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WOMAD/WOMUD

UNITED KINGDOM | Monday, 27 August 2007 | Views [2122] | Comments [1]

After yet another balloon flight cancellation in Marlborough we headed for the WOMAD site, near Malmesbury. Avebury is one of our favourite places, being a much larger stone circle that Stonehenge, so we made a detour through it. The stones are even bigger than we remembered!

Once we arrived at WOMAD the weather that had produced the flooding in nearby areas had also produced a LOT of mud. Poor Vinnie needed towing in twice and it took several hours to finally get ourselves parked up. I was still feeling pretty unwell from the cold most of us had at Guy and Shelaghs so we took it pretty easy. I wasn’t sure if I’d make it all the way through my first shift, starting 7am on Ticket Exchange 1. Because of the difficult conditions and the fact that police had diverted much of the flood management appartus (metal tracking etc) for flood relief, the festival set up was well behind. So we started in the pouring rain, no shelter, a borrowed table and not even the wristbands we needed. The good old Oxfam Stewards were fabulous though and none seemed to mind the difficulties too much. Even with waterproofs on we got soaked, so with the help of some other supervisors, I retired early from shift so as not to contract pneumonia and ruin my whole festival!

We caught up with Martin and Tom and others again but kept a pretty low profile until I was well again. In the meantime, the rain continued and the mud got deeper! At times it was almost impassable although with Martin’s help we mastered the dynamics of walking through mud without getting stuck (it’s all about momentum and foot angle!). Mud has its very own special gravitational properties! I had two incidents: one where my wellie got suctioned in and my foot kept going, resulting in one very muddy sock. And another where someone stopped in front of me and when I also stopped BOTH wellies got suctioned into the mud. If it hadn’t been for the help of a passing stranger I might still be there still!

John will be disappointed to learn that I missed Peter Gabriel and from what I hear, his performance will go down in history. I could hear it from my post but that’s not the same is it? We did see Asian Dub Foundation (very good), Isaac Hayes (not very good), Baaba Mal (very good) and various others but the highlight has to have been Jamie Catto.

Jamie’s been a hero of ours for sometime, being one half of the team who made 1 Giant Leap happen. We’ve played the CD and watched the DVD so many times it’s almost worn out. And then of course he was in Faithless, quite probably the best dance group of all time! Now having just handed over the second 1 Giant Leap project (a week ago) he was there to have some fun and do his own thing. It was a great, intimate set and Nick, Martin and I all thought we’d just been a part of something quite special. It was recorded too so we bought CDs of it.

Another of the highlights was the beautiful balloon lady - she's on one of the Glastonbury DVDs and it was wonderful to see the real thing. She appeared from behind a stage just before dusk and floated over the through the crowd, doing spins and turns and generally being all beautiful and graceful. Later that night she appeared again, subtly lit up and opened up a whole new experience.

Predictably we had to be towed out of the place, but with tractors everywhere and the drivers having plenty of practice that wasn’t a big deal. We recuperated and cleaned up at the great campsite at Glastonbury again before moving on to the next festival – the next day!

 

Tags: On the Road

 

Comments

1

Oh no, wait til John hears you missed Pete - shame on you! But if it wissney fur yur wellies ya wudnaey hae got tae hear 'im.

  Suse Sep 4, 2007 9:44 AM

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