Time is a strange concept at Festivals, one minute you’ve got days of fun ahead of you, the next you’re on the last day, now firmly in your routine, realising that you return to normality the following morning.
When once again the little one asks “can we stay here forever”, you know that he’s enjoying himself, mind you when I told him in excited tones “We’re going to see the Doonicans today!”, he literally laughed and said “NOOOOO, we’re going to messy play, silly!”. Like another parent I was speaking to in the kids field said “I’m glad the kids field closes at 5, otherwise we’d never see any of the festival!” so during the day it’s hard to go to anything together, that doesn’t involve lego, sand, mud or messy play! Not that I’m complaining, and you can hear the main stage clearly from the kids field.
The “Corner Shop” was the strangest Corner Shop I’ve ever been to! For a festival shop it had some pretty eccentric stuff, and it cost £6.50 for a couple of cans of fizzy drinks and a small strawberry milk, nice guy though and worth popping in for a look!
Food and Drink on site was generally of good quality, and at the lower end of festival food and drink prices. The Rhubarb and Mango Ciders were particularly delicious!
With the sun shining I decided to go for a wander and take some pictures of the site. SHEAFFS were on the main stage playing suitably noisy rock to get people back in the party mood for one last day. Everywhere you look, people were having fun, it’s certainly up there with the best festivals I’ve been to.
I got a tip that The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican always finish their set with a crowd surf on Dinghy’s, so as I couldn’t make the start of their set, I decided to head over to the Woodland stage as soon as I could and to try and catch it. Unfortunately there was a massive queue to get into the Woodland with a 1 in 1 out policy – they really are a legend of the festival and everybody I spoke to seemed to have nothing but praise for them.
Fortunately I managed to get in just before the last song, and perch myself on a bench to get some pictures. Wish I’d been able to see their whole set – maybe next year?
My next trip to the pit was for Crazyhead who I hadn’t heard for years, and they were great fun to watch, listen to and photograph.
Whilst my missus was catching her mate’s band, I got speaking to a guy at the kids field whilst the wee one played. He’s been going to both Bearded and Beautiful Days for years, indeed he met his wife at Beautiful Days.
It’s not that he’s a massive fan of The Levellers, but he likes both festivals because in his words “you start speaking to someone and they will be a decent person, not an arseh*le”.
Some of the Facebook comments I saw couldn’t quite understand how a festival everyone says is friendly, can have tent thieves. But it’s pure statistics, with 10,000 people attending an event, it may only be a fraction of 1% who are there to cause trouble, but for the victims that is of course no consolation. But no event anywhere in the world can completely guarantee that bad things won’t happen, I mean I knew someone who took their child to hospital, and someone held the door open for him with a smile, whilst he stole his wallet. Bad people get everywhere. Some festivals of course have more than others, and Bearded would seem to be amongst the lowest.
Early evening as the sky darkened, suddenly it broke and there was a massive thunder and lightning storm, so we headed towards the tent to shelter.
Sitting in the tent porch with a drink we waited until the storm passed before I headed down to the pit for one last time of the festival to catch the Legendary Jimmy Cliff!
He sounded absolutely brilliant, and was the perfect, happy end to the festival.
All in all, couldn’t really fault it, and we’ve already been asking people about Early Bird tickets for next year.
I think we can safely say, we’ll be back for more next year!
Final round-up and properly edited photos on Live Music Reviews in a few days, once I’ve recovered!