Friday, 19 February 2016

Getting juicy at Festival Number 6 '15

Juice, S'juice Me, sign painting, festival, Festival Number 6
Juice, S'juice Me, sign painting, festival, Festival Number 6
Juicy ladies by Laura 
FN6, Festival Number 6, main stage, Portmerion
My penultimate festival last year was a last-minute jaunt to Festival Number 6 (for me last summer, actually festival number 10!) with my friend Chelsea to work with the lovely ladies from S'Juice Me

FN6 is held in the quite frankly incredible village of Portmerion... a place in North Wales which was designed and built in the style of an Italian village. It's set on on a beach with a backdrop of welsh mountains. There's a main arena as well as stages set in the village and the woodland areas - I can definitely say I don't think I've ever been to a festival location quite like it.

FN6, Festival Number 6, S'juice Me
FN6, Festival Number 6, S'juice Me, Gypsy East
FN6, Festival Number 6, S'juice Me

We spent most of the weekend juicing - I've never felt so healthy (if a little juice bloated) at a festival. I was in charge of making hydrating watermelon juices and also Rose & Laura's amazing 'green love' smoothie... my mouth is watering just thinking about them!

We also had a little time to explore and even have a little dip in the pool. It was quite a different crowd from most festivals I go to... maybe a bit more refined!?  But definitely refreshing at the end of a busy season.

FN6, Festival Number 6, Portmerion, swimming pool
FN6, Festival Number 6, Portmerion, swimming pool

Monday, 8 February 2016


The latest issue of the university Arts and Culture magazine that I edit came out this week! We collaborated with the wonderful Love Specs for our cover shoot which Klara shot for us again.

I also created a shiny new website for WESTWORLD - I'd love you to let me know what you think of it! Our recent feature of 16 things to not to be missed in 2016 is well worth a read especially if you're a Bristol dweller.
Love Specs, Klara Foreman, WESTWORLD magazine
Love Specs, Klara Foreman, WESTWORLD magazine, Tezla Designs

Give us a follow:

Friday, 5 February 2016

Journeying to Bulgaria for Meadows in the Mountains '15 [part one]

Treasure Tribe, Dulcie's Feathers, festival style, Meadows in the Mountains, festival, feather headdress
Me in Treasure Tribe bralet & Dulcie's Feathers headdress, photo by Aron Klein.
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, sunrise, mountains, Bulgaria
Quite literally high above the clouds sat on a grassy slope, I looked around at the most incredible 360 view of green tree covered mountains, their peaks interlaced with mist. My friends had told me that their descriptions wouldn’t do this festival justice…  I could understand then why they said I wouldn’t ‘get it’ until I had been myself.

It was mid-June last year at half-eight in the morning and I was yet to go to bed… the sound of disco was pulsing from a stage somewhere behind me as I watched the sun make its steady ascent into the sky. The leafy mountain I found myself perched atop was in the middle of Bulgaria. The festival was the very aptly named Meadows in the Mountains.

Meadows, as it is affectionately abbreviated, started as many good festivals do as a family affair. The Sasse family, originally from London, own a house and land in the festival’s remote Bulgarian location and a few years ago their sons invited friends there for a party. Since then it has evolved organically into a 1000 capacity event.

This festival was never going to be a standard affair; forget your preconceptions of warm beer in plastic cups and under-agers throwing up, this was going to be very different… However, getting to this utopia in the first place wasn’t going to be easy.
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, Bulgaria
Bulgarian babe bus.
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, Bulgaria
Stowaways, photo by Jasmin. 
My journey started at home in Bristol with a backpack full of glitter and clothing for all weathers; my research into the mountain climate had been very confusing. A coach from Bristol to Victoria and a train to Luton was followed by a three hour flight to Sofia. We spent a night there in a lovely hostel and then opted to find our own way to Smolyan; only twenty-five lev for a five an a half hour coach journey, that’s only nine quid!

The change in the landscape on route to the small town of Smolyan was tangible, the surroundings getting hillier and hillier and more and more rural... the toilets more like holes in the ground! We arrived in Smolyan with no one to be seen and not a clue how we were going to get to the tiny rural village of Polkovnic Serafimovo where we were staying…

Luckily we spotted Duncan (father of the two founders and logistics co-ordinator at the festival) in a battered and faded but very familiar red Post Office van. He offered to give us a lift up to the site, but it would be a squeeze. The six of us bundled in the back of the van, climbing on top of a stack of heavy metal poles from a geo-dome which the guys had just picked up on a 10 hour round trip. We took care to watch out for some boxes of potatoes and bunches of wildflowers that Duncan seems a lot more worried about than us...

After a stop off at Lidl to stock up on bread and cheese (some things are the same everywhere!) we were off up the mountain. There was only one door on the back of the van (held safely in place by a bungee cord ha!) but this did allow us a great view of the mountain and the sunset as we slowly chugged up the winding roads though.

By the time we reached the village (after a massive burst tyre and nail-biting wheel change on the side of the road... but that's another story) it was dark and we switch vehicles to a white Landrover. About ten other people joined us for a lift up the rest of the mountain some hanging off the back, some sitting on laps. Our stop is last; the house is the closest to the festival but the trickiest to get to.
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, Bulgaria, Dulcie's FeathersOur host Rosa in Dulcie's Feathers.
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, Bulgaria
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, BulgariaBreakfast at Rosa's.
We were sleepy from our travelling by now and in the dark could barely take in the quaint cottage perched on the side of a mud track at the edge of a valley. Duncan introduces us to our host Rosa. She is a tiny leathery old woman in her late eighties (the locals are famed for their long life and good health) who greets us in blabbering Bulgarian and kisses all of our faces. I’m astounded by how welcoming she is, letting twenty Brits stay in her tiny house alongside her.

This symbiotic relationship with the locals is something Meadows prides itself on and something that is quite unique. My friend Rhi, the marketing manager for the festival, tells me that there is year round communication: “We have the local people’s best interests at heart. We rely on them as most visitors to the festival stay in their houses, they provide taxi services for us and make the experience more authentic.”

When we awoke in the morning we were greeted by the first of many breath-taking views from Rosa’s window…  they soon become so commonplace it’s almost comical. Rosa offered us breakfast and gives us slippers which she insists we wear around the house.

We headed out to the festival, we’re a few days early but planned to help out - we've still got to build our whole stall! My friend is convinced he knows a shortcut and takes us off the beaten track – only after half an hour of walking and climbing do we find a break in the trees, look across the valley and spot a small tepee, a sure sign that the festival is on the complete opposite side of the valley... Whoops!

[Part one of two posts on Meadows ]
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, Bulgaria
Breakfast with Joey at Rosa's, photo by Jasmin.
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