89 - Bluedot in words

Monday, August 01, 2016

This. This is what I live for. This and (shhhhh, don't tell anyone...) service stations.

There are a multitude of stereotypes I could throw out for the things that ladies like. I will simply say instead that conversely to probably 99% of them, my poison of choice is a sunny festival day. This image pretty much sums up what I'd like to see if there is a heaven and I make it there. A hot and sunny day wound down to a lazy hazy sunset over a field of flags waving in the breeze with a night of dancing, singing and mingling under the stars ahead of me.

We've been looking forward to Bluedot for months now and boy did it deliver.

This time a week ago I was dragging my heels like a sulky teenager as I left the festival site to come "home". After a mere three days it felt like I was leaving home. I can hand on heart say that in a field with a bunch of people I have never met before is my happy place and the one that I imagine feels like curling up on the sofa after a long day at work does to most. There is something strangely energising about the hum of energy created by so many people in the same place all with a common interest. With Bluedot being somewhat niche that feeling felt intensified significantly. I witnessed the most awesome collection of funny and intellectual t-shirts I have ever seen (I don't have any photos sadly). I danced under the stars. I slept next to the world's third largest radio telescope. I learnt things about stuff I'd never even thought of. Met people (some old friends, some new). Spent time in an illuminarium. Taught my daughter the perils of festival toilets. Showed the littles a few things, they showed me a few too. Lost all sense of inhibition dancing to Underworld - after all, no one here knows me, right? (later found out that I was spotted by someone who did know me - oh well...). Stayed up too late (small made it to 1.30am after a nap through Air and a Haribo and glow stick fuelled Jean Michel Jarre set). Discovered new music and generally had the best weekend I think I've had since I can't remember when.

One of the things that I love the most about the new wave of festivals that seem to be surfacing right now is the sharing of information. As a species we have spent since the dawn of humanity collecting information and learning and now, more than we have in the longest of times are gathering to share it. The telling of stories around camp fires (literally quite often - The Good Life Experience has an epic log pile to keep such activities fuelled) and the passing on of knowledge is becoming, dare I say it, a "thing" and I couldn't be happier. It's about time we stopped carrying around trade secrets and tidbits of info close to our chests and started to fall back into true communities. Bluedot was a perfect example, science pros gathering to teach anyone less knowledgable then them a thing or two, musicians super passionate about sharing their stories and everyone listening and learning and soaking it all up like sponges.

Last but by no means least, as well as forming a brilliant receptacle for Brian Eno's installation the Lovell Telescope inspired awe and wonder at the capabilities and tenacity of humankind and the scale of life, on and beyond this world. Bluedot, you were awesome, quite literally. Thank you.

Up next week - Bluedot in pictures - stay tuned.

Did you see me dancing like there'd be no tomorrow to Underworld or making like a rock star (albeit with a child on my hip) to Public Service Broadcasting? Do you have any festival recommendations for dates I should have in my calendar for next festival season? How has your first week of summer holidays gone? - Connect with me over on Twitter or Instagram or simply leave a comment...

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