I'm having a quiet Sunday evening, recovering after a weekend at the Playgroup Festival. I went up after work and set up my tent in time to catch the Hammer and Tongue slam. After that I wandered around the site, enjoying the atmosphere before going to bed.
It turns out that I was the only person in our area of the site that slept. At one point in the night, someone apparently had a full-on acid freakout next to my tent, calling for his mother and pondering (in a shout) whether he was Jesus. I missed that. I also slept through the partying Spaniards who were singing and drumming all night until some time on Saturday afternoon.
Since the Chatham House rule applies to festivals, I won't name the poet who won my respect with their heroic drunken antics. They set off wandering after a superb performance in the slam. At some point in the early hours they apparently beat the loud Spaniards in a rap battle. Later they were seen walking along a ditch, reciting classical poetry. After a couple of hours spent sleeping in that ditch, they bounced back to life and started all over again.
On Saturday I found myself getting more into the festival spirit and had a great time, wandering about with friends and having the sort of heart-to-heart discussions you can only have in damp fields. Tom and Chris gave fascinating lectures (I know now more than I need to about RPS and 'millicest'). AKDK played a storming gig and I spent the hours afterwards wandering about. I lost my voice, which was replaced by the husky party version. I met interesting strangers and had bizarre experiences and kept losing people then finding them again.
It was a fun weekend. I didn't try to catch that many acts, but once I got into the spirit I enjoyed wandering about and taking in the atmosphere. I think I had more fun than I've had at a festival in a long time. It was small enough to be intimate, and substantial work had gone into strange artefacts and performances. A lot of people from Brighton had turned up, which meant I kept running into old friends. The event wasn't perfect by any means (it definitely needed better water facilities and far more toilets) but I guess a festival is what you make it. I'm looking forward to next year.
There are various (possibly incriminating) photos I've not seen yet which are sure to appear on facebook over the next few days. I'm also hoping to see some of the footage filmed of Chris Parkinson's performance of The Wasteland AK/3D, backed by AKDK.