Week Thirty – Thirty Four – Underneath The Stars Festival

I’m behind. Not on doing stuff but on writing it up. There are reasons but I won’t bore you all with that. Instead I’ll crack on, cheating while I go because I actually did 5 new things in one weekend in August. They are my rules and I’m making them up as I go along.

30 – Underneath The Stars

This festival is absolutely chuffing epic. After the Tramlines debacle which was only marginally less family friendly than Leed festival a few years ago (shudder), this folkish festival was everything we needed. Crammed with workshops (of which more in a minute), food, stuff to do, and stalls to mooch round while still being small and perfectly formed it ticked all the boxes. Three stages which never overlapped meant every band had a well deserved audience and I wasn’t watching something I didn’t really want to while waiting for something else. Billy Bragg was a big draw for us but we also discovered lots of new music (many of the bands are soon on in Sheffield so that’s a win) and had immense fun. I cannot tell you how happy this festival made me and the added benefit was I had several experiences I’d never had before.

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31 – Charleston Dancing

I am neither fit nor coordinated. My daughters picked it up immediately, my husband gave up after ten minutes valiant effort, and I lasted all the way to the end sort of getting it right it places. It was fun, and exhausting.

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32 – Made a necklace out of a T-shirt (Macrame)

We sat in a chilled out tent run by Kim Searle from Darnit doing crafts including painting concrete planters, making bath salts and plant hangers. I made this, with my actual fingers. I now wear it. I can’t remember how I did it but you can’t have everything.

33 – Playing The Spoons

Our youngest insisted on us attending this workshop. The tent was rammed with people and I was genuinely surprised she had enough spoons to go round. We learned a variety of rhythms that I’ve now forgotten. They were really quite complicated. The noise, at points, was horrific. It seems no-one can keep spoons still no matter what the instructions.

34 – Northern Soul Dancing

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I’ll be honest I didn’t make it to the end of this one. Not only were the moves pretty repetitive, but there was a man not following any of the moves with his top off – because that’s apparently what you do. I felt cool though for about ten minutes before the sweatiness of the man next to me got too much.

Overall I can’t praise this festival enough. We played, watched, sang, danced, made stuff, ate, drank, slept and ran through a thunder storm. Truly wonderful.

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