Posh Pitching: The Tempus Guide to Experiencing the Festival Season in Style
Festivals are a wonderful way to clear the mind, but should we have to leave comfort at the door? Mark Southern discovered another, more luxurious, way to enjoy the outdoor party season.
As originally published in Tempus Magazine, 2015
When a more hirsute Michael Eavis first threw open the fields of his Somerset farm in 1970, the very first Glastonbury Festival was born. It was the day after Jimi Hendrix had tragically died, and featured performances by The Kinks and Marc Bolan. Tickets cost the less-than-princely sum of £1, and this included milk from the farm., and accommodation was as basic as it comes, with a smattering of tents across the overlooking hill.
It’s fair to say that things have somewhat changed.
These days festival going is big business, and in the UK alone the festival market is today worth £2.2bn annually. It’s come a long way from Woodstock.
Today’s festival goer wants an authentic but high quality experience, that jolts them out of their day to day lives, but doesn’t compromise on refinement and style. As such, we let our hair down, found our Hunter wellies, and discovered everything about the summer of 2015’s festival going that you’ll possibly need to know.
Which Festival to Choose
Perhaps the most artistically interesting UK festival, Latitude’s trademark cavalcade of quirky features an eclectic line-up of populist and challenging artists of all kinds.
Festival goers can enjoy cabaret, poetry, dance, literary readings, and theatrical performances, amongst many others, with a focus on emerging talent, whilst the musically diverse line-up includes Noel Gallagher and the Flying Birds, and the Manic Street Preachers, amongst other high profile acts.
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight Festival has a strong pedigree of ‘I was there when’ moments, starting way back when Jimi Hendrix played the island festival in 1970. Today, it enjoys its unusual place as the UK’s premier non-land-locked festival, and that small stretch of water makes a great difference to festival goers, as crossing the serene waves of the Solent separates weekend life from reality like little else.
This year’s event features a very high profile line-up, including Fleetwood Mac, Blur, The Prodigy, and Pharrell Williams, and includes some promising new innovations, including a magnificent tree structure, stretching out into the sky, with a glowing orb DJ stage at the top.
Still the daddy of UK festivals after all these years, Glasto has become a strangely British institution, beloved by the masses, yet still retaining most of its hippy values. With over 100 stages this year, and featuring even more outlandish arts creations, the festival has again moved with the times, and must remain on everyone’s bucket list.
This year’s line-up, which is at time of press still not fully announced, is headed by Foo Fighters and Kanye West, which show the development of its inclusive musical values, whilst hundreds more acts are there to say the immortal words, “hello, Glastonbury”.
For those seeking a rockier British experience, Reading remains the number one festival for those who like their music turned up to 11. After a difficult period of lost identity, the festival is back and better than ever, with a more eclectic style than in recent years, but a very distinct confidence.
Metallica is the stand-out headliner, but a fascinating line-up featuring an emergent The Libertines, and a more electric set from Mumford and Sons, promises to be full of highlights.
London-based dance aficionados need mark only one date in their festival diary, as LoveBox again takes over East London’s Victoria Park for a weekend of hedonistic dance music indulgence.
With an authentic history of crafting audience-led events, the festival is renown for its shared sense of love, and this year’s line-up is headlined by Snoop Dogg and Hot Chip, with DJ sets from a host of interesting artists, including Mark Ronson and event co-creators Groove Armada.
Denmark’s Roskilde festival has earned its international reputation for keeping its music fierce, and its fun high. Attracting a stellar line-up every year to Scandinavia has ensured the festival remains highlighted in the informed festival goer’s diary, and with an expanded ambition this looks to be the year the event breaks into the UK mainstream.
Expect a pop-rock-infused playlist from artists as diverse as Muse, Florence and the Machine, Pharrell Williams, Nicki Minaj, and Sir Paul McCartney, alongside a host of Scandi-bands and European acts.
Possibly the coolest mainstream festival on the planet, Burning Man has become the place to be seen by international A-listers, royalty, and politicians alike. Every year, tens of thousands of festival goers gather in the Nevada desert to create Black Rock City – a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.
The line-up has yet to be announced, but it doesn’t matter so much as the quite extraordinary cultural creation that emerges then disappears in the summer sun, with a unique sense of feeling and openness.
How To Do It In Style
You needn’t slum it in a tent for a weekend. Instead, choose something a little more comfortable.
These are not your everyday yurts, with specially designed flooring meaning you can dance, sleep, and party on a level surface. Meanwhile, soft, subtle lighting guides you home to sink into the glorious luxury of Egyptian cotton sheets and ridiculously comfortable mattresses on hand crafted bespoke wooden beds.
With a full en-suite bathroom, with toilet, shower, wash basin with mirror and fresh towels, these wooden cabins bring a slice of Alpine luxury to a muddy field in England. Fresh daily Egyptian cotton sheets adorn the spacious beds, with full access to a VIP hair and beauty tent next door to make yourself festival-presentable.
It shouldn’t just be the headline acts who kick back in their trailer, and with the latest in Winnebago comfort, you too can enjoy the rockstar experience of rolling into the festival’s VIP section in absolute style, with every luxury you can think of.
For those seeking a more traditional luxe experience after a day of hedonistic festival partying, why not stay in nearby style, with a range of top class hotels and villas for hire, including this stunning Glastonbury farmhouse for you and seven friends.
For all of the above, and for special VIP backstage packages for Glastonbury and other festivals, visit www.alleventsvip.co.uk.
If you want a more authentic camping festival, do it in style with these amazing design tents from FieldCandy.
Cashmere is a perfect evening festival wear, keeping you warm but breathable. Susie Pringle Cashmere is the finest you’ll ever see.
Stay Puddle Free
No welly says festival like Hunter, ever since Kate Moss permanently imprinted the brand link all those years ago. It’s a cliche, but a true one.
Technology has changed the game when staggering through fields seeking your tent in a sea of canvas. Get the Boutique Camping tent finder app and never get lost again.
This article originally appeared in Tempus Magazine, 2015. See full article below: