All over the UK, there have been a series of festivals hotly anticipated by the food-loving community in the know. Those uninitiated (and there are many) only hear hushed whispers of this Michelin-starred chef's new dish or that new wine tasting. I've taken a risk breaking the foodie code of silence to tell you about this festival... Well, not really but it does feel that way!
Billy Bragg is a singer and left-wing activist whose music blends elements of folk music, punk rock and protest songs. At a recent festival in Devon, called Chagstock, I took ten minutes of Billy's time to talk about charity, playing gigs in fields and why young people should get political through music
I enjoy the unexpected nature of shows at the Fringe, as with one walk up the Royal Mile and you could be sold on ten shows you had never even heard of before. The festival is a wonderful chance to take in all types of entertainment, so my advice is to take a chance on the unexpected, you never know what you might discover.
Chronically underfunded, defiantly commercial or both, the inherent fragility of fringe festivals has also become their greatest strength. Everyone mucks in and makes do, building a resilience that defies sound logic. As Britain languishes in the doldrums, Brighton Fringe saw ticket sales grow by more than 30% in one year. And it's surely not alone.
From twerking on the West Holt stage with Major Lazer, to doing my best rave face with Skrillex backstage at Silver Hayes, my first Glastonbury was a pretty epic one. But it was Block 9 that I found offered the most immersive cultural experience thanks to founders Stephen Gallagher and Gideon Berger's musical creation of "complete temporary realities".
There is always that moment when you listen to a band and you can't think for the life of you what their name is.... Ohhh, it's um... Ahh, I know this?!?! Well for these lucky bands, hopefully after this article and after you take a listen, you'll know their names due to the pure talent that they dish out.
Traveling can sometimes be a bit of a lottery. There have been countless occasions when, despite my best attempts at planning, I have 'just missed' the amazing experience that I had travelled halfway around the world for. Conversely, you can occasionally fluke being in the right place, at the right time, and be part of something that you hadn't expected and new nothing about.