Sunday, 7 September 2014

SUNDAY NIGHT NEWS - Bestival!

This weekend, I went on a little adventure across the sea to participate in my first gig abroad!

Well, perhaps that's a slight exaggeration, given that I actually went to the Isle of Wight (an island which is still very much part of the UK). But I did have to cross a tiny bit of sea so it still counts as an adventure! 

The sun always shines on the Isle of Wight!

The reason for this voyage across the Solent was to take advantage of an amazing opportunity to perform at  Bestival 2014!

In case you've never heard of it before, Bestival is an enormous music festival, set within the incredibly hilly grounds of the Robin Hill Country Park, right in the middle of the Isle of Wight. It's loud and exciting, and has a really different vibe to its sister festival, Camp Bestival, but the two events compliment each other perfectly. While Camp Bestival is gentle, sedate and family-orientated, Bestival is dynamic, wild, and filled to the brim with groups of teens and twenty-somethings, out to have a good time.

I've never see so many pairs of denim hotpants in one place! (And that was just the lads!)

Also, toucans...

Seriously though, it's a fab festival, and I'm really grateful to the lovely Amy Wragg from Get on the Soapbox Events for inviting us along to perform! It was fantastic to be reunited with the Soapbox Poetry Collective for another outdoor gig! Alongside the gang that played at Camp Bestival (poets Andy Bennett and Rowan James, and compère Tom Butterworth) we were joined by Peterborough rapper Michael Riccardi (Mixy), fresh from a run of gigs at the Edinburgh Fringe.

We had a slightly tricky time slot this time around - we were opening the Amphitheatre stage at 12 noon on Friday, a time of day when most people were still sleeping off their hangovers - but we ended up with a good crowd of around sixty people in the end. It was by no means a full-house, but the people who came really seemed to get into the spirit of it, so that was cool.

The menu for the Amphitheatre on Friday

And can I just tell you how beautiful the Amphitheatre is? It's buried deep in the woods, enclosed on all sides by greenery and sort of hidden away from the rest of the festival. There was a nice chilled out vibe there, and the audience were really relaxed and appreciative, which was wonderful to see. I popped out into the crowd after my set and it was really nice to see people enjoying the poetry.

What a beautiful stage!

All the Soapbox Poets gave excellent performances, and I felt really lucky be working with such a talented bunch of people! Performing on stage at Bestival was a brilliant experience, and I really hope we can all join forces for some more festival fun next year!

From left: Rowan James, Mixy, Andy Bennett & Tom Butterworth

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