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Sunrise Festival - 16-21 June 2006


Had a great few days in Somerset at this lovely new festival. We arrived Friday evening and from entering the 1st gate to getting parked up it was probably nearly 2 hours! We queued to be searched, then we queued for wristbands (which they had run out of so we had to have punter ones), then we had to go all the way back round to the back of the queue and park up to get a crew campervan pass, I then had to join a queue of people at a tent and when I finally got to the front the bloke tried to charge me £15 for a campervan pass! After a phone call to my friend, in the site office I was given my pass... phew! We then queued again to get out of the holding area to join another queue going into the car parks and campervan field. We were directed into the punter campervan field to park up and even though I kept saying I was crew they seemed pretty determined that I should park up there. Eventually I was allowed back out of the punter field around the farm and into crew camping. What a farce!

After parking up by friend's vehicles we went and met Kelly and Mark at the tiny tea tent. It was lovely to meet them at last and we chatted there for a while and then went back to their gorgeous van, the jammy dodger. We had fun locating jammy as it was dark and Kelly and Mark couldn't quite remember where he was parked hehehe but after a wander around the field we stumbled across him! After tea and biscuits and lots of chatting we made our way back home to bed.

Saturday started with sorting out what shifts we were working (after a lie in!) We then had a really good look around the festival. A guy doing hair braiding offered to do one in my hair for free as he liked my hair and then my friend Jan paid to have a couple put in hers. After walking round all the areas and looking in a lot of the stalls we went back for food and a chill out. I was ready to go partying but Jan was still slowly sorting herself out so me and Dawn hit the dance tent and had a boogie. On the way I bumped into a friend from Gloucester, Avril, and she came along too, getting us to look at the artwork in another tent on the way. We went to get Dawn's son, Zak to bed before Dreadzone started and I heard them come on stage just as he was settling. I hurried up Dawn and we pushed our way to the front where Jan was already. I danced like crazy to a couple of songs and then the spliff i'd just shared with Dawn hit me (1st proper smoke in months!) After that I slowed right down! We left the front after a while as it was getting really mad with people pushing and shoving each other. We tried to get backstage and nearly made it but at the last minute a bloke pulled us up and kicked us out.... Grrrr! We watched the rest of Dreadzone from the side where there was less people and then bimbled off into the night, tried to find some good music, sat round a fire and then me and Jan turned in and Dawn went on partying.

After a lovely long lie-in I eventually crawled out of bed about midday Sunday. We went off into the festie and bumped into some other friends, Sarah with her son Charlie, Si, Andy, Mark, Andy, Kelly and Mark all sat outside the cider tent, what a surprise hehehe had a lovely time with them sitting in the sun, chatting, drinking, smoking....... was great just being with beautiful people, getting to know everybody a little bit more and feeling totally content with the world. I also saw Matt, my friend from Boomchuka circus doing a circus skills workshop right where we were sat which Charlie really enjoyed. As the evening approached we left to get some sleep as we were working the nightshift 3am-9am, I did get some sleep and felt wide awake when the alarm went at 2.30. We were just on the entrance to the campaigns field and campervan field so we were entertained all night by the wonderful people that went by. We were especially grateful to the lady who went back to her van and warmed up some dandilion and burdock with brandy in and donated it to us yum!

After a sleep on Monday morning me and Dawn went on a mission to promote the tribal-living forum. After bimbling round the site doing that she had to go to work so I just stayed and soaked up the atmosphere of the festie. I saw more friends, Stu and Sam in the book stall and chatted to them for a bit and also met Dapablo. me and Dapablo wandered off in the same direction only to stumble upon yet more friends, Elliott and Fleasy doing a little set in a cafe. We listened to them for a while and then my stone baked bread was ready and I went back to the van for food. We had to work again at 9pm-3am, this time at the entrance to the camping field, it was again an enjoyable shift thanks to the many wonderful people who stopped to chat. I bumped into Gary from 2000ds/Crowzone, wicked! I was rather tempted to go partying after but tiredness got the better of me and I hit the sack.

On Tuesday I was up bright and early and off roaming the site for good photos and exploring a few little places I hadn't yet seen. When I got back Jan had received some bad news from home and had to get the train home. I did my last shift back up by the campaigns area again with two lovely people and some actually quite nice security guys. It was there I met Matt and Debbie, lovely people but unfortunately I didn't get to spend much time with them. It did mean though I had managed to bump into everyone that I knew was coming! We finished at 9pm and I was up for really partying, it being solstice night. After getting our deposits back we headed for the crew bar where the music was pumping out big time. Hunger got the better of me so I nipped back to the van to eat but before I managed to do that I was flat out asleep until 3am. What a lightweight! I got myself a very large drink and set off to find some action, none of the music really pulled me in so I just wandered around hoping to bump into someone I knew or to find some music I liked. I had obviously put too many layers of clothes on as I was really hot and I had forgotten my camera in my haste to leave the van so I went back, got the camera and shed some clothes! I walked up to Woodhenge and sat down for a while on my own, more and more people were turning up so I wandered around wondering if anyone I knew was here yet. It wasn't long before I saw Kelly and Mark, Andy, Willow, Oily, Claire and Lesley. It was great to see familiar faces and we drunk and smoked and chatted until the sunrise. A bit of an anti climax due to the cloud cover but the bagpipes played and then there was some drumming and chanting. how wonderful to spend the solstice sunrise with such lovely people.

I woke up on the last day, got some breakfast and a smoothie and left. I knew the longer I hung around the less time I'd have at home getting sorted for a hectic couple of days at work then off to Cumbria on Friday night with Dawn to visit another great friend who was unable to make it down south for the gathering.

What a truly beautiful festival made very magical because of all the lovely people I spent time with. I only wish I had managed to spend more time with the people I only briefly saw.... maybe next time!

Below are a selection of photographs from the gathering.

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