Greenbelt 2010 has been and gone as if it hasn’t even happened.
It was a strange year – far more low-key both emotionally and line-up wise than any gone previous. Having grown up year-on-year almost going to the festival, it’s been interesting (and often unsettling) to see the changes both in us and how we interact with everything and everyone else.
A few years ago it was really obvious how we were the only ones in our age bracket kicking about, but that doesn’t seem as big a deal anymore.
Instead, we now have a whole pile of people that camp close by and that we meet up with. Whilst it’s awesome to have had such a community build over time, for some reason it’s shaken the core few of us that always meet and have done for such a long time.
As I’ve gotten closer to more people and gotten further involved with the different things that run the festival, it’s been harder to actually interact with the festival in the same way. Finding the time to see different groups and hang out properly has gotten more and more difficult. Instead of a ground-shaking, soul-poking experience, it’s become (to some extent) more of a pilgrimage that has to be undertaken. I can’t imagine not going.
Whilst Greenbelt itself is a brilliant weekend with some inspiring people, I’ve realised that it’s not actually the festival itself that is the be-all-and-end-all. The spirit of the thing arises through those that gather, and even if the festival was to stop tomorrow, the mere fact that such a space can exist is what is the most important of all.