Over the past decade Jersey has cemented its status as the festival destination du jour. Rolling hills, coastal sunsets and green fields (minus the cows), were made for muddied music lovers and festival floral crowns. With Jersey Live into its 12th year and Reasons, Groove de Lecq and Folklore slowly picking up pace it would appear that Jersey offers a festival catered for everyone. Having always thought I had missed the festival bus, maybe it's time I changed my attitude and popped my festival cherry? Groove de Lecq, a self-proclaimed micro-festival, seemed like the perfect event to slip my feet into something a little unfamiliar...
I do enjoy festival season. Seeing what crazy new trend Cara and her crew were going to strut at Glastonbury (sorry Ms Delevingne but the high-vis workman’s jackets were just bonkers), alongside us mere mortals and flicking through the fashion and gossip pages the morning after from the comfort of my warm home. I’m not a fan of five days without showers and quite frankly the thought of leaving my hair straighteners behind for just a weekend leaves me feeling a little twitchy so perhaps festivals were just not my bag? I had always thought I was too old for all that jazz, especially when I’m not particularly interested in jazz, electronica, hard rock or drum 'n bass!
Groove de Lecq was recommended to me as the perfect festival taster because of its reputation of being a family affair. It meant we could take our son down for the afternoon before bundling him off to the grandparents for some adult fun! And it certainly lived up to this reputation. The playground kept an abundance of kids amused, whilst my son was astounded by the stilt walkers blowing huge bubbles for him to chase and pop. We queued endlessly for some stella face painting, being drawn on kiddies and adults alike, which was totally worth the wait at bargain prices. It was very much an event where everyone could release their inner child, with paint bombs being throw at crowds and glitter tattoos adorning a lot of exposed flesh.
For my first festival experience, the fashion was explosive. Despite an overriding theme of flowers, glitter and electric colour, there were no rules on style and I clocked girls in high heels, jumpsuits, lycra and wigs. Polka dots to plumes, it was a chance for everyone’s imagination to run wild in a space where all embraced the vibe of “we just don't care!”
The setting for Groove de Lecq was superb. Nestled against the lip of the woods in the valley, the festival sprawled out amongst the grounds of the Moulin de Lecq pub. It very much felt like a celebration of the space as much as the music, the grounds having been landscaped for the event in harmony with its surroundings - you would almost expect woodland elves and tree fairies to have popped up! Dream catchers hung from branches which you crept through to discover pockets of music streaming out from the trees.
Perhaps what I loved most about Groove de Lecq was that it was small enough that me and my husband could rock up there and know that we’d see loads of Jersey friends to catch up with. To my relief, it didn’t feel like a young person’s festival and I was comforted being surrounded by my peers and groups of families who partied together late into the night. We drifted round the setting without any real aim, happy to wander and take it all in but once the sun set and the children were safely in bed, it was hard to resist tearing up the sand-covered dance floor as the DJ got the crowds pumped. Finger torch lights from IQ were a nice touch, providing a great starlight atmosphere and making an excellent party bag piece to take home to my son.
I didn't feel the need to be blind drunk to participate in this festival experience and reflected the following morning on what had been a marvellous and uplifting day with a clear head. So much more than a music festival, Groove de Lecq promises to be a celebration of music, art and community which really came across in its excellent organisation and execution. If there really is one festival to suit each person, maybe I’ve found my match in Groove de Lecq.