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I know how you feel Piemon - I try to block it out, and yet going to a festival shouldn't be about blocking things out. . . being a bit of a luddite, I also used to enjoy a few days of being incommunicado at Reading - there was a payphone for emergencies, but that was it. . . the i-phoney-fication of the human species has also meant the mainstream is always there at the touch of a touch screen, eroding the real here and now moments of our lives. Long live the good olde days!
I've been to WOMAD since 1986 so no stranger to the range of pure delight on offer. I've also been listening to Led Zepplelin since 1969 (when I was 9) and consider that they introduced loads of people to something off-beam from the majority of rock music around at the time and probably contributed to things like WOMAD coming into existence as a result! I wouldn't have missed Robert Plant for anything!! And neither would I have wanted to missThe Manganiyar Seduction or Kimmo Pohjonen and Dahka Brakka both of which were brilliant jaw dropping WOMAD moments.
The sound was much better in the Siam (shame about the decorations) and Red Tents than last year and brilliant on the outdoor and R3 stages as ever. CG ok too now that it's become more than just a walk through.
My only gripe was not being warned about the intrusive and over the top bottle search at the entrance which was like going through customs and not a great way to arrive at a festival.
Roll on 2013
Sorry Piemon but having had a great time at our first Womad, plan to be back again next year. We live in the Thames Valley with our son Oliver.
May have to sign up for the Human Library so narrow mindeded individuals can come and talk to middle England.
That would be ideal for some of the people I met who were only interested in talking about themselves.
The Human Library organisers were great though, I met them in the Real Ale Bar. Really nice genuine couple and a lovely daughter.
How very narrow of me!
and I've been called a bit of a wide boy in the past, but probably because i ate all the piemon
Nice use of Piemone there!!!!!
I think that my long blog last year covered the points made by Mr Beef and fellow Lancastrian Piemon so I won't go there again because I said that I only want to be positive this year.
Basically you have to accept WOMAD for what it is now ...ie a good festival with a cracking line up. Yes a lot of things have changed which suits the modern festival goer and not the old school but that is the way it is I'm afraid. I got my head around it this year and had an excellent time.
I said it on another thread but when WOMAD prevents me from taking my own food and drink into the arena then I will have to throw in the towel as the outlay will not justify the line up. Drink, food, programmes for 3 people is expensive if you buy everything from inside the arena. For the 'middle class' this won't be an issue however it will be a VERY sad day when this happens because like 'Bloohair' WOMAD has been my holiday for years. As a working musician, WOMAD weekend is the first that I book off every year.
I didn't realise that working musicians had to "book holiday", I was under the impression that the holiday bit was simply the musician doing something different on the days they get up ...
Goodness...what a lot of feedback to sift through! There seem to be many comments pertaining that Womad 'isn't what it was in the old days', but we should remind ourselves that life in general isn't what it was like in the old days so it's inevitable that things will change, even in festival-world! If it hadn't grown and kept up with the modern world, we wouldn't have the wonderfully clean, well-stocked loos, the thorough litter-picking & recycling, Frank water providing a bargain deal on safe drinking water (especially on such a hot weekend) the free wifi (whether you used it or not, it was great for those techo-heads!), the numerous helpful & friendly stewards, the plentiful radio-equipped security, should there be a urgent issue needing rapid response & the general feeling of safety, especially for kids.
I agree with many that the cup-collection-rewards-for-kids was lacking this year. It gives the kids daily missions to fund their fair addictions!
I still think it’s a bit of an odd thing to witness people on picnic blankets & camping chairs plonked down in front of a stage waiting for some music to start. These guys take up much more room than if they were standing, and do create mini ‘hazards’ for the passer-by, BUT, let’s remember that we live in different times & if someone wants to rock up with chairs/blankets, then let them – accept them, who are we to tell other people what to do or how to behave, especially at a festival where the majority of people go to let their hair down & have a good time.
I remember festivals where travellers would have their own field, complete with dogs! Unheard of these days... plus most travellers wouldn’t want to be in a hundred miles of the modern day festival. And festivals were, in reality, created & attended by such folk in the first place. All the negative comments about ‘poshos’ or ‘Middle England’ folk attending I feel, are a little bit unnecessary & a bit shallow. Why shouldn’t ‘they’ attend? It may be their first experience of festival life & perhaps for some it is an environment which is entirely alien to them, so be nice & let everyone enjoy their experiences however they choose to.
Above all, let us not forget that we are, after all, in a field & a week before we arrive to kick our heels up & let our hair down, there is literally NOTHING in that field. All the structures, staging, lighting, showers, toilets, sound systems, fencing etc are built or are placed in a relatively short space of time, so don't be too harsh if there is the occasional hiccup!
Thank you XYCee
Much more into quails eggs and caviar in Buckinghamshire but come next year and will meet up for a beer and a pie mon amie.
It is not only the music but the escape from modern UK pressures and devisions that to me was part of the festival atmosphere.
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