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Sunrise Celebration 2007: Day 1
by Louise Garratt
Louise visited one of the country's leading festivals about social repsonsibility and sustainability and kept a diary of her experience.
I had been eagerly anticipating going to the Sunrise Celebration Festival since I had heard about it a few months previously.
It appealed to me because it appeared to represent to me what cultural and musical festivals should be like. Glastonbury had become too big and almost too commercial, whereas Sunrise looked like it was going to be the way Glastonbury used to be.
During my time at Sunrise, I was in for an interesting and informative few days.
Day 1 - Thursday
We travelled to the site, which was well-signposted, courtesy of my Dad. We drove up the long lane to a drop-off point where we were to get out of the car and walk to the campsite.
However, as we were almost there, steam started billowing out from under the car bonnet….the water tank was leaking and the car broke down. A recovery truck was called and my Dad sent myself and my boyfriend Darren on our way.
It was a long walk to where we were meant to go, we had brought too much stuff with us, a backpack each, two tents, sleeping mats, a cooler bag laden with food, a bag with clothes in and another bag with general clutter.
Halfway up the track, Darren throws his bags to the ground, turning the air ‘blue’ with a variety of expletives, but just then a couple of young girls with a pony and cart stopped and offered to load our luggage onto the cart and take it the rest of the way for us. I can tell you that was really appreciated because it was muddy underfoot and carrying that much luggage was a nightmare.
When we reached our spot at the campsite, we thanked the girls and their pony called Pepper, and gave them a couple of quid for their help…I found out that the people who run the horse-drawn carts don’t get paid by the festival to help people out with their ‘taxi’ service, so it is up to people to make a donation for their services. From what I saw over the festival, they do earn their money and deserve the donation. Many of these people are travellers and earn their money this way.
After we set up our tents, we decided to make our way down to the arenas on the site. It was a wet day, but the sun was trying to shine through the grey, overcast sky. We arrived at the ID Spiral arena first, and while we were admiring the weird and wonderful hanging spirals and decorations, we looked up at the sky to see two rainbows cutting across the skyline, through the dark, grey cloud. It was kind of magical to see them in that environment.
The Id Spiral arena was a welcoming oasis after a so-far stressful day. A dome was set-up for the DJ’s and another for the café-bar. The arena was a feast of visual art. They had set small wooden tables, cut into a swirl shape, into the ground, which could double-up as stools, hammocks had been erected between poles, spiral - like structures were suspended from above…it was like being on another planet. ID Spiral was an ambient chill-out zone, where we stayed a while, soaking up the atmosphere whilst trying to keep warm in the cold, dusky air. Even the kids were catered for here, they had their own tipi to paint and draw in called The Pyramid of Infinite Possibility, while their parent’s could dance away to the music.
It was then time we felt we should head back to our tents for the night ready for the busy day ahead stopping for a pint of hot, cinnamon-infused cider on the way back to warm ourselves up.
last updated: 03/07/07