Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Favourite Larmer Tree Pictures Part 1

I think it's only right that after babbling at you for the last 10 days that I put up some of the best photos I got of the festival, so those of you who weren't able to come can see what I was going on aboutIt really was a great time so I hope you enjoy the pictures!

James and Hat

The Temple surrounded by grass protectors, quite poetic really...

Bunting around the Secret Garden

Main Stage being JCB'd!

One of the installations, I especially like the Action Man!

Terrible cliche for the VW Camper population there...

The Flag Circle...before the mud

The Lunar Flowers...in the daylight!

Even more lovely at night


It takes 2 hours just to make one flower! Dedication.

The ladies in the Info Tent

There will be more so check back soon!

Granny Tourismo Photos

Granny Tourismo was one of my favourite pieces of street theatre this year so here are some of my photos for you to have a giggle at!


Oooh young man!

Until Next Year...

So the festival is over, I'm very sad.  It finished on a fantastic high with Seth Lakeman and Seasick Steve playing the Main Stage on Sunday night.  I knew that Seasick Steve was a favourite of Larmer Tree goers but I wasn't quite prepared for the uproar when he bounded onstage.  He was fantastic, there really wasn't a single minute I didn't enjoy and was dancing to.  I love the fact that half his instruments are made out of hubcaps, broom handles and various other bits and pieces, so much character!  The drizzle was resolutely ignored and I'm pretty sure everyone on that lawn had an amazing evening - what a wonderful way to close the festival.  I got my last bits and pieces from the stalls, I could easily have spent so much more and had to exercise considerable restraint, those of you who were there too will understand what I mean!

I also have to mention the hilarious Granny Tourismo, out on their shopping trolleys in the afternoon.  I don't know how they do it but the two 'grannies' just make the funniest duo and had the crowd in stitches.  The street theatre this year has been fantastic, did you have a favourite?  Please comment below, it's interesting to see who liked which bits.

Out of my way!

On Monday morning I could see the site break-down was beginning - traders and food concessions were packing up their vans and the crew were whizzing around on the buggy things, I really want one but apparently they might notice if it disappeared.  The Production Office will be dismantled and equipment moved back to Larmer Tree HQ.  All this takes a lot of time and effort and doesn't have the same anticipation attached as the setup did, making things move faster.  What we all have to remember is that the crew and production team have been working up to 14 hour days before and during the festival.  Without this the toilets, showers, security and all the other things would not have happened so I think a huge 'thank you' is in order for everyone who worked on the festival.

It was brilliant and I had a wonderful time writing this blog, I hope you have enjoyed reading it and please do have a look through some of the photos of the festival.  Until Next Year!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Mud and Tutus!

I came up to the site rather late today because of various problems with my not so beloved car, such a simple thing really – my wellies gave up the ghost and left me with what my friend called ‘graveyard feet’.  So I went on an adventure to get new wellies and my car decided not to play.   

Anyway, I got up to the site eventually and am feeling like the mud onsite may well be comparable to ‘The Year of the Mud’ 2 years ago.  However, the intrepid Larmer Tree Festival goers braved the rain and the mud for Dress Up Saturday which this year is a ‘50’s theme.  All kinds of tutus every colour of the rainbow and a few the rainbow would be jealous of, multiple Elvis’s with varying degrees of sideburns and Brylcreemed hair.  It was such a fantastic sight and somehow the wellies just made it better! 

The wellies make the outfit!

Looking good Gents!

 While I was goggling all the costumes I caught up with my friend Becca who is one of the Big Survey volunteers.  The feedback she was receiving from some individuals who will not be named included:  “I want more peacocks next year so could they put some Viagra in their feed?” and “Can you make the rain stop ‘cos my shoes are getting wet”….yes that’s fine, we’ll just put in a call to them up there right away...and as for the peacocks, they run away from lots of people you muppet!  How would you feel if thousands of people came into your home drooling over your feathers and squelching around looking for you.  It is quite tricky getting people to give up time to do the survey, even though it is short and only requires one little bit of actual writing.  We need to know what you all think about the festival so please, if you spot one of the volunteers in yellow t-shirts please help them out and do the survey, otherwise how will we know about things like extra peacocks and less rain?!

Elvis, incarnation 56

I am also now a Dub expert after last night’s Asian Dub Foundation gig on the Main Lawn, I have the 2 step down and am planning to buy my own drum…not really!  They were brilliant, the massive bass beats coming over the sub-woofers and especially the fantastic light show that went with their set got everyone young and old prancing around to the beat.  If you aren’t familiar with the Asian Dub Foundation, make it your mission to investigate!

And the winner is...man in pink dress!

Chin Chin Darling!

Well today had so many highlights that it was really hard to choose what to tell you about, although the rain clouds descending was not one of them.  The first order of the day was of course to get food and coffee, the only problem was I had chosen completely the wrong time to be hungry – there were massive queues to what seemed like every food concession.  Seriously bad!  I’m one of those people that get extremely grumpy when denied immediate food/coffee so in order to avoid turning into the evil green monster I tramped around to the Main Lawn and got coffee and a muffin from the Coffee Bug.   

My saviour!

As I was consuming my coffee this couple doing a piece of street theatre appeared dressed in 1940’s attire, I have to say they were excellent!  The lady was tottering around with a glass of champagne, her companion had a stereo playing 1940’s jazz, both interacting with people around the site and doing hilarious sketches; Chin Chin Darling!!

I adjourned to the tent for tea, really looking forward to Bellowhead in the evening.  Now I love Bellowhead because they create such an amazing atmosphere whenever they play and it’s always different.  The Main Lawn was absolutely packed and steaming slightly from the earlier rain, quite an interesting sight, don’t think I’ve ever seen an audience steam before!  As soon as they started playing everyone discovered their inner Irishness and danced all the way through the set.  Who cares about the rain when a fab time is being had by all?

Oh and just a little note: sometimes the internet connection here is a bit over worked, so if you see a post go up a bit after time, that’s why!

I think the Wishing Tree looks wonderful, if you haven’t been over yet, write down a wish and put it on the tree, you never know what could happen!  I had a little chat with some of the traders today, it was great to hear that they have loyal customers come back every year, I wonder how many other festivals have that?  I do feel a bit sorry for them though with all this mud, I would be going a bit twitchy with wellies tramping on/near my stock but they seem very calm and matter-of-fact about it all.  So many beautiful things to buy, all different and original…I’m not sure about this new flower garland trend though, I need someone to convince me.

I will also be quizzing the Production team about the 10 things that they couldn't live without, so watch this space!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Workshops and Reiki Heaven

Well I have had the most entertaining and chilled out day, it was completely unplanned but I think that is the best way to do things at this festival, don’t you?  Waking up to another sunny day was a bonus but it was still 11am before I managed to amble up to the site in search of coffee and pancakes. 

I knew I wanted to do some sort of treatment today but couldn’t decide which one, there was just too much choice for my little brain to take in!  I walked past tents offering Shiatsu, Osteopathy, Reiki and every other sort of massage conceivable, how is a girl to choose?  After ambling vacantly round the secret garden roughly 5 times I caught the eye of a lady outside The Little Reiki Tent.  Now although I like my crystals and will drool happily at the jewellery stalls, Reiki is not something I have tried before.  I had a chat to the lady about where she had her practice (London) and a bit about Reiki itself, booked in for 3.30pm looking forward to a new experience!

If anyone likes Irish/Celtic music and drumming I definitely recommend the Bodraphonics workshop, there’s another one at 2pm on Saturday.  I had a fantastic time whacking the Bodran, first with my knuckles – I think I was a bit over enthusiastic because I took the skin off my first two fingers – and then with the stick thingy.  The rhythms that the 35 or so of us created were incredible and everyone was working together to create this amazing sound.  I have to say the workshops this year really do provide something for everyone and must have taken ages to put together, so thanks to everyone who is involved in the organisation of them!  On that note, I would like to just say that I admire all you lovely Production staff for working 13 plus hour days and dealing with all the problems little and large that mean we can all party on.  Thank you :)

I was a little apprehensive about my Reiki treatment but I like to try new things and it turned out to be absolutely amazing!  I did the 30 minute treatment and came out so calm and happy I probably looked like I had been on the wacky baccy.   If you want to try something new I would definitely say try Reiki, just make sure that you don’t have anything energetic planned afterwards, it took me a good hour to float back to reality!  

I christen you 'The Lamp Tree'
 Oh and for those of you wondering where the cake updates have gone, don't worry there will be a new cake review soon!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Festival Day 1 - A Frisson of Excitement!

What a beautiful day to start the festival!  After a very arduous tent setup session which to me seemed to take longer than the setup for the main stage, we finally made it down to the site at about 6pm.  I made an instant beeline for Pie Minister and the pie of the day ‘Chicken of Dragon’.  With a massive pile of mash and gravy the pie was scrumptious!  Make sure you pay a visit to this food concession!  The most important bit out of the way, I had a look around the Village, you can definitely tell that the festival has started, there is the distinct scent of incense, the blended sounds of world music and a definite frisson of excitement and anticipation (perhaps a little stress from the production team).  The perfect Larmer Tree recipe I think you will agree.  The whole site looks beautiful: all the art installations are in, including the massive flowers at the gates to the Main Lawn which I think may well alarm the peacocks slightly.

I have developed slight protective tendencies towards them over the last few days. When you're mooching about on the lawn make sure you have a peek at the origami installation in the temple, its really special.  I spoke to the couple who created it, it took them a really long time to put it together lets all appreciate it!

An origami wonder...

Tonight is Jools Holland night and brings in thousands so when I got to the Main Lawn at 8.30 it was completely packed with people sporting everything from flower garlands to felt hats and multi-coloured parasols.  Needless to say the gig was amazing, with appearances from Sandie Shaw, Ruby Turner (what a voice!) and Ricky-whose surname I can’t remember-reggae man.  I think the only downside for me was after the concert to see hundreds of plastic cups strewn about the lawn.  I really don’t understand why people can’t just put their empty cups in the multiple bins around the periphery, please remember guys, that someone has to then pick them all up after you.  Ok, rant over…sorry everyone but I had to say something!  

She's braver than me!

All in all a fabulous evening rounded off with a sinfully decadent hot chocolate from the Coffee Bug while watching fire batons being tossed about -  and I get the impression that all the crew and production team are breathing a little easier now the festival is underway!  I met two amazing ladies from the stall with all the fairy wings in the Village who have very kindly posed as a peacock for me to take a photo, thanks ladies!!   

Peacock pose number 1!