Jessica Delfino Tour Journal
LATITUDE FEST: PART 2
Let's pick up where we left off and start this entry off right -- with Stuckey's make over!!
The Masters of Ceremony
These two fellas trotted over to us as we lounged on these nice stretchy chairs overlooking the dyed sheep and told us they were information people -- their job was to school us on the goings on of the festival. They took out a program book that was thicker than War and Peace and told us some fun thing to do and see. Somehow, that turned into a Stuckey make over.
The finished result was Stuckey meets Marty McFly / a 50s greaser-esque school boy look.
The fellas were so pleased with their work they took off and left the program novel behind! It was a lucky score as those things were 8 pounds a piece, and even though we were in them, performers still had to buy one of these lovely commemorative books if they wanted one.
We picked it up planning to give it back if we ran into them again, but alas, never did.
The festival set up seating around the perimeter of the Obelisk (main) stage in case anyone wanted to lounge with a beer. We had to buy these 2 pound cups in order to drink beer on the premises as no bottles or cans were permitted, but could return them to get a refund. Of course, I wasn't able to return mine before I left. (I knew that would happen!)
Every so often, these dark scary clouds would roll in like rif raf, watching for some umbrella-less group to piss down on. We were pretty well prepared with ponchos and umbrellas, and Mrs. Murray (aka Jules) was the organized girl scout type who encouraged us in a stern, passionate and motherly fashion to get some rain boots for the festival. In the UK, they are called "Wellies". The fellas picked theirs up at the Army/Navy tent (yeah -- there was an Army/Navy tent) but I opted for a more colorful pair. "I'll be back -- I'm gonna go buy a pair with hearts and glitter on them," I said. I took a short walk looking for some Wellies with a Delfino flair to them, and lo and behold, I FOUND A PAIR WITH HEARTS AND GLITTER ON THEM!!!
Clouds of doom (another terrific band name)
The festival producers were amazing. I'd like to take a minute to give a shout out to Tania Harrison, Caroline Wellock and Tania's assistant Stephanie for running this ship so tightly and organized I was literally marveling every two minutes at some great little comfort or touch. For example, they had a rehearsal tent for performers to use to prepare for our sets, head light contraptions to wear so you could see around your tent at night or find your way to the toilet in the dark, rolls and rolls of TP (the bathrooms never ONCE ran out), drinking water faucets, wooden utensils and those "plastic-esque" cups made out of corn that are recyclable, sockets for use to charge electronics and more. They even had performer meal tickets so that we could eat a free hot meal once or twice a day.
A proper English breakfast of eggs, toast with butter & jam, (vegetarian!) sausage, tomato (which they pronounce toe-mahhh-to), tea and juice
The site was huge and spanned acres and acres. On the other side of the performances area, there was a part called "The Woods" which was like the outskirts where all the weekend campers and festival goers who weren't performers or employees pitched a literal city of tents, hang outs, bars, stores and parties. There were tents full of purses, jewelry, clothing, food, instruments, and any other thing you could have wanted to buy. There were even racks and racks of crazy costume clothing, wedding dresses and hats. So as you can imagine, there were lots of folks wearing wacky looking get ups and walking around for the pure sake of being a spectacle.
Some freakish looking chaps I met:
There was the bobby cop guy
And this guy who was just an employee but with his striking beard and hair he resembled a goat human to me and I insisted he pose for a photo. He said, "Last time I did this I ended up on a video on Youtube." I laughed nervously and said, oh, heh heh...well, I would never put you on the internet like that. He said he didn't mind if I did though, so I will hold him to that.
I saw so many great acts -- comedians, cabaret, musicians, films, rock bands etc. Many times I'd wander into a tent and just see something great. I didn't even know what I was seeing. Next year, they should have some kind of sign up, even a chalk board or just a piece of paper with the person's name on it so people know who they are seeing.
The highlights of the festival for me were performing at the poetry tent which must have had about 600 people in it. I went up before Jeffrey Lewis, a musician pal of mine from NYC, and wasn't sure what to expect, performing in a poetry tent, not being a poet. But the audience literally SCREAMED with laughter and delight. OK, sure, it was 11 PM on a Saturday night and everyone was totally smashed which definitely helped the cause, but it was literally THE BEST set I have ever experienced anywhere, ever.
Other delights were seeing GRACE JONES who literally rocked my face off. She must be over 60 and still kickin' it so hard core. She had some crazy get up on which framed her perfect ass and changed hats for every song, and when I say "hat" I don't mean your typical baseball cap -- she'd put on the craziest space aged looking head gear she could find, and sing her heart out. She was, in a word, AWESOME.
I had the greatest time ever. Saturday night, the performer tent erupted into a huge dance party and we danced until the wee hours. The next morning, Stuckey and the Murrays left early. I had one set left at 6 PM in the comedy tent. It went OK, barring some technical difficulties and a tired, festivaled out crowd. Still, I sold about 20 CDs and even signed autographs. I was just wondering how I was going to get home when pal Jack Lewis said a guy had offered him a ride back to London but he couldn't accept it cause he wanted to stick around a bit longer. I did some research and found it was my friend Olly the Octopus from London! I called him and got a RIDE ALL THE WAY HOME, to my friend Marisa's place in London. It was a MIRACLE.
All in all, the festival was a perfect time and I am so honored and thrilled I got to be a part of it.
Me, utterly enjoying myself