Latituuuude

Got back from my first ever Latitude on Monday, packed up my stuff and moved out of the house in Nottingham and back into my parents’ house yesterday and today I am absolutely exhausted.
I came home from Latitude with a teeny bit of sunburn and roughly 10,000 midge and mosquito bites, so I’ve been smothering myself in Lush’s Karma Kream and calamine cream ever since. I’m not gonna complain too much though cause the weather was gorgeous and we didn’t have to do any of shifts shivering under an umbrella and leaking rain macs, which is always nice.
The general atmosphere of the festival was really lovely and refreshing, and the surroundings kind of match that perfectly. I may have only done it twice now, but I highly recommend working for Oxfam at festivals, it can be hard work and sometimes shifts can be a bit boring, but it’s so much fun and you get to meet some awesome people. 
I’m going to leave you with some pictures from Latitude now and go back to reluctantly unpacking.. you can expect an existential post about me moving home and life and what’s next soon, I reckon.

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Festival Packing

It’s a horrible, rainy Monday here in Nottingham; the perfect day to stay in my pjs and get some packing done. I feel like all I do these days is pack… suitcases, travel bags, boxes of all of my belongings…

Anyways, it’s Latitude this week!!! So packing is a thing I need to be getting on with. Packing for festivals is often the most stressful part of my year (bit dramatic, but it’s hard, okay!) Even after all the experience I’ve had, I’m always afraid I’m going to forgot something, which I often do, but it’s never the end of the world.

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I’ve checked the weather forecast for the week ahead, and it’s supposed to be pretty warm, with lots of cloud and the potential for a bit of rain, but warm all the same, so I’ve essentially packed clothes that I can wear to stay relatively cool in, with the options of adding layers if it gets too cold and rainy. This selection includes two skirts, a dress, four tops, a pair of funky trousers,two pairs of leggings and two warm sweatshirts. And not forgetting the all-important raincoat of course! This one I bought for £5 instead of £13 at Primark. It’s not my usually flimsy pack-a-mac, so it’s less convenient to pack/carry around the site with me, but will hopefully be more durable:

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20150713_144211 (^funky boohoo trousers)

A lot of the stuff is new, as I’ve had nothing better to do really whilst in Nottingham before my graduation last Friday (eeeek I’m officially a graduate!), so I’ve done a looot of shopping… One of the outfits being this one, the skirt from New Look and the top on sale for £5 in Topshop:

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In terms of toiletries I still have to go out and buy my supply of baby wipes and make-up remover wipes, as well as a mini deodorant, but other than that I’m all set. This year I’ve finally got myself some daily contact lenses, which will be SO much easier and more hygienic than trying to clean my monthlies every day in an environment where it’s impossible to be 100% sanitised. I am still taking my travel-sized saline solution just in case though. I’m also taking mini shower gel, face wash and shampoo as one of the perks of working at a festival (for Oxfam in my case at Latitude) is that you have access to staff showers. I’ve never actually used them before as I’ve always, at any festival, been on shift, sleeping, or been too busy running around trying to see all of the bands and acts I can before I have to do either of the previous things once again.

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Make-up wise, I try to keep it minimal for ease getting ready in a tent, as well as to pack as lightly as possible. This year my essentials will be my GOSH BB Cream (because it’s a moisturiser, primer and foundation in one, and contains SPF), Collection Lasting Perfection pressed powder, B. shimmer block, GOSH liquid gel eyeliner and Soap and Glory Thick and Fast mascara. I’ll probably take an eyeshadow palette as well, and of course some of that festival-staple glitter to chuck over my face, and all over the tent.

All of these things, plus a few more essentials such as my sleeping bag, an extra blanket and camping mat will go into my rucksack, which is a bitch to carry when it’s so full and heavy (especially when you have a six hour train journey with four changes to make), but I’ve found it the best method of carting all of my stuff to and from festivals for the past five years. 20150713_134050

So here’s hoping I don’t break my back, and the sun shines down on Suffolk this weekend!

Female-unfriendly Festivals

You may have seen some of these images of this year’s Reading and Leeds line ups floating around the internet over the past few months. The first is what the poster would look like if there were no male-only bands and artists on the line up:

This to me is shocking, but not surprising. Last year a whopping 16 year precedent was broken by Hayley Williams of Paramore being the first female headliner in the festival’s history; and even then the female-fronted band were only co-headliners, sharing the honour with Queens of the Stone Age.

So why are women being so dramatically underrepresented in festival line ups?  Because it isn’t just Reading and Leeds. Across the broad spectrum of UK festivals, men dominate the majority of line ups.

Some would have you think that it’s because in the rock and indie scene, the genre Reading and Leeds cater for, there just aren’t many female acts. This could not be further from the truth. I could use the rest of the space in this article listing all of the talented female performers that are playing music right now who would fit in perfectly at any rock festival.

Luckily someone has done it for me, and put together this poster of what the line up would look like if it only had all-female acts or bands with females in, and it looks pretty freakin’ cool to me:

It is true to say that particularly in the rock scene women find it harder to make it, but that path is being paved and trodden on more and more these days. Just look at the likes of all-female band Haim, or Blood Red Shoes, or Chvrches, or Lucy Rose, Tonight Alive, Laura Marling, Halestorm, War Paint, Pvris… The list goes on.

Reading and Leeds act booker Jon Mac told the Telegraph last year that “[there is] a historical precedent that needs to change. If you look at aspiring musicians in the past, particularly in the rock, indie and dance worlds, there were more boys than girls trying to make a go of it and therefore more breaking through. Things need to and I believe are changing.”

And Melvin Benn, organiser of the twin festivals, said that “The idea that female bands are sidelined as a suggestion is just not there.”

How do festival organisers expect women to be inspired to get into music and continue breaking the mould if they don’t showcase all of this talent at their events?

And excuse me Melvin, but nine female acts out of over a hundred seems like sidelining to me.

Ladies in music are killing it right now, and festival-bookers, gig organisers and music magazine editors need to listen up and start showing them the respect they deserve.

[This is another thing I wrote for Her Campus a while ago but the email never got through.. Or maybe I’m just being ignored, who knows?]

Sources

http://psgsummers.tumblr.com/post/112084844194/so-the-reading-festival-leeds-festival-lineup-is

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-festivals/11434671/Edited-Reading-and-Leeds-line-up-poster-lack-of-women.html

http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/its-not-just-reading-and-leeds-females-are-under-represented-in-every-festival-line-up-2015

http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e65q2m/acts/a846v2

http://www.sugarscape.com/fashion/news/a1061355/hayley-williams-rocks-awesome-grungey-style-as-paramore-hit-the-reading-and-leeds-festival-stage-love-or-loathe/