If someone had told me this time last year that I’d finally be going to a festival next September I would have laughed in their face. After months of disappointment, uncertainty and rescheduled and cancelled events and festivals, I had no expectations of enjoying a semi-normal live music event with no restrictions. However, there I was in London, at a festival with all my closest friends enjoying live music.
There was a definite buzz for Field Day; everyone was on Cloud nine bouncing around the stages, covered in glitter and wacky clothing. Even queuing for the portaloos was a forgotten fun activity. Talking to strangers for 45 minutes about their lives, what had brought them here, and their time during the pandemic is what makes festivals so special, and it’s something so important that had been taken away from us for so long: human interaction. It’s the friendships you make for ten minutes, the “Ooh where did you get your dress from?”, the singing along to the same song or both laughing together when you see something a bit odd happen in a crowd. It was electric. Smiles were stretched right across people’s faces, arms were punching the air and everyone was packed into tight crowds – something we had not seen in a while. It was hard to remember we were still coming out of a pandemic while in the crowd, pushed up against sweaty bodies and talking to strangers without masks or social distancing; but it was magical.
Then you remember why you’re there: the elation of live music. The spine-tingling swooshes and beeps of Bicep’s Glue flood Field Day’s East Stage as their iconic blue and pink strobes fill the sky. They are the comforting sound you’ve missed: the duo you can always fall back on to complete your night, the duvet wrapped around you when the sun’s gone down and your bev jacket has worn off. The swaying and pushing of the crowd only adds to the memory you had of them and makes it real again.
All Points East on Monday was a whole different story – swept away in the crowd at Bombay Bicycle Club we were in a pool of jingly, happy-go-lucky indie music and good time crowd-pleasers. It was the happy bouncing around we had been waiting for all festival. Staring around at everyone having a fun time; arms in the air and mouths open wide, shouting along to classics like Luna and Always Like This, I was reminded just how much I had missed live events.
Imagine – it’s a classic summer night at a festival with giant queues for the toilets and chip vans, the smell of smoke in the warm air from flares, and the sun peaking behind clouds still giving us a glimpse in the bright blue sky. The perfect evening you’ve longed for for so long and the ideal way to round off the last festival of the season.