So it’s officially freezing.
Now xmas is over I just want the sun back. I can see my breath when I’m walking outside it makes me think about the incredible summer we had. I can’t believe I haven’t yet told you about the festivals I played in 2018…
So before 2018 I had never performed at a festival, ever. In January 2018 I made it my mission to perform at a few festivals over the summer and I think we deffo smashed that goal.
5/5/18: FOODIES FESTIVAL BRIGHTON
What a great start. Hove Lawns, sunshine, being able to see the sea whilst I’m performing, and spending time on the coast afterwards.
Check out the view I had…
Maybe this was my fave because it was my first? I dunno. Maybe because it was a food festival and I got way too excited. Literally any food you can think of, they had it. Bliss. But anyways I loved this one.
26/5/18: ELDERFLOWER FIELDS FESTIVAL
This was an INSANELY hot day.
We got there and it was quite magical and hippy. Kinda like a fairy forest. And there were kids everywhere – it was a family festival so that makes sense really.
I walked out on stage and the whole front row were children. Brutally honest children, and waiting to be entertained. My guitarist said, “Georgia. You can’t be ‘Sweary Mary’ in front of the kids.”
My face literally melted. I walked on stage with a full face of glitter and makeup. I walked off stage with no makeup at all. The whole lot came off because I was sweating so much, that’s how hot it was. So hot that I don’t remember much of the gig, It’s all a blur because I thought I was gonna pass out. BUT, I think the kids enjoyed it.
We stuck around for this one and drunk a lot of beer. We stayed to watching my pal Neville Staple who was headlining with his band and his wife Christine Sugary Staple. I recorded my second EP EL RECO a while back with Neville. For years I’ve watched videos of him in ‘The Specials’ so it was amazing to see him live in person. He’s still got it, never lost it.
When we left this festival I remembered the importance of bringing a torch. Trying to find the car in pitch black darkness and torrential rain is a task and a half.
27/5/18: FROGFEST HIGH WYCOMBE
A street festival in High Wycombe, why it’s called Frogfest I’ll never know.
I really enjoyed this one too. Great sound, great crowd, great beer, great food, great weather. And my makeup stayed on this time.
3/6/18 – 4/6/18: YOUBLOOM FESTIVAL, DUBLIN
Flying the band and equipment to Dublin was too expensive and impossible (Ryan Air). Of course bookers people pay artists minimal or just nothing. Instead we flew some of the band out and we drove 5 hours to Holyhead and took a 3 hour ferry to Dublin with the rest of the band and equipment.
We got there and our first performance space was a small, unlit corner of a pub with no advertisement, barely any crowd, with Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle fucking Dumber on sound.
The second day we performed in Phoenix Park for the flower festival. We were expecting a lot from this gig because it has a sister event held annually in LA. But not much came from it apart from meeting some lovely fans who bought CD’s after and wrote me some lovely messages and emails.
The Guinness was good though.
After the event finished we went for drinks in some of my favourite pubs in Dubs only to find that our manager had actually booked us a return ferry for the following month.
Never fear, a couple of phone calls later and we got the ferry changed and off we popped on our 8 hour journey back to Essex.
6/7/18 – 7/7/18: LORDINGTON LAVENDAR FESTIVAL
It was great to return to this gig because it smells lush.
This year we played here for two nights so we got to stay in a lovely little country house nearby (courtesy of Vicky & Alex Elms). It was kinda in the middle of nowhere so of course we got lost trying to find it. In the daytime the house was beautiful. Of a night time I couldn’t help but think of the Only Fools & Horses “Friday 14th” episode – the one where they stay in Boycie’s cottage whilst there’s an axe murderer on the loose.
It’s safe to say I didn’t sleep much that night.
The gigs were great fun. This was at the point where England had made it to the semi’s so everyone was on a high. Having a tent full of sophisticated lavender field enthusiasts singing “It’s Coming Home” is probably one of the highlights of my summer.
12/7/18: CHELMSFORD BEER FESTIVAL
Wow. I love beer festivals.
The apple and strawberry cider was beaut. And very strong. Ask ‘Crazy Marco’ on sax.
14/7/18: BRENTWOOD FESTIVAL
This was the most anticipated festival. An Essex fest for and Essex gal. I performed on the main stage, which was massive. The headline acts we were supporting were, ‘Squeeze’ and ‘Roland Gift’ (Fine Young Cannibals). Our set was great. The crowd were fantastic and I managed to gain a stronger following thanks to the people of Brentwood.
Only downside to this day was the absolute pain-in-the-arse security. Not all of them. Just two. We were told his name was Dave. Dave was abit of a dickhead. ‘Dave The Dickhead’ we shall call him. He wanted to chuck some of my crew out because they bought a burger backstage after the show as opposed to immediately vacating the area.
And when they dared to ask why, he went on a power trip which was so unbelievably self-indulgent that it was fascinating.
’Dave The Dickhead’ spent the rest of his day using all their efforts, and minimal power, to get me and my lot chucked out of the festival, but it turns out ‘Dave The Dickhead’ isn’t as important as he thinks he is. Whilst we enjoyed our day of sun, music and beer, the most ‘Dave The Dickhead’ accomplished was getting Peter Griffin involved…
Other than that, good day.
28/7/18: WNDML FESTIVAL
Ahhhhhhh. Now this one was organised by one of my most favourite human beings, Mr Pete Lacey (DJ SkaNMash).
A Ska and Reggae festival in the garden of a pub in Chesthunt. Such a fun and friendly crowd.
Check out Pete’s radio show sometime, he has great taste in music.
Not gonna lie, I didn’t hold out much hope for this one when we entered the gates. After 4 hours of driving, when we arrived, it took another hour for us to find the stage I was performing on. Whenever we asked a staff member, “Where’s the Unsigned Marquee?” the answer was, “Oh…I dunno. Maybe that way.” ‘That way’ was in a different direction each time. It was kinda like a village idiot reunion. Like they’d gone to every village, found the idiot, put them in a hi vis jacket and hired them.
After walking and walking and walking I found the tent. Then I found my drummer, Harry, driving his car through the festival. He’d obviously had a similar experience and thought, ‘Fuck it’.
The tent was empty. I cried inside.
We set up and started playing and suddenly the tent started to fill up.
Half hour later and the tent was rocking. It was a GREAT gig – the crowd were lovely.
Oh ye of little faith.
26/8/18: CAMPER CALLING FESTIVAL
Another gem to remember.
The heavens opened entirely that day. So much so that when we made it to the festival, the stage I was supposed to be on wasn’t set up as it was soaked. Nevertheless they swept the rain water off of the stage to set up and when we started playing I was amazed at the positivity from the crowd. I expected disinterest and misery, but I guess the people were just glad to get out of their tents and do what they’d paid to do and listen to music. So we made sure not to disappoint them.
What topped off this fun set was during our big finale number, the clouds pissed off and the sun came out. The audience went nuts.
This show was the one time I didn’t set up a merch table. Harry said to me after the show,”There’s a queue of fans out there wanting CD’s”. Not a good time to realise you only have half a dozen CD’s in your merch suitcase. So we ran out of merch. But the Camper Calling crowd were understanding, supportive, and just absolute legends. Paying us for CD’s and in exchange giving me their addresses so we could send them on later, which we did of course. Now that’s a pretty decent trust exercise. Good people of England you amaze me sometimes.
27/8/18: FOODIES FESTIVAL OXFORD
Last but not least. We got to finish the way we started, but this time, technically, we headlined. Well, they never actually had a headline but we were asked to close the show. So yeah, we headlined.
We got to end with Foodies Fest, a festival dedicated to food – the best kind of festival. I got to enjoy it with family and pals and a crispy duck platter.
Thank you to Lorraine Solomons for booking us for a second time at Foodies.
So that was my first round of festivals. It was an unbelievable season, and I’m looking forward to what the summer of 2019 will bring x