At a festival, without very much wine

noisily

A week ago, my friend Mel Brown messaged me to see if I wanted to go to a festival the following weekend. I was free, so I said yes. I had no idea what to expect. The festival in question was Noisily, held in the woods in Leicestershire. It’s all electronic dance music.

Rufus and Mel

Rufus and Mel

Mel’s friends who we were camping with were a lovely bunch. When you come in as an outsider into a tight group, it can be a bit daunting, but we all got on well. They were so nice and welcoming.

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In fact, this was a festival full of niceness. If you were queuing for water, or just walking around the camp, people would come up and talk to you. It was also a nice mix of ages. Not so many teenagers, but lots of older folk, and quite a few older than me. It was a very accepting environment, too.

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We were so lucky with the weather, which was sunny and warm, with warm nights. This makes a huge difference to the atmosphere of the festival.

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The music stages and most of the food outlets were in a natural valley in woodland, and it was a very special setting. There were three stage areas; we frequented the Noisily stage, which was the least hardcore techno of the three.

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Mel and I had brought quite a bit of decent wine with us. Unfortunately the rules were just a bottle each, and no glass, and our stuff was searched. We decided to respect the spirit of the festival and not smuggle any in, although by accident we did get a bottle through in some bedding. It was the Hermit Ram Pinot Noir from North Canterbury. A naturally made Pinot, this is so delicious with a bit of stemmy structure under supple berry and cherry fruits. I really like it.

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One of the best experiences was that our group booked a session in the wonderful wooden hot tubs, hidden in the woods. It was a very mellow hour. We were all a bit buzzed and they also served us a glass of Prosecco in the tub. It was warm, but even warm Prosecco tastes good in this sort of situation.

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This is quite a druggy festival, and there were a lot of drugs going round. Drug salespeople passed through the camping area offering all manner of chemical stimulants. Most had unusual names that I’d never heard of before.

But overall, it’s a really fun, friendly party with some great people. It’s not too big – a perfect size I reckon. I really understand the appeal of these sorts of festivals now that I’ve been to one.

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