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Slow Motion at Camp Bestival – My festival experience
What a weekend!! I had always wanted to massage at a festival and I think I picked the best to be my first one.
Led by the amazing Lydia Spry the therapists were so well looked after. A few of us brought our massage couches to use but other than that the only thing we had to bring was our skills and enthusiasm.
Jenny and I left from Bristol on Wednesday for the journey down, it was a first for both of us and feeling excited but slightly anxious we set off on our journey.
Once there we were guided to get our wristbands – having them on our wrists was going to prove difficult while we massaged so they became ankle bands. This was a giggle when we had to show them as I had boots and trousers on due to the rain and mud so balance was needed.
After pitching our tents with a few other therapists in crew camping we decided to venture into the main area. The walk took about 20 minutes along a beautiful woodland path all lit by lights in the trees
Everything was still under construction in the main area and it was late and getting dark so we didn’t get to see much, we soon ended up back at our tents ready for a good nights sleep.
The following morning we found our way to the Slow Motion area to meet Lydia with the other therapists, ready to meet each other and get our instructions.
We arrived to find the massage tents were already set up and couches had been collected from our cars and taken to the area so no one had to carry them. Being issued with two tops each with Slow Motion printed on the back made us all look part of the awesome Slow Motion team!
Sheltering in the yoga tent we all gathered and introduced ourselves. So many different therapists – Holistic, Sports and Remedial, Shiatsu, Thai, Ayurvedic, Reflexology, Reiki and Chair! I wanted to try them all.
Festival goers were spoilt for choice!
Lydia was mega organised and gave us a list of when we needed to be available and which tent we would be in – I shared a tent with four other sports and remedial therapist in tents 7 and 8.
Each room was provided with oils, couch roll, pillows, towels, sheets and extra blankets so all that had to be done was put the couch up and we were good to go. We were so well looked after.
The Slow Motion area opened at 2pm on Thursday as this was the first day public arrived. The remainder of the festival it was open 9am till 7pm and every therapist was given the availability of 5 hours a day. It was so well organised that clients could pre book online before arriving and so two thirds of the possible spaces had already gone before we opened.
Unfortunately one of the sports and remedial therapists could no longer attend and although a replacement had been found for Saturday and Sunday, we were short for Friday. This meant we had 7 clients each! – I was a little concerned as I’d never had 7 massages in one day, but Lydia had arranged the day with plenty of breaks so I felt positive it would be ok.
A group of volunteers ran a reception area, they were so supportive of the therapists and having a reception meant no one had to deal with any bookings or taking money. No worries about handling cash or keeping it safe over the weekend!
Once the festival was finished all therapist were told to send an invoice for the massages that had been done and the money would get transferred to our banks!
I having trying my hardest to see pros and cons of this festival experience to give you a true feeling but this has been hard.
Maybe the rain – our matting got a bit wet in one area in the tent that caused me to have wet socks! Not really a great hardship. It just meant I worked bare foot. Also something that was out of our control – weather wasn’t great and although the festival was muddy I had boots so I stayed dry and warm. Being surrounded by positive like minded people certainly helped so the rain didn’t dampen our spirits.
Spiders – a few decided to drop down from the roof of the tent and onto the back of a few clients – only tiny spiders that were easily to rescued and placed outside.
Acts – I got to see everyone I wanted to see but I guess if you wanted to see a particular act that was on before 7 there would be a chance you would miss them but there was also the possibility to swap with a similar therapist if that was the case.
Family – Working meant not seeing my husband and kids in the day but they had plenty to entertain themselves with so I’m pretty sure they didn’t miss me too much. We spent the evenings and breaks together so it wasn’t really a problem.
People – Being so well looked after by Lydia and volunteers, lovely clients who all were really happy with their treatments, being surrounded by fantastic therapists and meeting some lovely new friends and also spreading some BusyHive love to everyone.
Shower – Yes I had a shower! I exchanged a massage for a hot shower from the guys running the solar run showers in the same area as us.This also included use of soaps and shampoo and a warm towel. Luxury at a festival and after all the rain it was amazing!
Environment – Working outside with music in the background was a great way to stay motivated and energised.
Acts – The slow motion area closed at 7 so we didn’t miss much of the festival – all the bigger bands were on in the evening so this brought a great balance of work and fun!
The whole weekend flew by and I felt sad when Monday came and everyone was leaving. Due to all the rain the car park was really muddy and Sunday leavers had to be dragged out by tractor, some waiting up to four hours! It was a bit sad that I didn’t get to see everyone to say goodbye properly before they left but feeling hopeful our paths will cross again.
By Monday when Jenny and I returned to the car we were lucky that a slight push was enough to let us escape the muddy car park.
An impromptu visit to the sea on the way home proved a perfect end to the weekend – we had a paddle and then as the weather was so nice and the sea so inviting we had to jump in. Best festival bath ever!
So began our journey home, slightly damp from the swim and without underwear (clever me gave all my clothes to my husband to take home in his car to give us more space and so jumping in sea meant going home commando) another new experience. Luckily i had a dry top and trousers for the journey.
As I sit with my laptop reflecting on the festival and can’t stop smiling – I have been to the festival as a member of the public on may occasions but going as a therapist was a different experience it was fantastic and very rewarding.
One thing most therapist mentioned was how refreshed they felt – normally at home if you saw 7 clients in one day you would feel tired and maybe drained but on Friday I had treated that many, but I felt great and still had the energy to go into the festival dance to Mark Ronson when he was on the main stage!
Was it the festival vibe and being surrounded by so much love and support? or was it working outside in nature? or was it simply the fact that there was no washing to think about – it was all taken away and brought back clean? Maybe it was a mixture of everything but I cant wait to go back next year!
I have signed up to work Bestival as a chair therapist and wander around the festival looking for clients – I think this will see yet another angle of the festival work and cant wait to let you know how it goes.
This time I’m asking you for help! Has anyone done chair massage at a festival and have and tips for me??
Get in touch and let me know. Sinead@busyhive.co.uk