ever see these guys playing near you, buy a ticket as you will not be disappointed. We drove towards Tewkesbury, thankfully not resembling Atlantis, really taken with The Big Chill, despite the chaotic work that we'd had to do. I felt that I had not seen all this festival had to offer, and I would recommend The Big Chill to anyone who likes a good variety of dance music, and some artistic culture as well. The following week we would be heading to Bloom, a relatively new fesitval taking place not far from where 2000trees was. One thing was for certain, it would be hard for it to beat The Big Chill.
I'm melting! I think that was how I felt for most the weekend, a stark contrast compared to 2007 when you could have drowned in mud, but the only worry was that this could be the whole of the summer's weather condensed into one weekend! Of course, the weather is only a small part and I was eagerly anticipating WOMAD having only heard good things about the festival from my friends who went last year. Once again I hadn't really looked too closely at the line up beforehand, and I was looking forward to seeing a wide range of acts that I'd (hopefully) never heard of before.
Amy and I arrived on site on the Wednesday afternoon, giving a lift to a chap called Andy from Bristol in order to split the fuel cost, and it was already pretty warm. I was definitely glad that the walk from our staff parking to the campsite wasn't too far as it was directly up a massive hill. The camping areas for WOMAD are split away from the arena so there are two distinctive areas, which until this summer I'd never seen before, but the main difference with WOMAD is that between the campsite and the arena is a large arboretum. Now a dictionary definition for an arboretum is: a plot of land on which many different trees or shrubs are grown for study or display. Now I'm a great lover of trees, but there's trees and there 'trees!' The arboretum at the WOMAD site in Malmesbury is pretty amazing, with a whole variety of conifers, and a couple of stunning Sequoia's. Having never seen a sequoia before, despite knowing what to expect, I was slightly taken aback by the sheer size - and these were only little ones.
Having been briefed by Oxfam as to what our jobs would entail for the weekend we were in a pretty upbeat mood as we had been entrusted with the job of being Child Escort Team. Essentially our job was to roam around the arena and camping areas waiting for a call over the radio that a lost child had been found by a steward, then we would have to escort them to the found children tent. So basically this meant we could go anywhere in the arena and not be based in one position, as long as we could hear the radio. The only annoying thing was our shift patterns that left us doing the midnight until 8am shift in the early hours of Monday morning, but it would mean that we'd get to see plenty of the festival.
Thursday was a pretty sedate day, as we had no shifts, and we spent most of the day relaxing in the sun and wandering around the site getting our bearings. Although the arena was open, there was no music planned until later in the evening when Lee Scratch Perry would be performing. So we meandered around the arboretum for a while looking at all the healing tents and noticed that the 'Gong Shower' people from 2000trees were here, but they were now offering Gong Bath's - surround sound gong therapy! The line up was looking good too, plenty of acts that I'd never heard of, and I was looking forward to catching some new bands and having a good weekend. WOMAD has plenty of workshops too, you can learn flamenco,salsa, and a whole variety of drumming styles. In many ways WOMAD reminded me of Cornbury, it is a very middle class festival with middle aged women wearing 'traditional' African dresses with spear and shield prints of them. However, the atmosphere at WOMAD was completely different feeling much more relaxed and less like you were being force fed a festival experience.
Amongst the market stands we came across a great (and very cheap) book shop which meant I felt obliged to spend some money. I left with a few books, most notably a great book about the history of beer and the pub by a guy called Pete Brown. It made me laugh straight away and I ended up quoting to Amy from the book regularly as by trivial knowledge about the history of beer grew daily. It's called "A man walks into a pub..." a great title and it would make an excellent Christmas or birthday present for someone who likes a drop of ale - and there's plenty of them on Scilly.
One observation I made at WOMAD was related to the port-a-loos - this time being provided by the company DavLav. This particular toilet comes with a urinal 'funnel' inside the toilet, as well as your usual toilet, but what made me laugh was the health and safety message stuck on the inside: "Designed to be used by 10 or less people over the course of a 40hour week." I'm no maths genius, but these were surely going to be used by morning than 10 people each over 4 days? Having said this though, WOMAD has lay the claim down for the cleanest toilets in festival history. There was always toilet roll available, sanitising hand wash and they just all seemed permanently clean. We even had advise as to what should go in the toilets:
The Thursday evening saw Lee 'Scratch' Perry take to the stage in the Siam tent. The Jamaican reggae legend has recorded a huge number of records over the years, and the tent was packed out to see him perform. Kids were invading the disabled platforms and the expectation was pretty high, but in the end the sound just wasn't up to the job. The sound engineers should have had time to sort everything out as Mr Perry was late on stage, his flight to Bristol airport was delayed and he even came on stage with his suitcase. Feedback problems plagued the set, the drums took over any other instrument and the vocal levels were terrible. In the end I found it a bit of a disappointment, but we did make one discovery to cheer us up. The bar company at WOMAD make a surcharge on each pint you buy as a deposit on the card cups that they use. You collect the cups and then take them back to a recycling point and you get your deposit back for each cup you bring. Of course, not everyone remembers this and they leave their cups lying around, queuing a fight between us and the 8 year old kids as to who can grab the most cups to get our 10p a cup deposit!
Friday morning meant our first shift as Child Escort Team - I asked Oxfam if we could be called the Gobblers instead, but they didn't seem too keen on the idea. We had been kept up until late in the night by the girls in the tent next to us, and we quickly christened them Gossip Girl and Motor Mouth. I have never come across someone who can just talk non-stop for hours on end, and it wasn't even interesting stuff that she was talking about. So we were glad to get away from them for eight hours, and hopefully we'd have a pretty quiet shift with not too many children getting lost. It was certainly a slow start, so we de-camped to the excellent Tiny Tea Tent - a regular stall on the festival circuit and winner of some kind of green award at Glastonbury this year. Their stall is entirely solar powered and they serve up some good tea in solid mugs; always a bonus. So Amy and I sat down on their sofa for a while chatting to some of the girls working their, and listening to a group of kids sat by a table near to us. The main topic of conversation seemed to centre around vegetarian food, which the most rotund kid of the group (a seasoned eater by any one's standards) sweepingly claimed 'all tastes like cardboard'. We also learnt that his favourite dining establishment was Morrison's Cafe. As the morning got warmer our tubby friend rolled off into the distance with only heart disease and diabetes to worry about, whilst we went for a walkabout before the music started for the day.
We fancied checking out some tibetan monks who were doing a big performance on the open air stage and we were not disappointed at all. The Tashi Lhunpo Monks performed traditional song and chanting, along with performance dancing in full costumes. It was an ethereal sight, and some of the chants had interesting stories behind them that the monks spoke of before each performance. One story involved speaking with ancestors through music by using human bones as drumsticks, at least that's how I remember the story. It was still pretty mesmerising, and something that I was glad we watched.
We had a couple of minor call outs over the radio for us to retrieve some lost kids and take them over the found children tent, but both times the children were reunited before we even managed to take them anywhere. One kid in particular wouldn't leave to go to the tent until she had finished her chocolate muffin! We spent the majority of the rest of the shift mooching around and collecting badges from the campaign stands to add to our collection of Oxfam ones. I grabbed a couple of badges against supermarket expansion plans, one against war in general, and I also got a free breakfast bar from a vegetarian stall. All in all a successful first shift, and by the time we had clocked out and had some food we arrived back in the arena in time to catch the end of Toumani Diabate. I've seen Toumani play last year at Glastonbury, and he was excellent, in fact he also came on and played with Bjork as he featured on one song off her album Volta. He put in another good performance from what I gathered, what we heard was certainly excellent and he had his son on stage who is another excellent kora player, the instrument for which Diabate has his fame. After his set culminated we walked over to the Big Red Tent - not as big as it sounds, but big enough - to watch the Bedouin Jerry Can Band, who were complete entertainers and excellent at it. These guys were fantastic, playing old jerry cans, ammunition cases, basically anything left behind in the desert after conflicts. The were lead by a lecherous front man who got all the women in the audience going, and I think even Amy sang her approval at one point. This was uplifting music, a distinctive sound full of traditional and contemporary bedouin flavours.
After this we had a short break in the music to take part in a Salsa workshop. I wasn't too keen, but after trying some in Costa Rica Amy was very much up for it, so I succumbed, albeit a little anxious. However, I have to say that it turned out to be great fun, despite very tiring, and after a while we were managing to do pretty well at learning the steps and according to Amy we even had people watching us to learn how to do it. I can't verify this as I think I spent the whole time cracking up with laughter and it was definitely one of the funnier parts of the weekend.
After our dancing we returned to the Big Red Tent to find it filling quite rapidly with probably ever festival goer under 25 as the next act would be a Nathan 'Flutebox' Lee; a man who is beatboxing flautist. It was an intersting and original performance with plenty of collaborators, but I was more interested to note that towards the end of the set I could see Shlomo to the left of the stage. In fact within minutes he was on stage, and completely up-staged Flutebox Lee with a solo performance of a few songs. After missing Shlomo at Glastonbury I was glad to have finally seen something of him in action live. After this finished we wandered around catching bits and pieces of acts such as Speed Caravan, and Terakaft, but we were feeling pretty tired and we walked back through the stunning arboretum. At night they have a light show with music that goes on until 4am and tonight they had some kind giant inflatable turd that you could play with.
Attempting to lie in when the sun is blazing is pretty much an impossibility when living in a tent. Unable to handle the heat after 9am was becoming standard so we quickly moved to some shade in the arboretum where we snoozed, read the paper and hula hooped until it was time to catch a band called Babylone Circus who were an excellent French ska band, who despite the heat, managed to wake everyone from their lethargy and inject some dancing into the day. They were absolutely superb and are definitely worth checking out if you get the chance. I was doubly happy as I managed to get a free mexican bean burger as the lady gave me change for a tenner instead of a fiver - bonus. I was met later in the day by Simon Gibson, who had come to 2000trees, and had a free ticket to WOMAD and he brought cheap cider which was a nice respite from the 3.95 stuff we were buying from the bar. It's always good to see a familiar face, and we were also joined by one of Amy's friends from University, who we had to give a finger puppet to as she had missed out on Glade the previous week. Unfortunately our second shift beckoned, working from 4pm till midnight, but we were confident that we wouldn't have too much to deal with.
Of course this turned out to be completely untrue, as we had plenty of lost children to deal with, but prehaps the worse part of the day was when Amy lost her turtle necklace. This was something that she had bought when doing turtle conservation work in Parismina, Costa Rica. Pretty much irreplacable, unless she goes back, and it wasn't a high point of the afternoon. We reported it into lost property but the chances of it being returned, or even found, were pretty low and we went to watch some Roni Size to cheer ourselves up. Roni Size Reprazent have been doing a live tour this summer because of the remastered release of their Mercury Award winning New Forms. This was the first chance I'd had to see them and they were absolutely brilliant; a little early in the evening, but they were getting the evening going in style.
After Roni we checked out Jah Wobble, which was really good until we got called away by not one, but two, seperate cases of simultaneous lost children. By the time we had finished with the kids Jah Wobble had finished, which was a shame as the BBC Radio 3 stage, which was set in the arboretum had a great feel to it. The rest of the night mainly consisted of jungle and drum and bass, with bristol DJ TC performing on the Little Sicily stage, followed up by DJ Marky and Patife. Simon also managed to find some excellent samosas on sale right by the stage so we danced around a bit here for a while until our shift finished. We were expecting Asif Ali Khan to finish off the night with a performance in the Siam tent, but he couldn't make it and was replaced with the Sufi Women of the Islands. Mesmeric would be an appropriate word to use, although a little freaked out might be a good phrase as well. There was certainly something hypnotic about their set in the early hours in the morning, making you feel like you were in a dreamlike state, and in a good way. I'm still not sure which Islands exactly they were from, but it definitely wasn't Samson.
The final day of WOMAD carried on in terms of brilliant sunshine and sweaty tents so once again we found ourselves spending the Sunday morning in the shade of the beautiful trees, this time listening to the singing workshop, and reading the latest sports news in the Observer. We finally ventured into the arena to watch the American band Little Feat, who were pretty decent in a rock-a-billy, blues manner, and they had quite a following that helped get the afternoon going quite steadily. My only regret of the festival was to come when we missed Ernest Ranglin and Bassekou Kouyate so we could get some food. Just one of those things really, but we got back in time to check out the procession, which was a carnivalesque walk through the arena with plenty of interesting characters to look at.
Anyone who is familiar with our festival journies will know all about Amy's tiny straw boater, in fact it even has its own facebook group, but on the Sunday we finally someone with possibly the smallest hat ever, except for Leprechauns.
Small hats aside, we did manage to watch some of Justin Adams performance on the BBC Radio 3 stage, and also performed later on in the afternoon in the Gala Performance with a host of musicians from the entire weekend including Billy Cobham and Bassekou Kouyate. The Gala Performance was excellent, encompassing a wide variety of music, and all pretty much improvised due its nature. After this we caught some of Transglobal Underground before feeling a little unsure as to how to finish off the evening. I quite fancied the sound of GOCOO and GoRo, a Japanese drumming collective and a didgeredoo player. They have forty taiko drums on stage, and they certainly sounded like they'd be good. In the end they weren't good, they were fandabbidosi! One of the best performances I'd seen all summer, I just couldn't get over how powerful the drumming was, and the digeredoo just added to the the whole sound. The lighting and costume effects helped as the lead female drummer was almost shamanic with her ultra long black hair.
I shot this during the set and they were relentless from start to finish, providing probably the highlight of the festival for me. Unfortunately this meant the end of the festival us as we had to go to work for our final shift from midnight until 8am, which was nit a shift that we were looking forward to. We knew it would be quiet and that was the problem, but after three days of excellent music, a nice easy shift to finish with wasn't all that bad. We spent the majority of the night sauntering around the arboretum, but we did get some free food before the arena shut from one of the closing food stalls. Nothing much really happened, but we did get one last call from the radio at around 6am that a child had got lost going to the toilet in the morning. Funnily enough it turned out to be a young lad that had been lost a couple of days before, so we had a laugh with/at the kid for a bit before finishing at 8am in another morning of blazing sunshine.
WOMAD was a great festival, one that I enjoyed for its atmosphere, music, cleanliness of toilets and weather! The site itself at Charlton Park is incredibly picturesque and the arboretum was a great place to hang around and relax when the weather got a little hot. Despite not knowing many of the acts performing I watched a whole host of great performances and I would thoroughly recommend this festival to anyone who had an interest in music they extends beyond what you might hear on a daily basis. So it was with another day of sunshine that we left WOMAD before heading back to Bristol with thoughts of next festival, we were heading from the Big Heat to The Big Chill...