Buddhafield is one of my favourite festivals as it totally rocks but this year it was a hard-core few weeks for me, a lot of hard work and more drama the an eastenders Xmas special has left me a tad burnt out. Im absolutely fucked tbh and packing down yesterday in the rain didnt help either. The same thing happened at Glastonbury, heatwave all week then boom, just as were packing up it poured down. The rain gods are having a bubble bath.
To get set up for Buddhafiled this year I had to do multiple journeys all over the south of England, I saw more of the M5 than I did the actual festival. Its the 3rd festi inna row that I haven't really left the cafe apart from to go either shopping, to Buddhafield cafe to blag something off Trevor or to go to the toilet. The toilets were nice though, im talking hi tech mobile compost toilets that smelt more like a hamster cage than anything else. It may not seem like much but if your a seasoned festi goer you will remember the days of the chemi toilet, by Sunday morning they would have a mountain of shit protruding from the seat. The brave (and desperate) would hover over the seat half squatting and half in a spider man stance, with their hands pressed on the side and their trousers just above their knees. You would try your very best not to make bodily contact with anything cause one slip and your worst nightmare would come true. At night you had to do all this in the dark whilst holding your breath cause the inside of one of those things come Sunday is as rancid as a Delhi sewer, specially when it was hot like this. Festival toilets certainly have come along way over the years.
I been coming to Buddhafield getting on 20yrs and I still absolutely love it, in that time the festival has changed so much, it has become a vegan festival and dare I say the clientèle have become more middle class over the years but its still brilliant. Even the name of the group who run it has changed, they are now called Triratna but used to be called the FWBO, friends of the western Buddhist order I think it stood for. Triratna is a Buddhist community who own land and do many gatherings, retreats and courses throughout the year. This festival and the retreats they put on stay with people well after the events have finished, they change peoples lives as they introduce so many to a more community based way of life living more gently with the land. The festival is a 100% solar powered and it is also drug and alcohol free, so people here vibe off life rather than illicit substances, people here have a good time without drugs so Its really refreshing to see that, specially in this age of the K generation. I have witnessed some of the Buddhafield youth grow since they were toddlers and have witnessed them turn from kids into some of the most sound adults I have had the pleasure to meet (I blame the parents 👊❤). I have made good friends here over the years and continue to do so every year with both crew members and customers, we meet up here every year and it always feels like coming home, its a really special place. This year we launched our new buisness El chipos over the weekend and it was a great success, the outer regions was also flat out so everyone got paid well and went home happy.
This year I met a couple of young uns from Hong Kong, they were hanging out in the cafe all weekend chatting to Tenzin. Being Tibetan Tenzin was able to relate very well to the struggles the people of Hong Kong currently face, they wish to remain independent but the Chinese government have other ideas. Tibet has been under Chinese rule since the 60's, many thousands of Tibetans, including the Dhali Lama fled across the Himalayas to India to escape persecution and established a community in Dharamasala. Exiled Tibetans across the world dream of visiting their homeland one day, they believe and fight for a free Tibet, A Tibet where people live side by side in peace, they believe this will one day be possible and will never ever loose hope. That is the dream of Tibetans across the world that.
Its hard to imagine having your country 'occupied', Imagine if we all had to flee England and could never return due to fear of persecution even death, cause thats the reality many refugees face across the world every fkn day. Having your culture and traditions destroyed is the stuff broken souls are made of and thia is the reason why many indigenous people around the world end up with drug and alcohol problems.The trauma of the past still resonates in the young and the cycles repeat and keep on repeating. It takes great courage and strength to break that cycle, giving up drink or drugs is no easy task but those that do stand as an inspiration as they show people it is possible to turn your life around for the better. Such people are living proof that no matter what you have been through, you can heal and move forward inna positive direction. I know people who have lost everything but they have recovered and found happiness, I have seen it with my own eyes many times and believe me it is possible. We all need a bit of that, the whole fkn world needs to move forward, forward in the direction of peace and sustainability with no human excluded.
We are very lucky to live here in England, we moan and groan about our shit government but compared to many we have a lot of freedom. The Hong Kong lady I met said to me she has never experienced freedom like this festival before and was telling me back home festivals like we have here do not exist, so we are very lucky. Festivals represent freedom for many, freedom from the 9-5, freedom from suburbia, freedom to dress up and express yourself in any way you like without anyone batting an eye lid. Its a very beautiful site seeing people being their true selves. Festivals provide us with way more than a basic income, they provide us with a way to legally travel and park up for a good portion of the year, they provide us a place to meet up and they provide an outlet for the creative to shine.
Working festivals aint one big party though, its very hard work and when you put all your energy into something you are left with little to no energy left. This happened to all of us this weekend, we put all our energy in and just kept going, we're still going now. Im back on the multiple journey thing again, up n down the M5 like a fkn yo yo taking stuff from Buddhafield to Glastonbury. We dropped the tent yesterday morning and it was set up again by sunset for Re-connection. I drove back to Buddhafield last night and me and Olivia from Bolivia loaded up the last load before heading back up the M5 to Glastonbury. Nathan's going to give us a lift back down this evening to pick up my car then we will be away from the Blackdown hills till mid September when we return for the Green earth awakening, another favourite of mine. Im looking forward to it already as its so beautiful up here amongst the wild trees and forests of Devons Blackdown hills, you can really immerse yourself in nature here so it really is paradise on earth and the people are so lovely and friendly. By the end of today my van will be empty so Im gonna chill for a few days somewhere quiet to recharge. I don't care where, I go where ever the road takes me as long as its not the M fkn 5 again 😂
Big love to the Buddhafield crew, thank you for all that you do and thank you to all our customers for your company and lovely comments, you kept us going all weekend. Last but not least a MASSIVE big up to the regions and chipos crew who all worked so hard over the past week making it all possible X
See you at Re-connectiion.
Freedom for all 🙏