There’s always one moment that sparks a passion, whether it is the moment you first hear a favourite band, the moment you realise the career you want, that first moment you lock eyes with the one you love – for me, it was at The Parklife Weekender that I realised I was a true festival girl.
It sounds trivial and more of a hobby, but realising how much I love the atmosphere of music festivals, the people there and the sheer escapism of it all that has really changed my life over the last two years. I went to the festival in 2012 with my university housemates – it was our reunion and had been months since we last saw each other. It was tricky to organise meet-ups b=with us all scattered across the country, but when someone suggested we do a festival we all jumped at the chance!
Parklife was a great choice, not only did it take us all to a city that some of us had never been to, but it was a non-camping festival to ease us all in. We rented a gorgeous luxury apartment in the city centre and all piled in buzzing with excitement after a long drive from all directions. We arrived in Manchester in the pouring rain and were pretty worried about the festival site and how muddy it would be the next day – but we needn’t have worried, excellent drainage meant that despite a full 24 hours of hard rain, it was actually pretty dry! We had glorious sunshine for the rest of the weekend and loved every second of wandering across the festival fields, exploring the tents and generally having an amazing time.
Two years on, I can’t even remember which acts we saw except from some of the highlights – Dizzee Rascal’s set was incredible and I remember dancing on a wheelie bin with two of my friends until it collapsed. Labrinth was also amazing and perfect for watching in the sunshine. We also spent hours in one tent watching Jaguar Skills, Chase and Status, Zane Lowe and a bunch of other DJs. The rest is a blur of warm cider, smelly portaloos and meeting randoms – but I know one thing, and that was that I had a bloody good weekend with my girls.
Parklife was my first ever festival and it helped me to realise that I am not as much of a girlie girl as I had previously thought, so much so that I went to my second festival – Glade Festival – a week later and raved all weekend. This was also incredible. I was loving my time at the festivals so much that my boyfriend suggested I get in contact with a festival news website and see if they were looking for reviewers or writers – I did and was taken straight on as a staff writer for This Festival Feeling. They gave me the opportunity to review the brand new Zoo Project Festival in Kent and I jumped at the chance, despite this being the first camping festival. My boyfriend and I went along with two friends and met some others there for this zoo-themed festival that was taking place at an actual zoo!
We had a perfect weekend of camping, drinking, raving, exploring the zoo, laughing at the gorillas, meeting the meerkats and making all kinds of friends. It was truly epic and we all had such an amazing time. It really cemented for me what festivals are all about – good friends, good memories and pure escapism. It was awful coming home and back to reality after such a good weekend, but it really brought the four of us closer together.
That summer changed my life. It sounds silly, but that first festival really has turned me into a different person, has opened me up to meeting so many new people and to new experiences and has given me so many amazing memories. As a result, I have become the editor of This Festival Feeling, which last year gave me the opportunity to review Croatia’s Hideout Festival. I have become the type of girl who camps with no worries, isn’t bothered about not washing her hair for a week, can cope with portaloos, camping with boys only, can rave all night and cope with no sleep in four days, can walk all day every day and much more. And I absolutely love it. Bring on the next festival season and all the adventures ahead.
Is there a moment that has changed your life? Something that seems small at the time but has made a big difference?