I’ve been a little quiet on the ol’ blogging front lately due to some exciting news – I was chosen to be StubHub‘s UK #FestivalPro!! I know what you’re thinking… what the hell does that mean?! Well basically, I had the awesome opportunity to attend three music festivals and give you guys the lowdown on all the the real action from the ground across all of their social platforms, as well as my own. Cool, huh?
It’s been a little while since I’ve attended any kind of festival after the wash-out that was Isle of Wight fest last time that I went (sleeping in a puddle can dissuade even the most hardened of music lovers), so I jumped at the chance to get back into it. Because is there any better feeling than drinking ice-cold cider in the sunshine, slathering glitter all over your body, and dancing like a crazy woman to your favourite bands? No, didn’t think so. For me, heading to a festival is the definition of the perfect summer, just rocking up to a field in the middle of nowhere with your buddies and your only care in the world is how to organise your music schedule for the perfect weekend.
And guys, I got to do that THREE TIMES in a month! Cue much summertime gladness.
Here’s a little taste of what went down at British Summertime, Melt! and Splash!…
I was introduced to my German festival buddy for the month, the super cool Eileen, and we got on like a house on fire (Thank God, ’cause let’s be real here – how awkward would THAT have been) then we headed for three days in Hyde Park, with headliners Massive Attack, Florence & the Machine and Carole King to really kick things off in style. Reflecting the festival name perfectly, the weather was a true reflection of British summertime, with pelting showers in-between bouts of brilliant sunshine – but having access to the Barclaycard VIP Summer Garden (#smugface) really took the edge off as we could shoot between the bar tent and the slouchy beanbag area in a flash. And that ladies and gents, is the only sport you’ll catch me doing this year.
As you can imagine, my Florence fangirl rating was off the chart and I lurrrrrved every second she was on stage, cementing her place in my heart as firmly as ever, but it was actually Kendrick Lamar that really stood out for me from the weekend, mostly because I was surprised by how many songs I actually knew! Plus during his set we ran into this lovely lady… (not pictured: the world’s most incredible starry velvet jacket!)
It wouldn’t have been a festival unless we’d been stuffing our faces with junk food all day, of which there was plenty to choose from – but THIS was the absolute Mac Daddy of all the macs I’ve eaten (of which there have been many) in my short life. Sweet Cheesus, it was tasty!
OF course, one of the perks of being a #FestivalPro is getting the BEST seat in the house!
Next came something a little different… a hip-hop and reggae festival in Ferropolis, Germany. Yup, I hadn’t ever heard of the place either – but it turned out to be the coolest festival spot you could have imagined. An old industrial site, Ferropolis sits in the middle of a lake about two hours outside of Berlin and is a mixture of sandy shores, woodland, and rustic machinery which when climbed up offer the most breathtaking views of the sunset over the festival site. With impressive lasers and smoke machines in action as soon as the night descended, the site really came to life after dark giving off an awesome other-worldly vibe.
I must admit it was a liiiiittle strange being at a festival in Germany not knowing any German, but I picked up the basics pretty quickly – and ‘beer’ is pretty much universal, right?
Other than Wiz Khalifa – who had everyone weeping for Paul Walker with his ‘See You Again’ finale – I didn’t really know many of the artists playing, so it was nice to just chill out and check out some German favourites (with my translator on hand of course)! An interesting act once translated was a German rapper called Frauenarzt – “The Gynecologist” in English – so what he was rapping about you can only imagine…
Plus using all this free time, I could REALLY pig out on all the German food – I’m talking currywurst, the TASTIEST poutine, and handbrot – a tasty little cheese and mushroom filled bread that I could. not. get. enough of. I was close to sneaking a suitcase full of it home, I’m telling ya.
But wait for it – the accommodation was possibly the best part of the whole weekend. A whole world away from sleeping in soggy slanted tents and thunderstorms on the Isle of Wight, we had our own glamorous little camping huts – or Molo – kitted out with comfy mattresses, bedding, electricity and most important of all, a mini fridge. Living the dream! That’s it, I’m never going back to normal camping ever again…
Isn’t it just the cutest little home away from home?! We were having such a ball that it was almost heartbreaking to leave, but festival three was waiting…
It wasn’t long until our third and final festival rolled around, and although Melt! is located in the same place as Splash!, the two feel worlds apart. For a start, there were a whooole lot more English speakers at Melt! due to the more mainstream lineup, and although Splash! had a few bands playing throughout the day, this time festivities didn’t kick off until well into the evening – which was a bit of a shock to old grandma over here. I may have been able to party until 4am every night of the weekend when I was 18, but things have certainly changed in that department now, as I quickly found out…
We spent our days sleeping in luxury until 1pm, before cracking open our breakfast beer and lolling around the campsite playing fast-paced drinking games with our neighbours (one which I will possibly never recover from which included downing glasses of sparkling wine), and the evenings were reserved for hardcore dancing to Tame Impala, Two Door Cinema Club, CHRVCHES, Disclosure, Jamie xx, and Deichkind – a German band who put on one hell of a crazy show!
With glitter on our cheeks we would dance away into the night, and when the bands hung up their mics we would dash over to the ’90s stage to belt out some Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, or our best Biebs impressions – of which there is MUCH Snapchat evidence.
And as the sun set on an awesome festival, I could not be more grateful to StubHub for giving me such an incredible opportunity. Not only did I get to see some unbelievable live acts and indulge my passion, but I also met some amazing people and experience a corner of the world I probably never would have visited otherwise – letting my hair down and getting lost in the atmosphere that only a festival in the sunshine can create.
It’s been an insane three weeks and I’ve loved every second of it – bringing music and travel together and generally just having the time of my life. In a crazy, unexpected start to the summer, I can’t wait to see what the rest of it brings!
Illustrations by the awesome Catrin Bishop
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