Chelmsford Fling 2013 - A post-festival review
Although the title suggests something a little “extra-curricular”, it is merely the name of a local festival which is held yearly in Chelmsford.
Thanks to a Twitter competition held by one of the local shopping centres, The Meadows, I was lucky enough to win two free tickets to this years event.
The Fling isn’t something I’ve ever been to before. It’s not really held a great deal of attraction for me if I’m honest, so I went along to this one with some trepidation. The leaflets and posters around town promised live music, but completely by bands that I hadn’t heard of, as well as “Sensational Cabaret, Exotic Dance, Outstanding Poetry, Breathtaking Burlesque, Mischievous Comedy” and a few more besides.
Seeing as I had two tickets, I offered the spare up to friends and thankfully the wonderfulgrabbed the opportunity and went with me. We got there at gone 7pm and it was evident that a lot of people there had been there all day. There were four stages with music playing and the area had been split into two sections which Loz and I took in with a stroll around. The best way I could think to describe it was “hippyish”. We were surrounded by people with flowers in their hair, daisy chain necklaces and face paint and there was definitely a free-spirited feel about the place. This is far beyond what I would normally consider fun, though as a certified people watcher it was fascinating.
Loz chose to make a clay model in the clay-making tent, but seeing as I was still sober I decided not to take part in this (in fact, even now I feel horrified at the thought of getting my hands that dirty for what would be - given that I have the artistic talent of a blind new-born giraffe - very little payoff) and instead sat and watched the world go by.
Loz appeared a little while later with “Racat”, which she left to dry as we wandered back through the festival. Spying a face painter, Loz’s eyes lit up and she needed little persuasion to queue up to be painted, all the while stressing that I wasn’t enjoying myself (as I explained, I have a face like a smacked arse, I ALWAYS look like I’m not enjoying myself). 45 minutes later, and after an interesting chat with a woman who hated litter, and another that was clutching the bastardised Action Man with a tiger head as if her life depended on it, Loz got to the front of the queue and the make-up woman fell instantly in love with her and deemed that she would “go wild” with an idea.
Loz was open to this, though I think her face matched my own shocked face as the woman covered her face fully in green make up. Maybe she was going for a Hulk look? That’s certainly wild in my eyes. As it was, she had been taken by Loz’s eyes, and this had inspired her to go for an Avatar type makeover.
A few more drinks later, and after discovering that the free tickets had also given us hospitality access meaning we could use the Chill Out zone and - more importantly - get quick access at the bar and use the nice toilets rather than the smelly portaloo ones. Grabbing a quick vegetable curry (veggie. See, I told you this was a hippy place), the evening sun set quickly and we decided to make a move soon. As we meandered through the crowds, we saw a woman in a jukebox, singing along to one of six pre-determined songs, and this was followed by a woman armed with a flamethrower which she was shooting in the air with the confidence of… well, the confidence of a woman armed with a flamethrower.
At £15 per ticket in advance, or £25 on the door, the event was sold out fairly quickly, though I’m not sure if I’d happily pay that to go along next time. Had I been on my own, the event would have been a wash out for me. Having Loz there, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself, made it a great night, and I dare say that with the right mix of friends it’s definitely worth going along to. Thanks again to The Meadows, and a big pat on the back to all of the organisers. Maybe I will see you next year after all.