Thursday, 11 August 2005

Shambala Festival

shambala festival

august 2005

Here we are again, another year, another festival, this time flying solo, but meeting the usual suspects at the festival. Getting there taking the usual route to the south west, that being the train, but getting from the train to the fields of joy was a little more complicated. A glitchless journey led me to an impromptu gathering at Plymouth station. Many potential campers making a temporary encampment outside awaiting transit via a shuttlebus, a bus at this time had only made one pick up any many more would be on the cards. A brief conflab among like minded travellers, and taxis were hailed and journeying continued.

On arrival, i had to negotiate the new layout and a myriad of tents to find my bunkmates for the weekend. Unfortunately their mobile was somewhere else, so communication was near impossible. So using a modicum of logic, a small amount of wishfull thinking and a smattering of improbability led me to the same spot we camped last year, and of course........thats where they were.

A quick assembly and my accomodation was erected for the weekend, time for a drink.

Well what can be said about the festival, well, this year many more had been invited, no longer an intimate gathering, but no Glastonbury. A larger crowd did not lead to any dissapointment, it only meant more revellers willing to dress up for Saturday night. Among us were some festival virgins, who had brought their daughter of 3 years. Not knowing what to expect they threw themselves wholeheartedly into the proceedings and had a wonderful time.

This would be said about everyone decending on these green fields, despite a slightly wet Saturday, this dampened nothing, and the largest fancy dress event went on without a hitch. As far as the eyes could see, more people had thrown themselves into the joy of dressing in all that is fancy, disregarding all conventions on style and gender, everything is possible.

A couple of the evenings were punctuated by the deep pulse and throb of a local rave, thus making sleep a little difficult for some of us camping relatively nearby, but for most of us, not a problem, it made for some interesting dreaming.

Among the highlights over the weekend are the woodland trail, illuminated by ultra violet light, lots of Chai tea, Falafel pita salads from the Thia Tea Shop, an impromptu fancy dress aerobic excercise class, strange Mad Max/Borg creatures wandering through the festival on Sunday. A wonderful circus on the Friday provided by Bassline Circus, rounded of the evening, but because of the rain on the Saturday, this event was not to be repeated. Many more happenings some large some small are too numerous to mention, hopefully some scale of it can be viewed via the photos (see link).

Unfortunately there was a downside to this wonderful weekend, firstly the toilets, not enough of them, and not cleaned regularly. Secondly, Monday, it came round all too soon, time to go home, but not for me, I had a few more days to enjoy the joys of the South West, for I was to continue the fun at my friends in Cornwall, the show must go on.

Goodbye Shambala, thanks for yet another great weekend, see you again next year.