Sat indoors one rainy afternoon in April I began my extensive journey into what festival I should attend this summer. As a kid my parents introduced to me to the festival world with family festivals such as Wychwood and Womad and, with all the glittery innocence, my obsession with festivals began. As a teenager big festivals were my forte, Reading and Isle of Wight provided me with the all night drinking and rebellious rock music I craved. They were a world away from face painting and listening to The Wurzels with my parents and I loved every second. Now, as 20 year old and my festival criteria merges these two worlds together, I want the legendary acts and alcohol fuelled stories of Reading but with the hippy relaxed vibe of Womad.
And so with this in mind I began my quest to find a festival that suited this crazy checklist. Unromantically it was Facebook that threw me the suggestion of Standon Calling, a festival set in Hertfordshire with a legend of the lost seas theme and heated pool. Immediately I knew it was the one for me, family friendly vibes and glitter filled innocence but with the added adult bonus of unlimited alcohol and no bed time. The lineup sealed Standon for me. Headliners Suede and Kelis are absolute old school favourites of mine and, to be honest, singing to Milkshake dressed as a pirate with beer in both hands sounds all kinds of wonderful. The throwback acts mixed with modern talent such as Everything Everything, GhostPoet and Jess Glynne ticks legendary lineup off the checklist.
The new Octopia stage sums up everything I love about independent festivals. Open mic nights, short films and upcoming talent are those extras you just don’t get with major festivals. I love being that pretentious person who says ‘oh well I knew them before they were famous’ and I think the Octopia stage, and Standon in general, will give me the ability to say that line many times over. Looking at artists such as Declan Mckenna, Billie Marten and Clean Cut Kid I reckon there’s going to be some incredible talent over the weekend. Activities are also a must for me, reliving my childhood festivals on a grownup scale, which will basically consist of me trying to do cool things like giant Trapeze lessons but with a hangover.
The festival plan is normally as follows: arrive, drink, watch music, drink and repeat until the inevitable journey home where the festival blues will kick in. Three days are not long enough, they never will be long enough and when I was told Standon calling started a day earlier, making it a four day festival, I wept with happiness. That extra day has made me appreciate Standon even more, especially since the welcome feast on the first day will be the perfect way to line my stomach before I drink for 72 hours straight. The list of the food traders is endless: Le Bun, Spit and Roast, Cheeky Italian etc etc. No soggy veggie burgers or two day old chips here, no, it’s quite literally restaurant quality food in a field. The diversity of quirky food stalls fuels my love for independent festivals, support the little guys and in return receive mouth watering food.
I mean Standon you just get me, even the release poster is dreamy, a real ale bar, piano bar, cocktails and hot tubs?! COCKTAILS IN HOT TUBS, if the promise of food and music hadn’t sold me that certainly did. It all looks very promising and I’m hoping it’s chilled vibes are going to make it my new favourite festival. But to be honest, good company and good music is all you really need for a magical festival experience. However, good food and good drink also helps so a massive shout out to Standon for providing both plus great music and an extra day. All in all Standon Calling congratulations on making the cut, see you in July.