Psssst…I have a bit of a secret to share and I really have to whisper this as I feel like I inadvertently missed out on some youthful rite of passage but until last weekend I had never been to a festival.
Now I know it’s probably a slight exaggeration to say that everyone has been to a festival, but it certainly sometimes feels that way when I’m sat in the office surrounded by people telling tales about swimming in mud at Glastonbury or dancing in the desert at Burning Man.
I’m not really sure why I’ve never done it before. There have been times when it’s appealed to me (the music, the sun, hanging out with friends etc) but there are other things which people seem to embrace as part of festival life (the disgusting Portaloos, the hours of walking between various stages and the aforementioned mud) which I wasn’t sure if I could actually hack. So when Mr A suggested we go to Truck Festival I was initially wary. Especially as I wanted to make super sure he wasn’t inviting me to an actual truckers’ festival.
But it turns out it is a legit music festival and one I really liked the sound of. Things that went in its favour included the fact that it is in Oxfordshire, less than an hour away from our home; it’s a smaller festival with a community feel and it had a number of bands playing who we fancied seeing live. We booked tickets along with a couple of friends and Mr A and I turned up at around 4pm on Friday.
Getting onto the site at Hill Farm in Steventon was very straightforward. Cars park in a nearby field, which was a five minute walk from the campsite, something I was particularly thankful for as my arms were weighed down by tent/chairs/food etc. There is also space for campervans and separate family camping.
After a minor battle to get our tent up in the wind we headed for the main site, which again was just five minutes away. I instantly loved the atmosphere of the festival. It was very chilled, there were people of all ages there and the site is a nice size – it small enough that it’s really easy to get between the different stages and tents, without feeling too overcrowded.
Truck Festival began in 1998 – when tickets were just £3 – and while it may have grown substantially over the years it still has a nice community feel. There’s a fun fair, a food tent where proceeds go to charity and lots of family-friendly activities.
We were so lucky with the weather the whole weekend and we spent our time lounging around in the sun and moving between the various stages and tents watching bands and singers including The Charlatans, Rae Morris and Lucy Rose. Basement Jaxx were headlining on Saturday night and were amazing to watch live.
There were only a couple of downsides – one of which was the queues for the loos and the other was an hour long wait for a pie from Pie Hard (even though I insisted we did it, for the name alone, they really need to get some speedier staff working there). Getting off the site on Sunday morning was also a bit of a nightmare, which huge queues. We did hear some complaints from regulars that there was twice as many people camping as in previous years, but obviously we had nothing to compare it with.
However overall we had a fantastic weekend and with my first festival done and dusted, will I be fighting for Glastonbury tickets next year? Watch this space…
Did you go to any festivals this year? Which one would you recommend for festival newbies?