After a long fun season of summer partying we chat to Annabel Simpson, founder of website FESTIBEL, for "Your guide to all things FESTIVAL!"
Tell us about your new venture Festibel and how it came about?
Festibel.com is a go to site for all things festival. I looked at the huge amount of festivals popping up everywhere and recognised the power of the festival movement. I did some research on reviews and festival life and realised that there wasn't a hub for likeminded people like myself who wanted to learn about festivals and share their experiences and festival style.
Festivals have changed considerably over the last decade, with fans complaining that they are becoming more corporate and less about the music, what do you think about this?
I think there's a perfect festival out there for everyone, they just need to go and find it. Festibel will help them do that. People are always going to complain about festivals growing and changing but this is inevitable when they gain success. It's a bit like losing interest in a band when it becomes mainstream, there'll be another band round the corner to take its place.
Which festival has stepped outside the norm for you?
I went to a festival called Sail Away at the beginning of the summer. It was a house music festival on a cruise ship. I think that says it all! I had mixed feelings about it and there's a review on the site you can check out.
Do you think the rise of social media has introduced you to festivals around the world you wouldn't have known about otherwise?
Absolutely, it's the reason there's an explosion in festival culture because people can truly get a taste of the festival experience. Instagram is the key medium as it's so visual, the new live video element will enhance that even further. Also with 4G at festivals and the opportunity for permanently charged phones - the live feed means everyone feels part of the movement.
With burning man, money isn't exchanged and festival goers rely on the kindness of each other to swap resources - food, money, clothes etc. Do you think that this is something which could work in the UK?
Although that was the original premise of burning man, it's gradually changing unfortunately mainly because I think it can only really work on a small scale. There is a trend of 'reprivatising' festivals and running small private boutique festivals to regain the intimacy of the original festival, I'm not sure if money will every be taken out of the equation unless it's a private festival which has been paid for already. Watch this space.
What have been your favourite performances of 2016 so far and who are you most looking forward to seeing in the future?
Jamie Jones at The Shangri-La at Glastonbury, The National at Latitude, Eli and Fur at Sail Away - looking forward to Claude Von Stroke and Maya Jane Coles at Holy Ship in January.
Who would you like touring the UK festivals next year?
FLEETWOOD MAC, that would be amazing!
What was your best festival experience?
Sitting up on Pennard Hill as the sun goes down at Glastonbury is unbelievable. You're in a quiet field looking down on the whole festival, the energy is immense and it's so beautiful you have to pinch yourself.
And your worst?
A friend borrowing my wristband at Secret Garden Party for my camping area to go and get something from my bag and then falling asleep in my tent and leaving me alone in the torrential rain. It was traumatic.
Would you say it's more fun backstage or to be in the crowd?
I think a mixture is best. It's great to be able to use the loos and the bar backstage but really you want to be in the crowd fully immersed with the energy and the atmosphere.
Do you think there should have been a polling booth on June 23rd at Glastonbury, considering the amount of voters there? Do you think this is something that should be introduced for next time?
There probably should have been a polling booth yes although one could vote by proxy (where you appoint someone to vote on your behalf). It was a rare referendum, I don't think there will be a similar scenario again.
Fashion is way of expressing oneself, what has been the wildest or most poignant outfit you've seen worn at a festival?
I always wear a EKAT suit. They are skin tight lycra cat suits which come in a load of crazy patterns. They are super comfortable, flattering and make everyone smile. And of course my favourite piece to wear is The Chloe narlaka shirt, the print is fab!
Festival fashion changed the day Kate Moss strutted through glasto in hotpants and hunter wellies, do you think that anyone could top Moss in that defining moment?
I'm not sure, probably not. It was the first time anyone saw anyone looking chic in a pair of wellies and it was such a simple look but also arguably the beginning of the modern festival movement so a lot about timing.
Which item of clothing do you never want to see at a festival again?
And Finally What is your spirit animal?
My spirit animal would be an Ibizan Hound. They are ancient hunting dogs from ibiza and are wild but sensitive and loyal with long legs and piercing eyes. I also have one at home called Pablo who I rescued from Spain.
The beautiful Annabel rocking out The Chloe shirt at Hoxton Radio station, talking festivals with Fletcher Cowan. #HoxtonRadio #Festival #ChatShow #narlakavibes
Follow on instagram @festibelofficial and check out the website here