REVIEW: WILDFIRE ADVENTURE FESTIVAL

2016

The first festival of the summer (god, us Brits just love sitting in fields) – cue torrential rain, lightening, mud swamps, floods and traffic jams. You leave the house in wellies but the sun puts his hat on and has a little chuckle as he burns red hot at your expense. And feeling the plastic melt into your calves and your winter socks boiling (they were the only thing one could find to pad out the wellie space) you change into your summertime Havianas! YES!!! SUNSHEEEEINE!!!!

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But. Not for long. As soon as you put your summer dancing feet on, the sun grins and just as quickly as he appeared, sadistically decides to do his well practiced disappearing act and jumps behind the darkest cloud in sight (yes, I just decided the sun is of male gender). Drenching your singular summer outfit. Cos seriously. What’s the point in owning shorts if it’s going to rain. Ah yes… good ole British Summer time..

Cue: Camp Wildfire Festival – for ‘only the curious’ apparently. An adult only quaint festival set in the bushy woods of St Clere Estate in Kent. It’s run by Bromley-based Lee Denny who is also the organizer of Lee Fest(I know this cos his Mum kindly gave me a lift to the station as I was leaving prematurely on the Saturday afternoon… Lee your Mum’s lovely!)… 

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The festival bases its concept around a 1950’s style adventure theme, which proved to be pleasing to the eye and wonderfully imaginative. One might have felt as if one had fallen through an Alice in Wonderland inspired hole, straight into an enchanting village… littered with a few drunks.. of course! (But isn’t everywhere these days?) But falling into a rather jolly atmosphere where learning such skills as sword fighting are still on the curriculum. Hmm. Sounds good right? It is thus a shame that one must wait for Adventure Parks such as this to open to learn such skills.

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Above band Montrell impress with new material

Whilst the rain had enforced a chaotic start to the festival and supplies were lacking…  I can only see that this festival has hit a niche in the market that will gain strength as it irons out some of its issues.. (Arran: “dont write about handwash Becki…” …. Me: “But why not? I actually need to wash my hands.. Where can I wash my hands?!” sobs in to handerchief)…

Or maybe that’s just my issue.

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      Man in woods giving a butcher workshop.

I was rather glad that the festival was not as hedonistic as it’s website perhaps hinted at with terms such as ‘Adult Only’ and ‘Only the Curious’ I didn’t really know what to expect. Maybe lots of naked people perhaps. But thankfully, I witnessed nothing untoward.. just a lot of creatively curious individuals learning how to tie die.. or screen print.. or sword fight. Phew. Because after all. You can’t unsee what you see. As far as I know.

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Adventure Film Travel Club meets bushcraft butchering..

The highlight of my weekend, had to be Paddleboarding with the company supkiko.com. This was such an incredibly relaxing and rewarding way to spend an hour… and my first experience of the activity. I will definitely be trying this again. And the good news is with paddleboarding – you don’t even have to get wet!

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The beauty of the Wildfire Festival is the range of activities on hand..

It was sold out this year and attracts a loyal crowd. This is a small and compact festival so getting around the site is easy. So definitely keep an eye out for it next.. and if you should go. Do take supplies! Apparently one guy had taken his bedside table. Ah.

Becki Bx

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All photos owned and taken by Becki Burrows, photo on front owned and taken by Arran Barensché

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