Camp Soul Festival

It was the last bank holiday of the year and this one holds a special event for all those people that love the sound of Soul music. This Soul festival runs from the Friday night until Monday, it is held in Milton, Oxford. The festival is held in a medium sized field enclosed by a tree line which makes it seem secluded away from civilization. Once the tent was set-up a relatively small one compared to the ones that everyone else had, we headed off to the main stage area which wasn’t far away at all. There are only two stages at this festival a main open arena stage and also an undercover circus tent on. Within both stages there is pure soul music chiming away out of the speakers. The DJ listing event includes a lot of them ranging from Soul Kandi DJ’s from Manchester to Soul Power Radio station DJ’s and other Soul DJ’s that don’t regularly play on the radio such as Bob Masters and Paul Clarke. The music for both these stages commences at midday until 1 in the morning, the festival was treated on the Saturday night as Light of the World played live for 2 hours. On the Sunday night all the Soul members at the festival were then going crazy as the legendary Lonnie Liston Smith turned up to do a 2 hour set for everyone on this field in Oxfordshire. It was safe to say that everyone there held him in extremely high regards, and it was an extremely great 2 hours considering he came all the way over from USA.

The best parts about this festival is that you can bring as much alcohol in as you want and also can park your car right next to where you pitch so no long queue’s that can be experienced at any main stream festival event. Everyone also but along fantastic gas cookers as well which meant that it was essentially a massive BBQ for everyone that bought one. However there is also food provided through various catering wagons as well. Along with a bar that served the most outrageous beer, cider and ale that I have ever tasted and haven’t even heard of some of them before as well. I could of sworn that some of it was home-brewed but who really cares when after 3 pints to practically knocks you out on your feet and you can’t see where your going.

All in all it was an extremely well run and enjoyable event for all the family, and I would highly recommend the event to anyone that wants to try a Soul event, or who just wants to go to a low key festival or even listen to some alternative music than the mainstream that gets played at every other festival.

Ibiza Soul Week Day 6

Waking up to a new day was a great feeling however that feeling was soon shattered like glass hitting a marble floor when it was our last full day in the super heated rock of Ibiza. So as I rolled out of bed and hit the floor, I quickly got changed and started the short walk to the breakfast table to stuff myself up with a full English and a cuppa tea. After confirming with everyone what time the coach will be leaving tomorrow which was very early in fact at 6.30 am in the morning which meant that I had to get up at around 5.30 am. Just thinking about that time made me feel tired let alone actually getting up for that time. Anyhow I strolled back to the room in order to start packing as I have a pet hate for packing late and being late for things like this, as I’m always afraid that I will miss the coach and flight.

 

I was feeling the holiday blues whilst packing away all of my clothes and items that I bought along with myself as I could feel the holiday slipping away from me. Through I was determined to make the most of the last day we had here, so we headed down to the beach just outside the resort for the day as we were yet to investigate that part yet. Once we arrived at the beach it looked great, the water was a clear tranquil blue colour which was extremely relaxing to sit in front off. There where sun lounges available so I went to grab two and as I put them down where I wanted to sit a local Spanish man appeared out of thin air and was mentioning something about money and where about’s I wanted them moved to. I told him here which he then proceeded to set them up when I had all ready done it myself anyway. Then he demanded 3 euros per sun lounger so I paid as he looked official enough and our new friends said that they had paid him as well.

 

It was great to just sit on the lounge in the sun and just listen to the waves lap up on the shore it was hypnotizing to me and I was drifting off into a deep slumber however I was soon awoken. This interruption was by a friend that was a great story teller as he was telling everyone the same thing. He was a mad Celtic fan and the fact that his flight wasn’t leaving until after the Scottish cup final in which they were playing Motherwell. I’ve never seen anyone so excited as he was about it, the funny thing was that he would walk off to talk to someone else and then come back and repeat himself to use again. This was the very man that two nights on the trot had taken talcen powder out with him and put it down on the dance floor to stop it being sticker so he could slide better on it, and to my amazement it did actually work. There was a bar that was part of the resort down on the beach it was only a small one however it was good in order to get a few beers and drinks though it didn’t stock as much as the ones on sight but that was to be expected. So I had a few beers as I said I wouldn’t get to drunk tonight so I would be up in time for the coach. After a few beers and the time had flown onto just gone 5 o clock we headed back to get changed to have a meal outside of the resort complex.

 

Once we were changed and ready we had gathered some information about a lovely little Italian restaurant just down the road so we were all dressed up for this dinner and we found it just down the road from the resort. We decided to sit outside in the sun and we had a fantastic view of the coast line, looking on the menu we both decided to have a pizza as we both really fancied it. Then a bottle of white wine followed onto our table which was a slightly sparkling white wine that was actually really tasty. By the time the food had come we were starving Marvin the pizza was one of the best stone baked pizza I have ever had. We then polished off the first bottle of wine and so ordered another bottle to the table so much for a light one. The pizza finished by now and the bill was heading our way but before we could leave the Spanish owner was coming out with shots of Amaretto and so we necked them and paid the bill however he then re-appeared again with more so we had them then decided to head back to the pool area for the rest of the night. We were then having a few drinks and partying till around 2 in the morning before deciding to head back to the room. The alarm awoke much quicker than expected its always that way when you don’t want to wake up, but unfortunately our time was up in Ibiza and we were heading for the airport. On arrival at the airport the check in stuff were overwhelmed and it took a long time for them to process all the people but none the less we were through and boarding the plane in order to head back to Gatwick. It was safe to say that the journey was a great one and I will remember it all until I cannot remember anymore.

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Ibiza Soul Week Day 5

Awaking from a deep slumber after last nights antics of to many chasers and the thought of the greasy burger and chips I had from the chippy I was starting to feel a little rough. Well at least I had some great memories to look back on, oh wait I don’t remember a great deal of what I was saying but hey-ho I had a fantastic night. So it was time to roll out of bed and due to the time of waking up it was off for lunch and a massive plate of more chips and some sort of fish in sauce, which I think was a cuttlefish in tomato sauce. After this plate of strange food, by the way why when we go to an all inclusive do we put the most unlikely food all on the same plate since when does fish, beef and chicken with rice, chips and noodles ever go together when you have a meal at home. Well rant over at random food selection whilst on holiday, so back to the soul week, what was planned for today was going to be amazing a boat party, I couldn’t wait as I have never been on one before and didn’t know what to expect.

Well first thing first was to get on the coach on the way to San Antonio which left at around midday and a short trip to the other side of the Island. Once we arrived in the small harbor area that is used for boat party’s we queued up for the boat. The boat was a good modest size we sat up on the top deck where the DJ plays and the ‘dance floor’ is. Well the boat set off and the best news of the day was given free sangria and 80 liters of the Spanish drink were laid on for us. However once we started moving out into the sea it wasn’t as calm as I thought it might be unfortunately this provided a lot of comical entertainment however as when people me included went to get the sangria walking around with a cup full was hard work to stop spilling when the boat is rocking up and down a lot. This resulted in a lot of it ending up either down myself, on the floor or all over other people but it was funny however and everyone saw the comical value of it thank god. Couldn’t imagine spilling a drink down someone in a bar in the UK would not end up in a positive way like it did on this boat party. The views from the boat were amazing as well and we got some good photo’s along with soaking up some sun and it did extremely well to tan me. After a five hour boat trip and 80 liters of sangria having disappeared within that space of time with 50 people on the boat and a few them not drinking due to the fact that they simply didn’t realize that they suffered from seasickness to the amusement of a few others.

Stepping off the boat it was good to be on solid ground never been much of a sea person myself to be honest though I do enjoy myself whilst on it. We had a small 2 minute walk back to the coaches to take us all back to the resort where the dinner table await me once I dumped all my stuff I took with me back off at the room. We start with our friends at dinner who didn’t come on the boat party and so told them our stories from the day and we caught up on there stories apparently it was much easier to get a sit up by the pool today because loads of people went on the boat party instead. After a lengthy dinner it was back to the room to get changed for the rest of the night/evening up by the pool. Once I started walking up to the pool bar to get a drink I started to feel like the ground was still swaying with the boat which was a bit of a problem when walking around as I felt I was still on the sea. I’m not sure what this is called but it certainly didn’t feel good however I decided to power through the evening and keep drinking thinking that if I couldn’t walk in a straight line now then the alcohol might cancel it out for when you normal can’t walk straight. However this idea didn’t really work at all. I ended up getting quite drunk again through the normal process of Gin and Sprite, I was starting to feel slightly better and a bit of a dance and a shuffle on the old floor was starting to make me enjoy myself a lot. However I was going to have to go to bed early doors around 2 due to the lack of energy having it sapped out of me whilst on the boat and in the sun all day so it was off to bed for the 5th time this week.

Ibiza Soul Week Day 4

Having woken up after a fantastic night out watching the sunset at Cafe Del Mar and Cafe Mambo’s it was time to have a quick shower to wake myself up as we had missed breakfast and woke up just before lunch time. So after a shower it was time to put some swim trunks on and grab a towel to head off to the pool to find a spot at the pool. We found a small spot among our new friends and then headed off with them to the food court to get some bog standard all inclusive food. By now a plate of chips and some chicken was all that I was eating with the odd bit of salad on the side, with a couple of fizzy pops on the side to wash it down. Full to the brim on food we headed up to the pool to start the days drinking and absorb more sunshine. 

The day was hot and so the Gin and Sprite was flowing down the hatch and a few of them at a rate of knots. However with the drink in me and the weather roasting chicken temperature for a Sunday roast it was time to try and get in the pool. However this wasn’t as good an idea as it first seemed for when I got to dip my toe into the water it was freezing cold. I have no idea how anybody could find that nice and relaxing as for me the water has to be slightly warmer for my liking. As I decided to cower away from the pool edge and back to everyone else I ended up getting some stick from the girlfriend and a few other people. So determined to prove to everyone that I was going to go into the pool and not lose my pride I decided to venture back to the pool and attempt it again. Having seen some people jump into the pool I decided to do the same so I just about managed to gain some courage up in order to perform this feat. So the time was now as I jumped into the pool I thought to myself what am I doing its going to be freezing as I entered the pool I could feel the cold water icing my skin over and then I plunged under and up again and not wanting to hang around in the pool much longer I pulled myself straight back out of the pool and over to the towel to get swim again in the sun again. 

Having warmed myself back up to a hot temperature It was time for dinner and then to get ready for the night out, dinner was relatively uneventful. So it was time to shower again and get changed for the night out again. Putting on some of the sharpest clothes that I bought it was time to hit the bar. With soul music blasting out and more alcohol moving into my mouth  and then onto the blood stream I was feeling like I had a few jars. So as we moved into the inside club with all my new friends the shots then started coming out such as whiskey, jaga and rum was really starting to effect me now. The dance moves were starting to come out thinking back to it I was more than likely dancing horrifically rather than as good as I thought I was. But everyone seemed to be loving that fact that I was dancing away into the night, until it was time to head back at 3 in the morning and feeling extremely over the limit it was off to sleep again within a matter of seconds of laying on the bed.  

Ibiza Soul Week Day 3

Having had to face the disappointment of my girlfriend falling asleep and meaning that we didn’t make it out the night before it was time for breakfast. This is where we had to explain to everyone why they didn’t see us last night over a cup of coffee and plenty of bacon, sausage and egg. However having spoken to most people we found out that a high percentage of people had also falling asleep and either failed to make it out or went out at around 1 o’clock in the morning. So it wasn’t that embarrassing as what we first thought thank goodness.

After polishing off a few plates and a lot of coffee it was time to go back to the room and get changed into some swim trunks in order to go up to the pool and start tanning again. Once we arrived up at the pool we managed to get a seat with are new friends that we had made. So the towels were dumped down and this time no early drinking so that we would actually make it out tonight so coca cola was on the cards for the moment. Especially with what was planned for the evening/night a trip to Cafe Del Mar and Cafe Mambo’s which I couldn’t wait for as I have heard so much about them but never ventured to Ibiza before. The music had started now, so it was time for the first Gin and Sprite for the day to set myself in good stead for tonight but taking it slow.

The day passed relatively drama free and we just had a few casual drinks and lay in the sun to keep topping up the tan. It was time to get ready for Mambo’s and Del Mar so we went back to get changed and showered. Kitted out for the evening ahead we headed onto the coach which left for San Antonio the journey was only around 30 minutes. Once we arrived we headed down to Cafe Del Mar and sat down on the decking with a table and looked at the menu which was safe to say the most expensive menu I have ever looked at so we decided to drink the cheapest drink on the menu a Strongbow worth 5 euro’s. So we only had a couple whilst we were waiting for the sun to set which was amazing the view was stunning. After the sun had set we moved onto Cafe Mambo’s and had meal whilst sat right on the sea front the food was really good to be fair and it was great to have a DJ playing live House music as well. It was now 12 o’clock and it was time to catch the coach back to the resort and off out for the rest of the night in the nightclub on the resort which we stayed out into until around 2 then decided to catch up on some sleep.

Ibiza Soul Week Day 2

Well after a decent night out last night I awoke at 8.30 in the morning, clearly still in work mode not holiday mood, I’m sure we all make this mistake whilst on holiday. However we decided to stumble up to the canteen for breakfast which had a mixture of continental meats, cereal and of course a full English breakfast. Lets just say that the chef wasn’t expecting a lot of hungry Brits with alcohol in their belly and they just had one chef on duty and he was working like a Trojan.

With food in the belly it was time to go back to the room shower and then hit the pool for a day of sun bathing. As we arrived to get a lounge and the side of the pool we had that moment that every holiday maker has at an all inclusive no room at the Inn. Every single lounge had a person or towel down on it, and rather than have an inbetweeners moment on it we decided to set up camp on the open floor with the towels down to lay on. We then preceded to the bar to get a few drinks, having decided to drink Gin and Sprite as of yesterday due to the Ice cubes in it for coolness we then waited for the music to commence.

Bang on 12 o’clock the Soul music started and we chatting away to the new friends that we had made the night before and drinking plenty of alcohol. With our burnt bodies burning away even more than normal due to the heat and burns from yesterday it was time to put the top back on to stop myself having problems further on in my life. Then one of the key moments for my girlfriend her dad was about to DJ and for the first time we were able to here his mix. Whoa it was a good mix and my girlfriend decided not to stop dancing and we carried on drinking which was soon to be a big downfall.

It was a massive downfall as when she came over to me and said she was a bit drunk was a massive understatement as when we went to get dinner. Lets just say it was a little bit embarrassing when I was trying to talk to her and she was shouting nonsense at me that I really couldn’t understand and food was flying everywhere. So we decided to go back to the room were she then fell asleep and didn’t wake up till two in the morning by which time I had also falling asleep as well. She was not happy when she awoke then but we decided to go back to sleep anyhow.