We began our celebrations of the beginning of Jonny’s 30th year by heading down to Exeter to the Beautiful Days festival. Dave, Jonny, Dave and I arrived early on the Friday and were joined by Pete, Kate and Dave in the afternoon.
First day was spent mainly exploring the site and putting up the tent. There were only a few bands in the late afternoon/evening. There were loads of really cool sculptures dotted around the site, many made out of scrap metal and others made of inflatables.
Saw Dreadzone again (they were at Cropredy last weekend and supporting the Levellers last time I saw them) in the afternoon and then headed over to the Big Top to see the Broken Family Band. BFB were excellent and really got the crowd moving. Then it was back to the main stage for Hawkwind who were musically disappointing but had an excellent light show with frickin’ lasers. Dave had bought himself some glow poi so we spent some of the evening watching him practice.
After the bands we spent a while looking round the site again. Unlike most festivals, there is quite a lot to do once the main stage has closed down. A lot of the shops and the food places stay open and the dance tent (the little big top) is open until 3am. We also found an awesome fire with mirror balls hanging above it and benches carved like dragons all around it. Past that and past the dance tent was the Bimble Inn which was crowded inside but had a really cool light show outside which lit up the trees and hills with swirly patterns. Unfortunately I could not get a decent shot of the effect.
We discovered when we got back to the tent that one of the things that stays open until 3am is the very loud Leviticus tent which we were just far enough away from to be vibrated awake by the bass but be completely unable to distinguish between the different tracks they were playing. Serves us right for wanting to sleep before 3am, I guess we’re just not fun enough!