After a year off, it was time to venture back into the glittery bosom of Shambala Festival last week. This time my sister and her family were coming along for the ride.
Sequinned clothing CHECK
Novelty onesies CHECK
Mary Berry masks CHECK
Hipflask of tequila CHECK
Further booze CHECK
Glitter & facepaints CHECK
It’s difficult to put into words an accurate review of the festival. Partly because I am still struggling to form coherent thought processes to be honest. I could write as much as this on all the things we didn’t get to do. (Sunday supplement cock drawing club etc)
I may have to just resort to pictorial evidence.
Fortunately there are no photos of me topless with my norks covered in glitter and sequins – essentially because that didn’t happen. I left that up to the girls 20 years younger than me with a perkier pair. If I had dared to bare though, I’m pretty sure I would’ve looked like this:-
My brother-in-law embraced the cross dressing element with a rainbow pride style tutu and still felt underdressed.
Despite the raging midday heat, together we nailed the Run DMC Vs Shambala flashmob dance-off. My sister abandoned us half-way through due to thinking she might pee herself with laughter (because it’s like that, and that’s the way it is!) Not sure what the neicelings made of their daddy and Aunty Tit jumping about and falling on the floor with a bunch of strangers in a field.
My childerbeast are now of an age where I didn’t have to be in bed by midnight. In fact some of the acts they wanted to see weren’t even playing til the wee small hours. I was having to drink coffees in the early evening to keep my head in the game.
At one point they even went to bed at 11pm for a disco snooze and asked me to wake them up at 12:45am to go see another act! I daren’t go to bed myself or I’d have slept through til morning, so I was forced to go out to the secret House Party venue behind the woods in order to stay awake. (The sacrifices a mother must make for her offspring eh?) To be fair, I did feel slightly too old to be in there. If I’d been wearing a pork pie hat and smoking a cigar it would’ve looked like that scene in ‘Uncle Buck’ when he goes to find his niece at a party.
The sun raged on over all four days and I commended my optimism at packing sun lotion. I only hope that some of the bare breasted ladies had the foresight to lotion-up before they glittered up their disco tits, otherwise they’ll be needing some aloe vera right now!
Quality moments were me having a conversation in the woods with Lemka from Taxi about how my Disney ears worked. Staring at the Avatar fibre optic tree in a pair of lovespecs (freaky). My eldest almost losing her phone down a composting toilet and having to rake around underneath the toilet block with a camping chair as a hook to fish it out while a crowd watched on!
Also, my youngest niece having her first go on the “Big Eel” and loving it.
The final night closing ceremony firework display was outstanding. Snaps to the lady spinning about in a flaming hoop whilst dangling from a crane.
The venues were, as ever, on top form. The Kamikaze tent was banging after dark, as was the Garden o’ Feeden & the Botanical Disco. The Police Rave Unit never failed to entertain. My childerbeast said they’d love to join them in their mobile quest to bring rave to the masses. Big up the P.R.U.
Although boo to there being no rollerdisco on Sunday! What’s up with that Shambala?Didn’t get chance with all the other stuff to see and do to get our wheelz on this year! #gutted
The Roots Yard was a great place to both chill and skank at the same time. I particularly enjoyed watching a watergun fight between a child and a grown man whilst several people sprang from their seats to throw themselves infront of the water spray to protect their pals who were skinning-up in the noon-day sun.
The Enchanted Wood opened on Friday and was, as per, a sight to behold on a night time. Amazing light installations, trees that sang when you hugged them, ‘bemusical chairs’ and a very popular Lady Garden area with cuntish cushions to envelop and comfort those who just wanted to chill.
Favourite phrases of the long weekend are; “Feeling irie” “Feeling un-irie”, “Utah get me two”, “Is it too early for a gin?”, “Pie o Clock” and “the best of times”.
New phrases coined, after needing a post pie blowout nap, include; “having a mid life pie-sis”, “needing a pie-down”, having a pie-ty” and “no dumpling ever made is worth queuing up that long”.
After the festival, I saw this on Twitter, and it perfectly describes how I felt on Sunday after having a vegetarian breakfast bap and a wild mushroom and asparagus pie with mash, peas and gravy all within the space of an hour!
We still love the Anna Mae’s mac ‘n cheese of course, but this year we discovered Club Mexicana’s jackfruit burritos, as big as sleeping bags. Also Pieminister (who it is with great joy I have discovered have a restaurant in Leeds), Goldenballs risotto balls and dragon punch cocktails in the Roots Yard. Yet amazingly I still managed to come home with money in my wallet!
It wasn’t all about food and drink though. Inbetween stuffing our faces and getting a bit pissed, we managed to see some bands. Beatbox Collective – amazing again! (“it’s just his VOICE duuuude!) Some electro swing for my girls; The Beat for some Ska. Stereo MC’s for some old skool classics – ‘On 33’, ‘Elevate your Mind’, ‘Lost in Music’ , ‘Connected’ etc. Then perfect for a blazing hot Sunday afternoon we had Benjamin Zephaniah & the Revolutionary Minds. All were fabulous. I sang along. I danced, danced some more, went for a wee and did some more dancing.
The fancy dress theme was a fairly all-encompassing ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ and the Shambalans embraced it full-on. I tried to take pictures of the parade, whilst also being in the parade, so I apologise for the wonky shonkyness. I was also having a bit of trouble (Betty) seeing through just one eyehole of my Mary Berry mask. Yes, that’s Mary Berry – not Margaret Thatcher as I overheard one woman telling her children.
The idea had been that we go as Mary Berrycorns, in unicorn onesies and masks. The unrelenting heat changed our plans and we ditched the onesies, which had taken up so much room in our bags and cost me in the region of £60 for 3 of the fuckers! My sister and Bro-in-law didn’t even get to join in, as their littlies had a bit of meltdown at this stage and had to go back to the tent for a nap. So our troop of Bezza’s was reduced from 5 to 3 and very quickly to 2 when my youngest decided to de-Bez after barely 5 minutes.
Was bloody brilliant to be there with slightly older childerbeast and my sister and her family. The weather gods were beaming at us throughout. It was glittery, super polite; kind, friendly, totally vegetarian (sorry carnivores) and we did not want to leave and cannot wait to return. (I only ask that more of you shiny happy glittery people use the waste bins provided and not just abandon your empty cans on the ground).
Shambalans, you did yourselves proud and I am now seriously considering proposing a Glittery Tit day at school. Fuck Comic Relief or Children in Need! They’re old hat man. We can do it to raise money for a worthy cause – namely my ticket for next year’s festival. And if I don’t at least make a cameo in the official 2017 video then I need to up my game in 2018.
Shambala and out…
Ciao Ciao Mo Fos.
Link to official pics here. Can’t see us but it’s making me want to go back.