In a rare sunny spell, Marble Hill was bathed in a soft golden glow, where the gentle rays of forgotten sunshine was beginning to pull through. Festival goers clambered into open fields, eager to enter the excitement that would engulf them beyond the tents, while the sun deepened into hazy euphoria. As a guest of Samsung and Three, I was escorted straight to the tents before being ushered into the growing crowds that awaited House Festival. It was magical; like a scene set in a Midsummer’s Night Dream rainbow streamers swung merrily overhead, the gentle caress of the wind like a balm to the sunshine’s warmth. The zest of the festival goers was infectious, the laughter and cheers ringing in my ears as a taste of what was yet to come and I could not help but laugh out loud. I entered a magic wonderland; bountiful stalls blessed with food and drink were juxtaposed against a child-like vision of New Romanticism, with red and blue balloons creating an arch over the pristine white building. Like a carnivalesque fantasy, circus stilt walkers in military uniform marched opposite shimmering hula hoopers, while ushers plied us with sweet cooling organic drinks of elderflower, apple and lemon. I was the first to arrive and was aware what a lonely figure I cut among a crowd of friends, silently watching the performers in quiet ecstasy. A lone figure I might have been but it was like there was a lapse in time and this dream was a dream I never wanted to end.
It was a beautiful euphoria of music, food and drink but House Festival had only just begun. Having been provided with a loan Gold Samsung S7 (rrp £700), the android’s 12 MP front camera and 5MP Selfie camera was the perfect accompaniment to the beginning of a new festival obsession and allowed me to capture the true essence and free spirit of House Festival. The ‘food’ mode allowed me to capture the vividity and fresh plumpness of the fruit and cakes packed in droves, while the beauty mode made up for the 5mp camera and created a spotlight that enhanced our facial features in a ‘festival light’. As I weaved my way through the mounting crowds , I made my way over to the nautical themed ‘Samsung’ tent and greeted by the fabulous Edita ( Who I met last year at Kiko Shoreditch/ Fashion Bloc), Angelica, Laura, Sam and Becky our brand rep/marketing manager, the sweetest group of individuals you could meet. Everyone made me feel so welcome and their natural enthusiasm and zest for blogging shone through; they were authentic and blogging to them was their ‘lives’ and they wouldn’t have it any other way. It was refreshing to meet like minded bloggers and as we sipped cocktails on nauticial swings the blissful feeling was back and I felt more relaxed than I had done in a long time. After the month I have had with the loss of my angels, stress with moving house and financial worries it was lovely to let all my worries take a back seat and enjoy the company of other bloggers. The chemistry between us all was unbelievable and as we posed for selfies next to the maritime inspired decor I knew that we had all officially made it. The nauticial theme complete with an anchor photobooth, driftwood inspired swing and blue and white striped circular chairs was a beautiful, unexpected contrast to the homogeneous sea of other camps; with it’s own personal bar fronted by the captain of our imaginary ship, our thirst was quenched by mouthwatering ginger ales, fresh lemonades and Grey Goose concoctions. But our tummies were rumbling and after finishing our drinks in record breaking time we headed over to the food stalls to sate our appetites. For a meat eater the choices were spectacular with lamb shwarma’s, pepperoni and veal pizzas, beef burgers, lobster and more; there was something for everyone except vegetarians. Savory vegetarian choices were disappointing as we were handed minuscule pizza slices, rustic bread and olives, with portion sizes that cowered next to the meat eater’s carnivorous feasts. There was also salad and falafal wraps but the variety of vegetarian choices was limited. Still the sweet variety more than made up for the disappointing vegetarian food and succulent strawberries, moist lemon drizzle cake and vegan pic & mix stole the show. The lemon cake quivered with real lemon drizzle, while the fresh punnet of strawberries and watermelon burst with unbridled juiciness. No expenses were spared and I happily ate six cake slices to myself, relishing its flavoursome mix. After eating enough cake to last a week, we headed into the fairground in the woods, while waiting for the main headline acts ( John Newman, Tinie Tempah, Jess Glyne, Tinie Tempah & Kylie) to take to the main stage.
Taking countless selfies on the way we took a ride on fate on the stomach churning wheel, a stark contrast to the tame child-like euphoria of the carousel, whose timeless appeal proved popular with all age groups. Trying to capture our terrified expressions in the turning booths on the Waltzer was a giggle as we laughed raucous screams while the violent but strangely comforting Dodgems allowed us to release cathartic boosts of energy on the unsuspecting public . Of course no fairground is complete without height-defying swings and we swung our way through a magical three minute ride, counting down the minutes until John Newman would perform. It was only o’clock but House Festival had the ingredients for the perfect day out; surrounded by food, drink and sun we never felt happier. That was not the only stand out quality that ‘House Fest’ had to offer; celebrity sightings became the order of the day with Ant and Dec, Lisa Snowdown, Reggie Yates and Sophie Elis Baxter mixing with the locals and I could hardly believe my eyes. You know you are blessed when you are offered free food, drink entertainment and celebrity sightings all night long and I felt truly grateful to the Samsung and Three team for believing in us . As the afternoon drew to a close, John Newman swaggered onto stage , circling the mic with animalistic energy, kicking off his set with the classic ‘Not Giving Up’.Having never seen John Newman in concert before, I was surprised at how good a performer he was, putting to bed the theory that ‘ballads are a snooze fest’. Newman’s thick menacing scowls relayed the lamentations of failed love affairs, with rustic inflections of top notes sending chills down my spine. It was electrifying and as Newman’s set drew to a close, each word, each syllable was delivered like a blow to the heart and calculatingly so. Newman hit us where it hurts and we were left in awe of his mind blowing talent. By the end of the set we had decided we wanted to become face-painted goddesses and headed over to the tent next to the ‘balloon house’. Trained artists unleashed their bridling creativity on our expectant faces, brandishing creams, powders and glitters to transform us into living breathing goddesses. Turned into an alien warrior princess the artist pressed down a pearl encrusted headdress, trailing into an explosion of fuchsia, teal and gold sequins and glitter. It was striking and matched the metallic, silver undertones of my dress and haute couture bag.
Jess Glyne was next to perform , who by some inexplicable force of nature sounded even better live and her husky modulation or saturation of bass notes enveloped the audience with her talent. Being able to capture the essence of British music in their unapologetic portrayal of power and presence was a dream come true and like a puppet Glyne had us all like putty in her hands. Her fiery red locks seemed to sway in time to the music, while the crowd went wild, eager for a chance to get up close and personal with the talented songstress. But there was one man who could take things further and show that the fun and games was just beginning; Tinie Tempah was in town and boy did he steal the show. From start to finish Patrick’s set was bursting with child-like enthusiasm. The ever popular Pass Out had the crowd moshing while the more obscure but nevertheless powerful grime anthem Ba Ba Black Sheep was a clever parody of a classic nursery rhyme but it was a 30 second snippet of Tinie’s new unfinished track ‘ Bounce’ that had us fans ‘bouncing’ for more.Easily my favourite artist, Tinie proceeded to blow my expectations out of the water and I was mesmerized by his unique demonstration of charisma and strength. Behind every lyric was a soul wrenching narrative but Tinie’s positivity demonstrated how his struggles made him show gratitude for his climb to fame. I count Tinie’s Discovery album as my favourite album of all time so to see the legend in the flesh and marvel at how close we were to the stage was a dream come true and that is all thanks to Samsung and Three for giving us the opportunity to be VIP’s for the day. As Tinie finished his powerful 45 minute showcase, there was a surprise entrance from James Corden who took to the decks and began playing Tinie’s tracks with gusto , although due to ‘technical difficulty’ his rapping went down like a lead balloon and the crowd began booing him. Still I thought Corden’s comedic timing was perfect and certainly had me in stitches even if I was the only one laughing.After a long but fruitful day of drinking, eating and living it up festival style, the night drew to a close; as the sky turned to pink, Kylie, flanked by robots and showgirls, warbled into the night playing classic golden oldies like ‘locomotion’ and ‘can’t get you out of my head’. The pint sized singer may have only been 5ft 1 but her classic pop Madonna esque vocals rang true and clear across House Festivals. Fans threw large confetti balls across the stage, whose cultural resonance left me confounded but nevertheless pleased at the crowds unity and warmth. As we melted into the crowd of festival goers and grabbed last minute food (falafel and chili wrap for me and burger for the girls, fresh punnet of strawberries and lemon drizzle cake) we turned to face the crowd one last time and smiled wistfully. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful day and as I flicked through the new memories on my Samsung S7, I laughed with elation and fell into a blissful state of euphoric remembrance.
Have You Ever Been To A Festival Before?