Trust Me: Never Having Children Doesn’t Mean You’re Going To Be Lonely

Published in Vogue on August 6, 2023

Last summer, I was at a festival with about 25 friends. We all camp together, something of an annual tradition, our numbers swelling year on year. Some of these people are among my oldest, closest friends; some are very new ones, whom I might see only once or twice a year; and some have gone from being the latter to the former. Looking around one morning when we blearily, cheerfully gathered for a communal breakfast, I was struck by a realisation: in this large group of people, everyone was child-free.

Continue reading “Trust Me: Never Having Children Doesn’t Mean You’re Going To Be Lonely”

Talking pub politics with Charlotte Church

Published in Refinery29 on October 17, 2016

No-one would have predicted that the biggest hit at po-faced super-muso festival All Tomorrow’s Parties earlier this year would have been former “voice of an angel” Charlotte Church doing pop covers in a spangly leotard. But this is her latest project – her Late Night Pop Dungeon – and the Welsh singer absolutely smashed it: the crowd went wild for her band covering everything from En Vogue to Joy Division to Nine Inch Nails. Continue reading “Talking pub politics with Charlotte Church”

Review: Latitude Festival

Published in What's on Stage on July 18, 2016

To Latitude Festival, where theatre can be found everywhere, from full-scale auditorium to crowded fields, from wooded glades to wooden sheds. Encounters range from the touchingly intimate to the sweatily communal, as befits a festival. Continue reading “Review: Latitude Festival”

On the rise and rise of the city day festival

Published in The Independent on June 29, 2016

You might be forgiven for thinking the UK had hit peak festival: every weekend from May to September offers a chance to lose yourself in a field. All summer long, train carriages are stuffed with damp tents, and newspapers stuffed pictures of girls in wellies. Continue reading “On the rise and rise of the city day festival”

My life in festivals: Super Noodles, Super Furry Animals and supervisory parents

Published in The Independent on Sunday on May 17, 2015

The childhood years

Age 8 to 13 / 1994 to 1999

My childhood festival-going all took place at Womad. My parents may have gone to Isle of Wight in 1969 without so much as a tent to sleep under – but they didn’t want to go feral with me and my brother. When a friend told them that Womad was safe and lovely and had craft workshops for kids, they were sold. We decamped in style, taking a giant frame tent, a batik awning and half a sofa. Continue reading “My life in festivals: Super Noodles, Super Furry Animals and supervisory parents”