My friend Alice Hume is a super talented woven textile artist. She has her own studio by the seaside in Portsmouth. If you’re ever down there please do visit; it’s beautiful, rustic and full of her amazingly skilled eclectic work! The address is Studio 12, Hotwalls, Old Portsmouth. She holds Weave and Macramé workshops and teaches you how to create your own nifty art pieces so definitely check her out.
For the past 2 years, I have been helping Alice hold Macramé Workshops at various different festivals. I have been volunteering for festivals since 2011 and I absolutely love it; I’ve done art building to stewarding to working at the bar to now doing workshops. My time spent has been really rewarding and fun as I love festivals, working within in a fast hectic environment, meeting new people and learning new skills. We basically grew up working, going to festivals and joining in these type of art workshops so it’s really nice to know we’re able to provide these free workshops back to the people for them to enjoy and take a piece of the festival away as we have done so all those years.
This year we were asked to come back to Wilderness and so I went along with a bunch of my uni house-sisters and one of their 3-year-olds. We did about 2 hours of the workshop but it went by super quick. People had started queuing before we had even opened which was nice 🙂 the seats filled up quickly and everyone got dug in and were really happy with their wall hangings. Teaching is great but it feels even better when the person learning is shocked and pleased with themselves and their new found skill.
I have to say Wilderness is/was one of the friendliest, safest and most cultural festivals I have been to and I have been to a lot of festivals in my lifetime. I was a bit iffy about it to begin with as we also went last year and it was overly ‘posh’ in comparison to the other festivals we’ve been to but the festival soon won us over.
The talks were invigorating, empowering and took a stand on a variety of important topics such as equality, mental health and work/family/life balance.
The talks were invigorating, empowering and took a stand on a variety of important topics such as equality, mental health and work/family/life balance. A lot of them were lead by people of colour which is vital in increasing awareness to the different experiences we have as a minority; it’s a huge stand taken by the organisers who bring in people of all nationalities, sexual orientation and backgrounds. We all know festival goers are predominately middle-class white people (sorry if this sounds like I’m generalising but honestly there aren’t that many minorities at festivals) so a lot of the talkers (including the middle-class) would point this out and say things like, “You out there. You are the ones who are at the top of the social food chain. YOU have the most power and the highest authority to advocate changes in society.” The messages were clear, bright and positive. But you know what the best thing was? Everyone cared. Everyone was supportive of these movements of the progressive and it was such an empowering feeling to know that we’re all in this world together supporting one another.
Aside from talks, we went to about 10000 other amazing shows from the weird and wonderful creepy dancers dressed in pirate clothing to contemporary dance groups with a live rapper to cricket to dodgeball to sock fights to book signings to art workshops to live singing comedians to improvising rappers to talks, TO LETTERS LIVE, TO ORCHESTRAL RENDITIONS WITH LIVE SINGING MEDLEYS OF DISNEY SONGS. It was.just.bloody.absolutely.amazing. I can’t even begin to describe it. There were so many things to do, talks to listen to and minds to open. I haven’t even mentioned the music.
Nial Rogers & Chic were just the icings on the cake as we boogied the night away.
My favorite talk was the one where 4 different Entrepreneurial mothers talked about creating their own brand. They were all so different from one another and it really did represent what real motherhood was which was just being the same self you have always been. I’m not a mother but I felt the strength in their talks about taking a stand and rebelling against that typical image of motherhood. These women were super eccentric, stylish, sparky, strong, ABSOLUTELY hilarious, amazing role models for their children, open-minded, driven and multi-tasking amazing wonder women. I loved every second of it as they had us cracking up in tears.
Not only were there a kajillion awesome things happening at once, but you could chill if you want to or party if you wanted to. We chose to chill and went the entire festival without having a single drop of alcohol. We basically spent the whole of Sunday perched in the best spot in the huge Atrium – FOR 10 HOURS doing yoga, learning how to swing dance and watching the orchestra, the singing workshop perform and the different shows unravel in the hot sun. The weather was beautiful.
By the end of the day, most of us had cried at least once from the emotional entertainment beset before us.
By the end of the day, most of us had cried at least once from the emotional entertainment beset before us. The entire crowd were in tears from happiness and emotionally moved by the different performances. It was honestly a magical experience.
Oh, and did I mention most of the food stands had Vegan or Vegetarian options and were so darn delicious. Everything I bought and ate was restaurant standard. I had sushi, Korean baos, budda bowls – all sorts. I came back super tanned and super phat.
Cat bought us Paw Patrol costumes because her little boy is mad about the cartoon so… we all went as the Paw Patrol squad LOL. I kept catching a glimpse of some of the other kids and families freaking out over our costumes heh heh heh.
We made it through 3 days and was left with wanting more.
We’re also super excited to be at We Work Summer Camp 2018 in a couple of weeks so come visit us at the craft village there!!!
I really recommend this festival if you enjoy arts, culture, have a family, love friendly festivals or you just want a fun-packed quirky weekend.