After leaving the tranquility of Oxfordshire we rode our valiant stead (Suzuki Wagon) to Sheffield to rest our weary heads and conquer a mountain of washing.
We did things like visit Kelham Island, the centre of what was once the heart of a thriving steel industry in Sheffield. Though still industrial in parts the area has undergone a new age transformation or gentrification – a vintage warehouse, artists studios, craft beer bars and restaurants.
The following day we went Llama crazy at the Alpaca farm where my heart was stolen by a micro pig called Alan, who as a babe was rescued from a flat in Sheffield. Even if the animals were clearly motivated by the feed in my pocket we got to meet some cool little characters!
In other news Captain Bluebeard is now no more as he moves on to purple to match his festival gear. He certainly is striking, I’m surprised he still has his hat after numerous attempts by people to ‘acquisition’ it. He’s also useful as a beacon, no matter the size of crowd he is hard to lose!
Arriving at Leeds Festival we quickly discovered we were to be separated for the weekend but that was OK. He got real ale and I got main stage views – I think it was a pretty sweet deal for us both!
Admittedly I had the absolute fear before coming to work at Leeds after hearing so many horror stories. Yes it’s wild and full of teens with MDMA written in glitter across their faces but you know you just can’t get the staff these days.
Of course I’m joking, I had awesome teams over the weekend – such fun and inspiring folks who really made my time there. Couldn’t have asked for a better bunch really!
When we weren’t working we had all the fun…
There was Hot Dub Time Machine on the first night, a chance to see Korn, Muse, Honeyblood, Blossoms and Eminem. On the last night we hitched a ride in a buggy down to the campsite village for the closing garden party… well people brought gazebos. Totally sophisticated affair as these pictures definitely prove.
Back to the real world we got ourselves prepared to go home and take time to holiday in the Scottish Borders at Electric Fields Festival. Friends came down from Edinburgh, which after two months of not seeing anyone made me feel very warm and fuzzy on the inside.
Not having work did feel particularly strange – we had time to explore Drumlanrig Castle and soak in the party atmosphere while watching sets from the legend that is Peter Hook and lesser known acts such as Edinburgh based Skjor and Stillhound.
The sound at Electric Fields is better than most festivals I’ve experienced, and the fact that it’s a small, compact affair every time you watched an act you felt right there in the moment. Most of the time this was desirable, perhaps less so when Peter Hook tore off his shirt at the end of the gig.
Intimate gigs from Kate Tempest, the best I’ve seen from her, Arab Strap and Temples made their performances all the more poignant. Moving on to the Sneaky Pete’s dance tent, which provided a space to see the likes of Jackmaster to dance on into the night. It doubled up as the Neu Reekie tent in the daytime injecting a bit of spoken word and short films into the mix.
We also learned how to ‘blast’ with Dizzee Rascal who despite the naysayers actually put on a bouncy, energetic gig. Totally bonkers.
Saying goodbye to your friends and homeland is hard, especially when you’re only two hours from family but alas we had to go south again to make our way to Festival No 6 in Wales! x