Mission: To live my life like Glastonbury smiles
I wrote that at the top of my Couchsurfing profile, aged 23, fresh from a heartbreak and ready to set out an adventure backpacking around Spain.
I’d just been to Glastonbury, England’s mega festival, which had become an annual pilgrimage of sorts. I never went as a simple punter, always trying to find my way in as part of the festival team.
That year was the knickers campaign. I and a group of Oxfam volunteers had the task of asking all the festival goers what got their knickers most in a twist – injustice, doom mongering, climate change, poverty or apathy (I chose apathy). Another year, I’d been collecting signatures for a Fair Trade petition. In the micro-cosmos of Glastonbury Festival, there’s always space for charity.
There’s space for everything. It’s like a little village of its own, filled with a society of people who are all delighted to be there. Joy and delight ride the waves of music creating a collective smile that palpitates the festival grounds.
The spirit of a smile
That’s what my mission was about. I wanted, and still want, to live my life in the spirit of that smile.
Festivals are one of those places where you feel the heart of connectivity, everyone united in their love of a common joy – be that music, theatre, books, flowers or food. There’s a festival for everyone.
Over the years, I’ve been to many, both at home and abroad. I seek out festivals when travelling, curious to see what brings a smile to the crowds of lands afar. I remember a tomato-soaked crowd at the raucous Tomatina; the endless summer street parties of Barcelona’s barrios, and the port wine promenade of Portugal. Every festival was a doorway into a cultural joy.
Introducing Must Love Festivals
This year I’m excited to be a part of a storytelling project that celebrates the love of festivals. Steve and I are part of the Must Love Festivals team, a group of 15 bloggers who, combined, will visit around 30 festivals in over 10 European countries this summer. We’re focussing on the little festivals, the ones you’ve probably never heard of but will be delighted to once you do. Steve and I will be travelling to festivals in Puglia and Slovenia, and we’re excited at the opportunity to experience and be a part of these festivals’ individual smiles. I’ll share more details on the the festivals soon and we can’t wait to share our stories.
About Must Love Festivals
The Must Love Festivals project was created by the wonderful Kash Bhattacharya of Budget Traveller. The team includes Frankie Thompson from As the Bird Flies, Michael Turtle at Time Travel Turtle, Bethany Salvon and Randy Kalp of Beers & Beans, Peter Parkorr at Travel Unmasked, Kate McCulley of Adventurous Kate, Dylan Lowe at Travelling Editor, Sophie Collard at Sophie on Track, Abigail King at Inside The Travel Lab, Sebastian Canaves-Börner of Off The Path, and Alex and Ben of Hejorama.
The places the team will visit include Austria, Finland, Germany, Malta, Rotterdam, Slovenia, Ireland, and The Hague. Find out more on the Must Love Festivals website.