Highlight of the week – Yestival

It was dark at Yestival, the Say Yes More festival. Tealights flickered, dozens of them lining the path to the festival field. Glowsticks dangled above our heads, bathing the desk in front in a neon pink, blue and green glow that was dazzling compared to the blanket of darkness wrapped around us. I stamped my feet on the frosty ground to keep warm and cast my torchlight over the area around. Ella and our new friend Tillie were huddled up against Shilps, the door/fieldgate lady, on a hay bale used as a seat. There was only half a dozen more people due to arrive and then we could head down to the main marquee for the evening talks, warmth and food. We were all starving.

A pair of people tramped up to the desk. Their arms were laden with baggage and their coats were so thick it was like they could hardly walk. Shilps instantly recognised them and rushed up to hug them, a procedure she carried out on every new arrival, before signing them in on the computor spreadsheet. Then I gave them a coloured notebook and pencil each as well as a small sticky-back gem to stick on their foreheads, completing the festival look. We wished them luck as they clomped down the hill to the marquees and bonfires and further on to the camping field. Setting up a tent in the dark isn’t easy.

Time passed surprisingly fast. The remaining festival-goers arrived, as well as the incredible cyclists who had cycled from London to get to the festival, located in Shackelford in Surrey. They must have been exhausted after cycling for about 5 hours through the bustling city. Shilps jabbed their names into the spreadsheet and welcomed them. Then that was everyone. We all hugged and began taking down our lights and hanging them round our necks. Then Shilps reached into her bag and drew out four chocolates, one for each of us, and beckoned us down toward the main marquee, now blaring music. And as the chocolate melted in my mouth and satisfied my growling stomach’s need for food just slightly, I felt a buzz of excitement. As I could tell that this was going to be the most cheerful, happy, inspiring and just plain awesome festival I’d ever been to.


Say Yes 2

Photo credit Craig Nicholas.