DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT Meet three women who challenged themselves
Imagine all the things you could experience if you did something a little out of your ordinary? Three women reveal what happened when they did just that…
‘Normal life was a world away, and it felt wonderful’ With more time to herself,
Georgia Hall decided to do something that made her feel youthful again
Dancing beneath a starry sky in my long, pink Summer dress, I felt carefree and happy. As Chrissie Hynde belted out her biggest hits to the crowd, I threw my hands in the air. Here I was, on a balmy Summer evening, at my first-ever music festival. It might have been decades since I was teenager, but in that moment I felt a sense of euphoria that took me right back to those days.
When I was busy juggling marriage, children and work, music festivals simply weren’t on my radar. But my life changed entirely three years ago when my marriage ended. I moved from London to Brighton with my three children for a much-needed fresh start.
With the change came a sense of openness to opportunities. I still had a full-on job in marketing, but my eldest was now in her 20s and my two younger children were at secondary school. I wanted to have new experiences, and at the top of my list was going to a music festival.
I didn’t fancy negotiating mud at Glastonbury, but when I saw an advert for Latitude, I thought it sounded wonderful. It was a four-day festival with art, poetry, ballet and comedy, as well as plenty of music. One of my friends, Jo, was also keen to try something new. So we bought our tickets and started planning our trip.
It was a gloriously sunny July day when we packed a two-person tent into my Mini and headed to Suffolk. With my oldest daughter looking after the two younger ones for the weekend, I didn’t have to worry about the family. Jo and I felt like teenagers on a road trip.
I had been nervous about what to expect, but when we arrived to find plenty of women our age – and families, too – we decided to throw ourselves into the experience. That was why we had come here, after all.
With the sun beating down, we spent the afternoon exploring the festival. We wandered into one tent to find designer Vivienne Westwood talking about her life; in another we chanced upon a recital by the poet Jackie Kay. Come the evening, as we danced in the crowd, cocktails in hand, I felt like I’d been transported out of my usual life. Normality was a world away, and I felt wonderful.
The rest of the weekend was a melting pot of culture. Getting back to basics felt liberating. With no mirrors, we didn’t bother with make-up. We soaked up the sunshine, put the world to rights, and fell into bed in the early hours, still wearing our Summer dresses.
Back at home, I realised the festival had been the perfect springboard to challenge myself to fill my free time with different things. I’ve since rediscovered my love of art, which led me to exhibit some of my sketches at a small gallery. I know now that I can do the things I want to do, not just the things I’m expected to do.
FANCY A FESTIVAL? The UK festival scene has exploded in recent years. From small literary festivals to luxury weekenders, there’s something on offer to suit all tastes and budgets. Try visiting festicket.com where you can search for events by artist, genre and location.