Maria Greenwood on the classic music festival stereotypes

Album of the month

Album of the month - Credit: Archant

From Bucks Fizz to Mr Tumble, you never know what’s in store at a music festival. But you can count on bad loos, no sleep and dodgy hair - unless of course you take Ellie Goulding’s advice

Never one for packing light, I prefer to be prepared for all eventualities. So when it comes to spending four days and nights in a Dorset field, suddenly my list of ‘essentials’ doubles. Then there’s the dreaded question of where to charge my mobile phone? I am a big fan of music festivals - I love the atmosphere, the happy chatter from the campsite, the stalls, the colours, and most of all the live music. But when the sun streams through my tent at sunrise, turning it into a sauna, when only hours earlier I’d been pulling my sleeping bag up around my ears to stop my teeth from chattering, it reminds me that although I love festivals I am not one of life’s natural campers.

But there is something far worse than trying to get some sleep in a tent surrounded by thousands of strangers, and that is the festival loo. I’m not going to dwell on this subject, mainly because it brings back some traumatic memories, but there are three essential tips needed to conquer this necessary evil. Preparation, speed and the self-discipline not to look down. Shall we move on?

I’ve been going to Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle for the last five years. And I think it’s one of the best festivals around because of the great music, the family entertainment (Mr Tumble’s a regular), and the fact it’s a 40 minute drive from home, a hot shower, and some clean clothes. I’ve been lucky to get backstage and interview some of the artists taking part, which one year included singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding. I remember asking her if she was a festival fan and confessing that going without washing my hair for two days was pushing me to my very limit. I still remember the look of pity in her eyes when she asked me: ‘have you ever considered wearing a hat?’

Those of you who are festival novices might want to try two new one-day music festivals which are coming to Dorset this month. Jurassic Fields is taking place at Asker Meadows, Bridport, on Saturday 12th July. Headlining are 1990’s Britpop band Dodgy, whose hits include Good Enough and Staying Out For The Summer. Then on Saturday 21st July, Jurassic Rocks will be taking over Portland. Topping the bill with their unique blend of scrumpy and Western-style music will be the legendary Wurzels. I think there might be one or two glasses of cider drunk that day.

I may not be great at living in a tent but I do appreciate the unique moments that only festivals can offer. Where else but at Camp Bestival could you listen to a talk in a big top by the legendary Nile Rodgers from Chic talk about his illustrious career? Or walk into a nightclub in the middle of a field and see 80’s pop sensation Bucks Fizz whipping their skirts off in time to their Eurovision hit, Making Your Mind Up?

Maybe I can go without washing my hair for a few days. And if I can’t – well that’s what a festival hat is for. As long as I remember to pack it!

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Maria’s Album of the Month - The Dutch Solo Mouses

The Dutch Solo Mouses are three musicians who’ve been friends longer than the Beatles were playing together as a band. The Portland and Weymouth-based trio, of blues guitarist Roland Smith, drummer and vocalist Ady Milward and bassist and vocalist Phil Evans-Jones, have at long last released their debut album of original material.

From the soulful bluesy tones of Steal His Share to the euphoric and haunting melody of The Place That I Call Home, this expertly performed collection of songs will have you hoping we won’t have to wait quite as long for the follow up, which I’m told is already in the pipeline. Their album The Dutch Solo Mouses is available to download on Bandcamp.


Maria Greenwood presents Unplugged, a celebration of Dorset’s live music scene on Wessex FM (96-97.2FM) every Sunday evening from 5pm - 7pm