With lockdown restrictions ever-changing and Covid being more than a little persistent, the festival season started a little later than usual this year. However, after a year with no season at all, I’m sure we’re all in agreement that it is, indeed, better late than never. This year, we kicked off our first on-site business last week with Timber Festival.
Over the weekend, Timber was hosted by Feanedock, a 70-acre woodland site on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire border at the heart of the National Forest. The only requirements for entry to the event being a negative lateral flow test confirmation within 48-hours of arriving on-site, plus, of course, an entry ticket.
The event, represented by Field Music, Gruff Rhys, The Unthanks, and more was blessed with a bit of sun on Friday – not enough to be excited about per say, but just enough to grace me and fellow ticket-scanners some questionable builders’ sunburn-lines. As we all know, it wouldn’t be a true British festival without a good ol’ fashioned downpour, but festival-goers remained unphased as the euphoria that comes with dancing with a bunch of strangers in the middle of the woods took over.
Naturally, there was some hesitancy among customers when first arriving on-site with all attendees and staff readjusting to festival life amidst the existence of Covid, but it soon felt like routine as the sheer content that comes with attending a festival took over. So, upon introduction to ticket-scanning staff, revellers were more than happy to comply with entry requirements, with murmurs of “do you need to see my test results or my ticket first?” immediately followed by “I’m just happy to be here!” echoing throughout the wristband exchange queues.
The team organising the event did a stand-up job of complying with restrictions in light of Covid, and the process of showing Covid certification upon arrival. This aside, it mostly felt as though the horror of the last 15-or-so-months never happened.
With the Prime Minister confirming the lifting of restrictions from 19th July, it seems as though this intimate family event is merely a taste of things to come this festival season – and we couldn’t be more ready.