People come to Greenbelt for many, many reasons. For some it’s a chance to encounter soulful artistry, whether it’s music or theatre, comedy or conversation, from all over the world.
For others it’s finding out how they can get stuck in trying to make a difference for causes they care passionately about. While some enjoy reconnecting with their faith, in the company of old friends. For plenty of us, Greenbelt is all of those things and more over the course of the weekend.
Sometimes of course, you simply want to be silly. A bit daft. Shake off the stresses of daily life and remember what it’s like simply to be carefree (at least for a bit), whilst standing in a beautiful field in the middle of nowhere.
Here are seven ways to come to Greenbelt this summer and embrace your inner silly.
1. The kids are alright
Let’s start with the obvious. If true silliness lives anywhere in the grounds of Boughton House in late August, it lives in the smorgasbord of sensational stuff we lay on for our children and families.
From magic shows to clay modelling, and theatrical walkabout performers to skate ramps and late-night games on the lawn, you’ll find all the glorious daftness you could ever want over the bank holiday weekend.
2. Get your glitter on
Get your sparkles sorted and your gladrags on, then come out and strut your stuff at the Glitter Ball on Saturday night at The Hot House.
Our friends at OUT@Greenbelt are DJ-ing and we can heartily recommend the therapeutic benefits of wrapping yourself in fairy lights, or whacking on some face glitter and your favourite sequinned gown + wellie combo, and belting out ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme A Man After Midnight’ on the dancefloor.
3. The sound of music
OK Chorale is a relatively recent, already much-loved, tradition. It’s our mass sing-a-long that brings down the curtain of the festival on the final night, and there’s nothing more gleefully, joyfully silly than late-night renditions of Jolene (and plenty more) under the keen, kind eye of band leader Chris Read.
4. Bring your own inflatables
Perhaps you’ve been inspired by the sight of all the flags at Glastonbury, but should you wish to bring your own inflatable giraffe to wave about in the crowd, you would be welcomed with open arms. We don’t stand on ceremony, so feel free to bring all the festival paraphernalia you can carry. As long as it’s not single-use, of course. An inflatable giraffe is for life, not just for Greenbelt. (Seriously.)
5. A religious experience
Prepare for at least one religious experience this year at the festival, with the Revered Michael Alabama Jackson, Sister Mary Lou, Morgan the Organ and many more of the cast of Oh My God! It’s the Church. Silliness is guaranteed with this lot, along with a slice of satire and a healthy dollop of (underneath it all) heaven-sent sincerity.
6. Learn a (silly) instrument
Ever wanted to learn to play the spoons? We’ll have a workshop where you can learn how to make sweet, utensil-based music. Come along and you’ll be belting out bangers on your knees in no time.
7. Silence is golden
Silent discos are one of the silliest ways to have a good time. To put the headphones on is to plunge into an immersive nightclub inside your head, where you can choose from different DJs at the flick of a switch.
Take the headphones off though… and be slightly freaked out by the silence of the room, broken only by the sound of shuffling footsteps and the odd, usually appalling, attempts by your fellow dancers to sing along whilst completely oblivious to the noise they’re making. Sounds silly right? It is. It’s also brilliant fun, and you’ll be able to experience it for yourself at the festival if you join The Fandangoe Kid and The Loss Project on their ‘Grief Moves tour’ for one of their daily festival Grief Raves – a mini-disco that’s good for your head and your heart.