Last weekend, I went to the Strummer of Love festival in the Blackdown hills near Taunton in Somerset. The festival, which was commemorating the death of Clash front man Joe Strummer, was a weekend packed with great music, crafting opportunities and, surprisingly for the UK, plenty of sunshine.
Apart from some of the fantastic artists performing such as the Pogues, Seasick Steve, KT Tunstall and Frank Turner I was attracted to the festival because of its relatively small size (5,000 people), beautiful surroundings and its strong focus on creativity and crafting.
The ‘Handmade Hangout’, which was hosted by Jazz Domino Holly, Joe’s daughter, was an area of the festival devoted to making your own festival accessories. Throughout the weekend the colourful tent, decorated with dream catchers and vibrant wall hangings, was home to range of craft workshops, attracting a wide range of participants, both young and old.
Crafting sessions included making flower garland crowns, friendship bracelets and feathered headbands. All the materials were provided and there was a great atmosphere as everyone sat around the craft table chatting, sewing, sticking and braiding.
This friendly, laid back, sustainable atmosphere was the general vibe for the whole festival. A variety of organic, vegetarian and locally produced food stalls filled the fields, as well as vintage clothing stalls, a henna tattoo station, hammocks and a healing circle complete with Enlightenment tent hosting daily yoga sessions.
One of the most popular areas of the festival was the Campfire stage; a small stage showcasing new and emerging artists next to a massive campfire surrounded by old sofas and arm chairs to relax in. Joe Strummer’s campfire at Glastonbury was an annual get-together, known as Strummerville and the stage at Strummer of Love was designed to replicate the vibe and purpose of the Glastonbury campfire.
The festival was the perfect way to commemorate Joe Strummer and his legacy and was the perfect combination of good music, crafting and relaxation.
If you’re going to any festivals this summer, why not make your own accessories? They’re easy and fun to make and mean you can add an individual touch to make them personal to you and the festival you are attending.