My Summer – Somersault Festival

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What did I do this summer?

Seems a little like the 13 weeks between my last exam and writing this article has gone in a blur, and for once, that’s not because of a mass consumption of alcohol.

It’s been a great summer, but picking one thing to write about is difficult…But obviously not impossible.

One event (OK there were more than that but I’m only allowed to pick one) that encapsulates these past three or so months for me was a small festival in my local county called Somersault.

In its first ever year, Jack Johnson performed his only festival set in the UK, whilst Ben Howard also headlined.

But the incredible line-up (which also included many up and coming stars such as Dan Croll, Nick Mulvey, Josh Record and Rae Morris to name a few) wasn’t the only selling point – the atmosphere of Somersault was the perfect mix of the typical festival good vibes, but lacked many of the knuckleheads that accompany many other festivals.

Indeed, Global Gathering, another festival that I went to this summer, was intense and crazy and adrenaline filled but always had a tinge of drug-filled danger that was sometimes overwhelming.

In comparison the four days at Somersault were filled with wacky lawn games provided by ‘Bearded Kitten’, a set of eccentric entertainers who held the Somersault Super Sports day, as well as reading, exploring, swimming in the river that ran through the festival site, and other laid back activities.

These were then followed by the amazingly chilled li-e up playing in the evenings, with Jack Johnson opening his set in the late evening summer haze on the Saturday.

Even after this, the fun was not over, and you would be wrong to expect the nights to reflect the relaxing day times; Jazz tents, electro-swing ‘cafes’ and jungle/grime areas were all available, and the Friday night that I spent dancing until the early hours in Chai Wallahs to Big Swing Soundsystem is one of my favourite memories.

If there is one anecdote that I would choose to sum up Somersault it would be the image of a lady seven months heavy with child with flowers in her hair and painted suns, moons and planets on her (rather large) pregnant belly singing in the sunlight to Keep Your Head Up.

It might not be the crazed hedonistic paradise reputation that many festivals in Britain are known for, but those five days I spent in that secluded valley were some of the best of my life.

Adam Crowther