LarmerBlog is the exclusive behind the scenes diary of Ilona Pichler documenting the Larmer Tree Festival 2011. It aims to capture the essence of the festival and the experiences of the people who create and put together the finished product. I will be exploring the ins and outs of Larmer Tree Festival and giving you an insider's perspective to the South West's best kept secret!
This is the first post of the behind the scenes online diary known as LarmerBlog! I am so excited to be writing for my favourite festival and I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I have writing it. For those of you who are new to the festival here is a little background (I promise I won't go on too long, so if you would like to find out more check out the festival website: www.larmertreefestival.co.uk). Larmer Tree Festival was created 21 years ago by James Shepard and was called 'The First Larmer Tree Jazz, Blues and Folk Roots Festival'.
Right from the beginning James Shepard and Julia Safe, the festival directors, decided to steer clear from outside sponsors, meaning they are able to stay true to their artistic influences and with their team create the unique festival we all enjoy today. I must also mention the site itself and its importance to the feel of the festival. Unlike taking place in a rather generic empty field like many of the U.K's festivals this particular festival takes place, as the name suggests, in the Larmer Tree Gardens. I couldn't imagine a more beautiful and inspiring place to have a festival, not to mention the numerous peacocks you can often spot lurking on top of a fence or behind a tent.
In full display!
So it was, armed with my camera and my trusty Dictaphone I arrived at the festival site today for the first time in 2 years. This is the bit of the festival that no-one outside the setup team usually sees - the process that turns the gardens into the site that 4,000 people spend 5 days having a fabulous time in. Today, Saturday 9th July, we are 4 days from kick-off. As I wandered onto the site the first thing that caught my attention was the team of people plunging pegs that make my tent-pegs look like toothpicks into the ground.
My tent suddenly seems ridiculously small!
What I found fascinating was the amount of time and effort it takes to put just one of these monster tents up. I took a few sneaky shots and left the boys to it. Camera in hand I took myself off to see what else was going on in this early stage of setup. Everybody seemed to be remarkably calm and collected, very admirable indeed!
And it's up!
Day one of my trip into festival-land has reminded me just how important these early stages are in laying down the fundamentals. Can’t wait to see what happens next!