Bestival 2014: the origins of adventure

So you know that 2015 is the year of adventure. What you perhaps don't know, is why. Simple really. When working out the best approach to the upcoming year I looked back over 2014 for the best moment of them all. The answer was easy: Bestival.

Much more than the best festival

Until last year, I had never been to a festival. Sure, there had been the odd day-event in the park, a few bands and a few beers; but a real festival with camping and late night partying had remained outside my circle of experience.

A couple of things worth knowing at this point:

  • I love live music
  • I definitely do not love camping
  • Normally I like to plan and know what to expect

Two out of three ain't bad, but one out of three would suggest that a festival really wouldn't be a great match for me. And I worried about that quite a lot. For a bit. And then something rather miraculous happened. I decided not to worry. And actually didn't.

Out of my hands

Bestival campsite

Due to my former dislike of camping, I hadn't been for about 14 years. As such, I had no camping equipment. All was reliant on my fella and his gear and his suggestions of what to pack and what to expect. So I took his advice, added a little logic and decided to wait and see (and pray for no rain).

Then were the arrangements for the getting there and being there, which, due to the fact I was going as the guest of an artist, I had absolutely no say in whatsoever. I said I wanted to go, my name was confirmed as on the list and that was all the certainty or information I had.

So I just went with the flow. Bit of a cliche I'll grant you but I really had no choice, and I thought to myself well, there's absolutely no way of having any influence over what happens, so you can either freak out and get all anxious about it or just accept the fact it's an adventure and what will be, will be.

Would you believe it? The world didn't end

The weirdest thing was, that by being totally unlike me, I ended up feeling more like myself than I had done in an age. It's hard to describe but from the moment we arrived at our campsite on the Thursday through to walking back through our front door late Sunday night I felt completely ecstatic; utterly fabulous; happy.

Sure it helped that the weather was amazing, I had access to backstage areas where I could use the loo and get a few free cans and the campsite was in an artist's area so the showers and toilets were bearable (and when there's beer, sleeping on the floor really isn't such a chore). But honestly those weren't the clinchers.

By sitting back and letting it happen to me, rather than trying to control the experience, it meant I didn't have any expectations. In fact that was sort of the point - I had no way of having any expectations because I had no idea what to expect!

So I just trusted. I trusted others with control and put myself in their hands. I trusted myself to totally handle it. And I trusted the adventure to bring what it would, no matter what I did or how I thought.

The unadulterated pleasure of adventure

There was so much music. So many people. Such fantastic food. So much absolute happiness and enjoyment. There was so much, and I took it all in because all I had to do was experience and absorb it. I absolutely bloody loved it.

Why 2015 is the year of adventure

Of course pictures and video can only tell part of the story. What you can't see is that the best part was all in the letting go, trusting it would be ok and embracing the adventure.