Hello bloggers! Some of you may have noticed my lack of internet presence for the past week or so, and some of you may have had far more interesting things to do and therefore not noticed at all. Either way this absence occurred because a friend and I decided to go on a mini adventure!
Way back in April, we both applied for voluntary work at the Isle of Wight Festival on a work for your ticket basis. As poor students we couldn’t exactly afford a ticket, so this was a great way of still getting the festival experience without the cost and with the bonus of something extra to pad out our CVs. We were both offered positions as back bar staff and then thought little more about it. But before we knew it summer arrived and we found ourselves packing our bags and taking the ferry over to the island. My friend had family with a house over there so we borrowed it for the duration of our stay. I know, I know, you’re supposed to camp at festivals, but if there’s a warm comfy bed up for grabs I’m taking it!
There were about seven different bars at the Festival, each with their own unique theme. We were stationed at the Cabaret Club bar which was tons of fun because we got some of the more eccentric acts on while we were working like the Burlesque and Drag Queens so it had a great atmosphere. We also had the swankiest tent as well if I do say so myself! ———->
We were given mostly night shifts which was great because it meant we could spend all day at the festival and then work in the evenings when most of the acts had finished. Our shift lasted until 3am, which worked perfectly for a night owl like me!
Since neither of us had any previous bar experience we were both a bit terrified at first. We weren’t exactly given training either, someone came round and told us how to pour a pint and that was about it, the rest we had to work out for ourselves! Luckily, we were working with some really nice people who did have more of a clue, so they were there to help us out when we needed it. The mood of the bar would fluctuate. At certain times we would be completely empty and entertain ourselves by bobbing along to whatever act or DJ was on, making up silly dance moves and shuffling from one side of the bar to the other for lack of other things to do. Then the next minute we could be swamped taking order after order, queuing for the pumps and desperately dashing about to get what we needed. Soon we were pouring drinks, making mixers, cocktails and shots like pro’s! I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, the adrenaline and buzz that accompanied the work was really rewarding. I went from knowing almost nothing about making drinks to knowing how to make nearly every drink going within a space of three days. I always enjoy learning new skills like that and discovering how things work.
The festival itself was brilliant too. Every day was humid and sunny, festival goers’ trademark wellies were soon left forgotten. We spent each day seeing amazing bands bobbing along and singing our hearts out, drinking in the sun and relaxing on warm grass watching the world go by. We even had a night rocking out at the silent disco (where music is provided though individual headphones so when you take them off there is no music at all, just crazy people singing to different songs) it was hilarious and a whole new level of fun. You could choose from dance music, rock or even the cheesy pop numbers from your childhood.
Everyone was so positive and happy to be there, it had an amazing vibe. Four days of bliss and great music guys, and not an essay in sight. It was awesome, and I now feel thoroughly de-stressed. 🙂
We rocked out to Lawson, The Vamps, Fall Out Boy and Kings of Leon, and swayed along to Tom Odell, John Newman and Nina Nesbitt. My two highlights though, had to be The Pretty Reckless and Passenger.
I had wanted to see The Pretty Reckless for such a long time but had had a turbulent time trying to achieve it. I was supposed to go and see them with a friend last summer but the show was cancelled about a month before it was to take place, then I had the opportunity to see them in March but was unable to go so I could hardly believe my luck when I found out they would be playing! They’re a heavy rock band so they sounded three times as awesome live. We managed to get a spot right near the front and I jumped around like a crazy person and sung along with every song. They were every bit as brilliant as I hoped they would be thrashing out the songs from their new album, with just enough time to reminisce with an old fan favourite Make Me Wanna Die.
Passenger was a wonderful, unexpected surprise. I was only aware of his popular hit Let Her Go and had little knowledge of his other songs but I was so impressed. He had a brilliant voice that could waver from soft to strong and he came on solo with only an acoustic guitar and no back up. At times you could have heard a pin drop, everyone was so entranced. He really worked the crowd, chatting to us as if we were old friends and making us laugh. His profound lyrics even had me feeling a bit emotional. It’s safe to say I will be investigating his albums further, and it’s possible he could be a new musical obsession for me!
After the festival was over we stayed for an additional couple of days to slob out around the house recuperating and to do a bit of sightseeing as well. We investigated the cute seaside towns Yarmouth and Cowes and visited the Needles. We finished our final day with a round of crazy golf, party animals that we are, before getting back on the ferry and heading for home. It was all pretty awesome, except for the nasty stinkin’ cold I came down with on the way home which I have yet to shake!
Have you ever been to a festival? If not, who would be your dream act that you would most like to see? I’m always on the lookout for music recommendations!
My own, please do not reuse.