Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Summer Festival Bucket List 2016



I still haven't quite got used to it being summer. I mean,I don't have to wear my coat all the time but there's something missing from my usual summertime happy feeling. It might be 'sunshine'.

Still, we are just at the beginning and there's loads of exciting things coming up in the next few months so I'm trying to use this quiet, low-key time to relax and try to get enough sleep before the three back-to-back weekends of festivals I have coming up!


I came across Eventbrite's festival bucket list idea, which of course, I definitely wanted to do!  We use Eventbrite all the time for buying tickets and searching for fun stuff in our area. The search feature is one of the best ways of booking spontaneous weekend activities - we've found some real gems on there, Canvas Of Crumbs Biscuit Experience, anyone? If you host events, the site looks pretty simple to use too - check out their Event Management information by clicking here.

I've been thinking all week about which direction to go in with my bucket list. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to make it achievable & affordable. That's why these festivals are all upcoming and in the UK - I'm hoping next year to travel a little more but for now I'm stuck here, so let's make the most of it :)

1. Curious Yellow, 1st - 3rd July *click here for tickets and info*

I've been banging on about this one for almost exactly a year now, to the point where most of my friends, acquaintances and people who work in the shops local to me have heard about how much of an amazing time we had.  I'm choosing it first because there's now only one weekend left before we drive over the hills and far away to the magical gardens that Curious has commandeered for the weekend. Highlights include grounds full of beautiful sculpture, music from a huge variety of genres - I'm looking forward to dancing to The Turner Brothers, meditating to the Conscience Collective and experience Happy Daggers (website here) for the first time! - not to mention an atmosphere of such love and calm that I know I won't want to leave come Sunday afternoon.



2. Bluedot Festival, 22nd - 24th July *click here for tickets and info*

Underworld, Floating Points, Caribou, Everything Everything, Professor Brian Cox, Aiden Byrne cooking the most incredible food, a midnight feast in the shadow of the Lovell telescope and far enough away from home to feel like another planet - I literally cannot WAIT for Bluedot. I already posted my top three picks at this festival and I have more posts coming up, including all the science talks and comedy shows I want to see. The Invisible Monkey cage is a big priority - a radio show featuring Professor Brian Cox who I absolutely love for his wonderful way of describing superbly complex scientific terms in a way even my little gin-addled brain can understand. I also have a not-so-secret plan to wear entirely cosmic-themed clothes for the weekend. I have a few pairs of galaxy leggings, a super cosmic bag, a Spaced Out jumper and a wonderful space print shirt AND a plan to make my own custom sweatshirt with my favourite hashtag, #bringbackcosmic. Read my top 3 picks for this one by clicking here.



As well as the music, the Cosmic Piano, a million talks on the cosmos and the incredible food, I can't wait to see the site as a whole. It's a pretty big festival and I bet it's going to be wonderfully themed as it's set in some truly beautiful grounds around the Jodrell Bank mission control buildings and giant radio telescope.

3. Secret Garden Party 21st - 24th July *click here for tickets and info*

For some reason, I think SGP was one of the first festivals that ever came to my attention as something I would like to experience. I've never been, but the theme this year is The Gardeners Guide To The Galaxy which is kind of the perfect fit for me! I love looking at pictures from this amazing festival - set around a lake, they usually have a large installation to party on floating on it, check these out -



Their website is pretty cryptic, but if you do a search for Secret Garden Party images you'll be swept up in the colour and excitement just like I was. Izzy Bizu, Temper Trap and Primal Scream (!) are all on the line-up as well as countless smaller bands to discover. The fancy dress looks mega too - I'm kind of aching to go to this, especially as the theme fits basically all the festival clothes I have this year - I love how space has become super cool to love right now and festivals are embracing that!

4. Boomtown, 11th-14th August *click here for tickets and info*

One of the most outrageously themed UK festivals - Boomtown has 24 stages set in it's very own City, with 9 districts to choose to spend time in and hundreds and hundreds of acts and activities. Some of the artists form some of my very favourite at-home listening, I've so far missed every opportunity presented to see Parov Stellar live, The Correspondents are so catchy I was singing some of their tunes for days after first hearing them and there's Madness, Channel One and So Solid crew, plus pretty much all the artists on the Psychedelic Forest stage look seriously incredible.

This is one of those festivals where there is a hell of a lot more than music going on in wild, lose-yourself setting. We aren't going to this (yet) but it's right up there on my bucket list, I have a secret hope that a ticket might come up from somewhere - it's basically our only free weekend left this summer so I've entered about 9 competitions!


5. Victorious, 27th & 28th July *click here for tickets and info*

We loved Victorious so much last year! I'm thrilled that the Turner Brothers are playing there again this year. It's a beautiful setting, all along the seafront down in Portsmouth. Last year there was a fabulous street full of vintage, craft  and clothing sellers and the food choices were among some of the best we came across all summer. I had the most amazing burrito from a shiny airstream trailer and some spicy chipotle mac & cheese from a rustic shed that basically won mac & cheese for me, forever.

Here's some of the line-up:

I'll be making Mark Ronson, Echo and The Bunnymen and The Manic Street Preachers my priorities at this one, as well as the The Turner Brothers, who if you haven't heard have an awesome England anthem out just in time for the Euros, check it out:



6. Festival Number 6, 1st - 4th September *click here for tickets and info*

My hopes are pinned on Festival Number 6 for a last summer weekend with a carnival atmosphere and dancing until dawn. Have you seen the setting? Portmeirion in North Wales was designed to look like a Mediterranean village and it kind of works, with cobbled squares and brightly-coloured architecture set round a central plaza, it looks incredible, especially as you don't need to fly on a hateful plane to get there!


The festival has only been running a few years, but it makes my bucket list because of the wonderful setting. Festivals always make me feel like I'm miles from home and reality and I bet being in this beautiful environment just adds to that wonderful feeling of escapism. By this point in the summer I'll have seen at least one of the bands on the line-up - Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds are playing Victorious but I'd be most excited for Bastille. I love a good sing-along anthem and they provide them by the bucketful (that was a bucket list pun. Just in case you thought I had written bucket quite a lot in this last paragraph.)



Other highlights are paddle boarding on the Estuary, swimming in the pool whilst listening to music at sunset, an illuminated procession and a spa. A spa! On top of that you only have to take a look down the list of street food vendors to start your tummy rumbling - and there's lots more food to be eaten in more formal settings aswell. I can't do it justice so hop over to their food page for a real feast for the eyes :)

So, three booked, three that are still pipe dreams! I'm excited to hear what you think of my bucket list, whether you have booked any of the festivals here or have any others you think should not be missing for a UK festival bucket list! Comment below with your alternatives :)

Katy x

Friday, 17 June 2016

The Mutual Love Club

I'm excited to launch a new personal project of mine today, The Mutual Love Club.


The idea behind the Mutual Love Club has been sitting around idly in my brain for a few months now, as I continue to promote my blog on social media and try to find new ways of sharing my content. I've recently discovered a raft of twitter accounts dedicated to sharing content created by bloggers - you tag them in your post, they retweet it to a huge following, often in the tens of thousands. It's a great idea, but I've spotted a few problems with the plan - there's very little two-way engagement and the tag takes up a lot of space in your tweet. When space is already at a premium, that's not idea - What determined tweeter hasn't spent an extra minute rearranging my words so they can use 'a' instead of 'an'...Or is that just me?

So what's my answer? Fuelled by the slight frustration at fighting to getting my content shared to a wider audience, I came up with a plan to create a mutually-beneficial sharing community that interacts with it's audience, not just blindly retweets them. This isn't just about retweeting, but engaging with like-minded individuals on a daily basis - the type of people who WANT to see and share your blog posts, vlogs or opinions.



I hope you'll come over to twitter and give us a follow. My goal is for the stream to be FILLED with inspirational, motivational, positive links and video from around the web, being mutually shared across a wide community of viewers - boosting everyone involved's stats and introducing 'members' (read: followers) to new and exciting content!

I have no idea if this will work or not, I've never done anything like it at all, but I hope you'll follow my journey as I try and create my little love club 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank 22nd - 24th July


We are going to Bluedot! I'm so excited, it's my dream festival and I'm an extremely lucky gal to have a ticket, I wanted to share some of the incredible sights and sounds that I'm looking forward to seeing there - obviously, I'll be blogging the whole experience and trying to get as many selfies with cosmic space explorers as possible - but in the mean time I'm spending quite a lot of time looking up the bands and food (the food!) that we will get to experience in the out-of-this-world setting, the shadow of the massive Lovell telescope.

Photo by Simon Melhuish

The Lovell telescope, situated at Jodrell Bank, is the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world. It's used for looking for signals deep in space, including tracking various probes sent from Earth to make discoveries within our solar system and further into the cosmos. It also forms part of a much larger radio telescope array - for the non-technical space fan, this means it's one of a network of radio telescopes that when used together can pick up microwave transmissions and signals from deeper into space than a single telescope ever could. By increasing the surface area of the radio receiver with a network of telescopes across the globe, we are able to discover and research deep-space features such as quasars,pulsars and black holes.

Jodrell Bank Mission control has been featured heavily on Stargazing Live, so if you follow spacey programs you might recognise it from there. 

Bluedot Festival has bought together hundreds of artists with a cosmic theme, from music and food to talks and Q & A sessions with space travellers and experts, and my cosmic-loving heart could not be happier when I scroll through all the wonderful events happening over the weekend. Here are three picks that are at the very top of my must-see list!

1. Floating Points

I went to see Floating Points at Brixton Electric recently, and they pretty much blew my mind (and eardrums!) 

 

One of the most interesting parts of their set for me, aside from the utter weirdness of being in such an elaborate and ornate venue and swaying gently with a crowd to some serious electronic, cosmic beats, was the stunning visuals that Sam Shephard creates from the music itself, playing out on a giant screen behind the musicians. I can't wait to see what they bring to Bluedot - unmissable!

Check them out below, a track from their debut album Elaenia.



2.  Restaurant at The End Of The World - Aiden Byrne Presents

If I could just do one thing at Bluedot,it would be this.  A 'stratospheric' seven course meal in the shadow of the Lovell telescope. I can't say it better than the Bluedot website, which describes the feast as "Taking you on space odyssey, navigating an entire cosmos of experimental tastes, which are truly out of this world." 

We aren't entirely sure if we are going to be able to go yet, the cost (75.50 plus 30 for the essential champagne) is slightly prohibitive for this ordinary little blogger, but just check out the menu...


I'm a mega-fan of technology-inspired food and molecular gastronomy, so this meal would be a dream for me - I'll keep dreaming for now, though!

3. CERN's Cosmic Piano

When I saw the name of this out-of-this world instrument pop up,  I knew it was going to be something I wanted to see at Bluedot. Cosmic piano? I'm there. When I started researching it,I realised it was actually infinitely cooler than I'd anticipated (my initial imaginings of a galaxy-painted grand piano hovering slightly above the stage were destined to be dashed anyway)

You can read about the Cosmic Piano in greater detail here but in a nutshell,  it turns particle data into music - poly-rhythmic jazz music, to be precise.  I adore the idea of tapping into invisible cosmic rays to create something beautiful for our eyes and ears and I think this will be a real spectacle for anyone with an interest in space and music. Which is basically everyone right? It's on the essential list for us - I can't wait to share our experience of it with readers of this little blog.

So, there's my top three. These are just the first three things that have jumped out at me from the huge line-up of goings-on at Jodrell Bank over that weekend in July. Stay tuned to my twitter, Instagram and here on the blog - I've got festival shirt DIY's, top picks for Curious Yellow festival and lots more coming up over the summer, as well as more in-depth looks at some of the things we are itching to see at Bluedot.

If you are a festival, event, band or other business that you feel would partner well with my blog, I'd love to hear from you - drop me an email by clicking here


Friday, 3 June 2016

Epic Festival Fancy Dress At Hogsozzle

One week ago we were shoving the last camping stuff into bags and the first gin into our mouths and setting off over the hills and far away...



I've been posting a lot about fancy dress options in the run up to our first festival of the season. I shared posts about mermaids, pirates and cosmic space explorers as well as lots of extra festival dress-up inspiration, but now I want to share a huge raft of awesomeness - because I've never seen a field filled with such amazing, well-crafted, hilarious fancy dress.I'm a very lucky ducky too, because I happen to have a friend whose secret talent seems to be getting candid shots of people, perfectly framed, and I'm really excited to share these today on the blog. As he went round the festival, he made it clear he was taking photos for a blog, but if you spot yourself here and aren't happy with being featured, I would snatch your photo down quicker than you can say 'hog roast' Drop me an email here.

First of all though - what did I wear?

I was lucky enough to be gifted a costume from fancy dress experts, Tickled Pink. I chose a super cosmic, shiny, silver, crazy-shouldered, Mrs Jetson number from their huge range, and added my own silver flower crown to festivalise it further...



Was the purple lipstick a good idea? Perhaps it was a step too far, but I felt pretty awesome in my shiny garbs  I can't wait for an opportunity to wear it again :)

The theme, Childhood Dreams,was interpreted in so many ways - there was modern and retro children's television and book characters (why didn't I get a photo of the Teletubbies that we partied with late into the night?), animals crafted from onesies and papier mache, incredible full body paint jobs and full body costumes. There were astronauts with light-up spacesuits, floaty fairies and some downright bizarre ideas - see if you can spot the mushroom people and the man whose childhood dream was obviously to have his wanger hanging out in public :) Some people had really gone the extra mile, check out Mr. Thunderbird further down, who carried his rocket ship round the whole time.  I'd love to know who YOU would award 1st prize in the fancy dress competition to, leave a comment below!







































Three weeks until we hit the road again for Curious Yellow - I'll be sharing some unmissable acts and a cute t-shirt DIY before then, as well as my top music and food picks for Bluedot Festival later in the summer. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and if you are holding an event that you would like covered here, please get in touch via email - click here :)

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