JM// Innocent Unplugged Pt2

Goddam Ginger Rob. Goddam him and his body clock. As I awake to “Wake up, we’re going to miss yoga”. He’s only been back an hour. Goddam his “I’m home!” at 7am…

Last laugh was on him, as although we arise at around 0830, we completely miss both sessions! Ooops! Our discussions in the tent of the previous night, the universe and everything take precedent. The weather clearing we start to open up the tent, all whilst enjoying our cream cheese and cucumber bagels – a great shout by B!

No morning is complete without coffee, and as we pop to cook, a line of maybe 100 people queuing for bacon sandwiches both makes me wish we had been more enterprising and foreseen this undermet need, as well as ever more smug of pre-preparedness!

The bitter-sweet smell of fresh coffee, on a campsite of instant dust, draws over our trusted companion Sam, and we immigrate our coffee from Indian to Vietnamese by the adding of condensed milk to our bean juice. The coffee fights back, as Amanda yells,

“I’m on Fire!”

As the hem of her coat ignites and burns, forcing her to pat it out.

All in all, we head in a little before 1230, slotting ourselves into the Innocent Inspires tent, and prepare to listen to a talk from Michael Townsend Williams on Mindfulness. Turns out he’s part of the Do Books/Lectures series, the same as my old Disruption/Designer mucker Mark Shayler!

From advertising, to alcoholism, drugs to yoga, it explored a lot of his life, and included a taster of some breathing exercises to help us to “breathe better, we think better, feel better and do better”.

It was interesting hearing him talk of his addictions and catalysts to change.

From there we wandered out to see a board advertising ‘Ecotherapy’, that would meet in an our and explore the woods – cracking I thought.

Back to camp for lunch.

Bread, peanut butter, bananas, crisps, boil water, open pot noodles, pour boiling water on fingers, let out cry, munch sandwiches, carry noodles into forest.

This was an odd session, walking around the woods, standing in circles for 20 minutes, eyes shut, listening to the sounds closer and further away…

I spent most of it thinking about the design of Comp-A-Tent… oh well!

The day heading into the evening, we retired to the tent, to strike up a game of rounders – get it!?

Pulling in neighbours from the area to play, or narrowly missing them with the ball if they chose to remain by the tents, we spent a delightful few hours in the sun, taking turns batting, without ever settling on teams or really any rules, though I quite liked the idea of only being able to play if holding a can in your hand!

The pros that we now were at camping meant Amanda’s pasta dinner was ready in under 20 minutes, which did somewhat interrupt play, and after devouring food it was time for our nighttime attire – universe leggings!

I need a Poo!

Lucy Rose was recommended to us, so that’s where we set sight for!

I couldn’t dance to it, so off to the campfire! (Sorry Lucy!)

A little networking around the campfire never hurt nobody, neither did a little rum as I felt increasingly my age swigging from my hip flask!

Turns out, whilst rum never hurts, it does affect memory. There was dancing, there was cabaret, there was my boss for Glastonbury, and there was more campfire!

Using my wits, I proudly I announced I needed a poo, before sneakily setting off to bed – Pro tip for any festivals n00bs who want to maintain their image AND their good looks.

Bank Holiday Monday

Strangely, much of the campsite had left during the previous afternoon – especially around the area we had been playing rounders…

Knowing we had until 1400, the Comp-A-Crew hurrys for no man.

A lonesome tent blew past us. A sign.

Quick witted we grab it, the perfect low risk location for H to fry some eggs without the risk of getting wet!

Or so we thought…

Sat in the door, facing into the tent, cooking the eggs, the very same rogue wind that had afforded us the tent, to vengence, sweeping the tent up into the air, rolling H and the flaming gas stove backs.

A moment later, the tent continued its journey, revealing H on her back, egg on her crotch, frying pan in hand, gas stove horizontal, the grass on fire.

In a frenzied hurry, O reached for the gas, tragically knocking over his own stove, as H sat in stunned silence. We all sat in stun silence.

Except B, who ran after the tent, declaring it was his and would use it for future festivals.

Lessons Learnt

Innocent Unplugged was a fantastic, mellow opening of a festival season, offering just the right number of free drinks.

A single music stage and an emphasis on non-music activities made for a very different atmosphere from, say your Readings & Leeds, with no need to chase your favourite bands. It was a wholesome opportunity to spend time with old friends, make new ones, and take your time, without constantly checking your phone or media.

Taking the time to prepare camp food together ensured our group got to see each other and join in with each other’s plans, as well as saving us a TON of money on food and a TON of time queuing for food. The little touches like lilos, B’s inflatable sofa and games gave us plenty of options and comforts, and talking points to start conversations.

Safe to say, I hope to return next year, I hope the vibe is just as chilled and I hope the rest of our Summer season is equally enjoyable!