I’m wandering around today with a muggy post Greenbelt exhausted air BUT with the smile of one who has had an awesome time AND is overjoyed to have re-encountered a shower and a bed. A long weekend of walking, talking, smiling and laughing is really tiring, but in a good way.
It was a GREAT festival! Faith, Life, Justice, Art, Fun, Music, Humour, Converstion ………… I don’t know how to describe (or even list) all the elements that make it such a great place to be, but they all combine to attract 20,000 people to Cheltenham Racecourse for the Celebration that is GREENBELT. Awesome!
Erm …. Highlights? Music-wise my favourite gigs were All Star United, Nizlopi and The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britian. Humour-wise? Rev Gerald Ambulance. Speaker-wise? Jim Wallis and Jude Simpson. My favourite venues were the Tiny tea Tent, the Organic Beer Tent (Hymns n Beer was one of the coolest events at the festival) and the YMCA 24hr cafe where there was always a welcome and a cheap cup of coffee (Thanks).
As ever though the best of all was just being part of the Greenbelt community, connecting with it’s heartbeat of faith, love, creativity and justice AND feeling part of the home or even church that it is to so many people.
It felt like there were HUGE numbers on site, it was never a problem apart from in the Camping area where the loo queues could be leg-crossingly long. There seemed to be a massive rise in the number of teenagers at the festival which is great to see, there also seemed to be lots more families than previous years.
I also welcome the increased use of sheds (The poetry shed and an installation by the Jonny Baker crew being good examples), great to see the emerging shed movement gaining ground at the Festival.
The most surreal aspect of this year’s festival was the weather, specifically the amount and continual changedness thereof. One moment you’d find yourself feeling a bit chilly and pulling on a jacket, moments later the sun would appear and generate amounts of heat inconsistant with a 93 million mile protective gap. Then just as you were finding somewhere to lose the jacket and begin the process of applying sun tan cream, it would start raining.
These elements would then be repeated BUT NOT (and this is key) in the previous order, then all over again.
I know that you’ll think this meterological account is a piece of exagerated humour BUT if you were there PLEASE use the comments to verify how weird the climatic randomness was.
(Oh and a huge thanks to The Wibbers who made me very welcome at the Wibsite-campsite and I enjoyed the conviviality muchly. Sadly I cannot thank them in person as I am sworn to protect their secret wib-identities BUT you know who you are!)