Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Greenbelt 2015 - A view from the morning after

This was the Greenbelt when we only went for two days - Saturday and Monday - so my reflections are limited.  I confess I was not impressed with the ticketing pressure from Greenbelt (buy before Easter or you may not get them, come for the weekend because we don't know whether there will be any day tickets).  But in the end, sanity prevailed and we went.

This year, Greenbelt was a smaller festival.  In particular, there was no mainstage.  The Big Top played the role of the biggest venue, and in the event the cover was appreciated.  There were things we missed (the Goan Fish Curry, for one); and the smaller range of speakers meant that audiences burst out of tents (OK on Saturday in the sunshine, less fun in Monday's rain).  But over all it made for a more intimate festival and was a better use of the Boughton House site.

Highlights for me - Talks are the obvious ones: the Corymeela community's sessions on scapegoating; Paula Gooder on the Bible.  Unexpectedly, I made a musical discovery - Grace Petrie was both energetic and engaging, even as we just passed the end of her set.  I left with CDs!  The most unexpected joy was Three Acres and a Cow, a telling of English history from the underside and 90 minutes of history peppered with folk songs.  Other highlights were guided walk telling about trees and Occam's Razor's performance of the Mill.  Finally, the preview of Baked Alaska by Riding Lights has made me want to see the full performance.  Oh, and a TARDIS selfie is always good.

Greenbelt was its usual mix of bumping into friends old and new, bits of politics and faith bumping into one another, creativity and abject nonsense.  The kids really enjoyed it, as always.  They left shouting farewells to all the wonderful stewards and promising to be back.

Greenbelt 2015 was great.  It has left me waiting for next year.  Here's to Silent Stars!

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