GFW Clothing had a stall at Lfest for the 3rd running. We asked our blog contributor, Beth, to give her impression of her first ever LFest event, and we've peppered the article with pics of lovely shirt wearing festival goers.
By Beth Kennedy
When I heard that GFW Clothing had a stall at L Fest and it would be in Llandudno, I just knew I had to get tickets. I’m no stranger to North Wales, having worked in Llandudno and Bangor in the past. I always had a soft spot for Llandudno because it’s such a chilled out, pretty place to live. My girlfriend and I now live in Chester, so we were only an hour’s drive away. It would actually be a sin for us to not buy tickets.
So before L Fest 2018 becomes a distant memory, I thought I’d write up an account of our first time at L Fest went...
The talent, oh my gosh, the talent
From the unsigned acoustic stage presented by the awesome Sally McFerran to the big name acts on the main stage, the sheer amount of talent was absolutely inspiring. My personal highlights were the queens of rock ‘JOANovARC’, Gender Spanner (the womb puppet singing Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ was out of this world), the entire stand-up comedy section on Sunday evening, License to Live’s workshop, Lady Gaga / Shania tribute act and the talk from the incredible National Fertility Society (Bekk and I will be using them when the times comes!). It is literally impossible to see everything because we were all so spoiled for choice...although we gave it our best shot!
L Fest is diversity heaven
Yeah, the ‘L’ in L Fest stands for lesbian, but the festival is open to any LGBTQ+ people or allies. I met so many people from so many different backgrounds, sexualities and genders. No matter what your sexuality or gender is, you’re sure to find it represented at L Fest. You’ll meet lesbians, bisexual people, pansexuals, straight people, gay men, transgender people, gender fluid people, non-binary people...and that’s exactly the point...L Fest is a people festival that holds no judgement or opinion on your sexuality and gender.
There’s a strong sense of sisterhood
This one is actually partly inspired by Lisa Luxx’s stunning spoken word poem ‘What Sisterhood Means.’ We were very lucky to have caught Lisa’s performance and it really stuck with me. I even had a go at writing my own spoken word poetry, which I hope to perform next month (eek!)! Anyway, the sisterhood was strong at L Fest. We all had the power to make each other feel heard, feel seen and feel accepted. It was our community coming together and embracing diversity. Even when people were ‘pushing’ through the massive crowds on the Sunday night, they were always polite. Never once did anyone feel entitled enough to rudely barge through. This is a small example of the respect ‘sisterhood’ brought to L Fest - but damn it brought a tear to my eye.
People loved GFW Clothing
Obviously it would seem I’m a little biased saying this, but people genuinely did love GFW Clothing. I saw so many people wearing the funky shirts and the amazing t-shirts...and I felt so proud! Unfortunately, I only had time for a very quick chat with Lisa at the stall as myself and Bekk were trying to see as many different acts as possible to get a real feel for the festival. Next time, I will definitely make more time to visit more stalls. The funny thing is, our camping neighbours visited the GFW stall and ended up having their photo taken for the Facebook page - it wasn’t until I got home and saw the photo that I even knew they had bought some GFW stuff.
There were no fights, no overly drunk people...no trouble
Well...none that I heard of. There was one woman who had an accident while playing football, but in terms of your average drunk person - everyone seemed constantly merry instead of raging drunk. This made it a very welcoming and safe place for everyone.
The Bodafon Farm staff were very accommodating
I was standing at the indoors bar in the cafe area and a woman asked if there was anything vegan on the menu. The lovely Welsh bar woman said, in the best Welsh accent, “Oooo yes, We heard there would be quite a few vegans coming! Our chef has specially prepared a vegan burger.” I know it’s only one choice but the fact even the inside bar anticipated our higher-than-average proportion of veganism, was just so heart-warming. This was truly small-town meets lots of lesbians. It seemed like a scene out of the movie Pride. The farm workers were also going about their daily business, feeding the piggies and indulging us in conversation whenever we fancied.
There are many, many, many dogs
All the dogs were lovely. I could have cried at how cute some of them were. If you have a dog, then you need to bring it to L Fest...it was like some kind of unwritten rule. If you don’t have a dog then borrow one from your friends or family. Both you and the dog will definitely have a nice time. More to the point, all the owners must have been very nice people because I didn’t even see any dog poo anywhere at any point! Sadly, we missed the dog show but I heard it was brilliant (you’re all winners, my furry friends!). Next year I’m definitely going to try and see the dog show. The one downside is that I would have loved to be able to bring my cat but she, like most cats, is an introvert and would probably just wee all over the tent.
Keep away from the llama
I think the llama in the field got a bit fed up of all the people, but I didn’t feel too sorry for it because it could have easily walked away, it had plenty of space. I think I heard rumours that it spat at a few people. Our tent was right next to the llama’s field and it was very well behaved. We were also right next to the geese pond - they were put to bed every night by one of the farmers...so when she released them in the morning for their breakfast they all ran out like old women vying for the two-line prize at Mecca Bingo.
The strangers in the tents next to you will be your family for the weekend
I have a sneaking suspicion Bekk and I were put into the solos section by accident. But even so we made the most of it by trying to matchmake our newfound friends...well we only managed to matchmake one woman on the first night. Making friends with your camping neighbours isn’t the same as making friends with another British person abroad (you know, the kind that won’t leave you alone!). It’s more about being a hub for each other. I’m actually quite shy when it comes to ‘small talk’ but I found my footing very easily - which makes me think this is a festival for introverts, extroverts and ambiverts! Whenever we went back to the tent, we’d have a nice chat with our neighbours then all go off and do our own thing (normally drunkenly bumping into each other in the process). We would then all catch up the next morning and find out the gossip and what acts everyone loved. It gives you a sense of ‘home’ and belonging.
Veggie fish finger sandwiches and handbags do not mix
On the first night we treated ourselves to a veggie fish finger sandwich. It was delicious. Also, drunk me decided she would save the rest for later...so I put it in my handbag. Don’t do this. I woke up the next morning to the sound of Bekk saying “Oh no! Were you sick in the night?!” I thought “Well, no. Because surprisingly I haven’t got a hangover.” I looked to my left and saw that part of the sandwich was next to me on the pillow...oops. I had clearly ripped a piece off from my magic handbag of food and forgotten about it. The other part of the sandwich was still in my handbag. I had to spend the next week washing my coins separately. But please do buy the veggie finger sandwich, it was delicious despite my handbag antics.
There was no time to read
As an avid bookworm, I love to read while I’m camping. But even for me there was simply no time to read so much as a sentence. To be fair, I did read the back of a can of hipster craft ale because the brewers usually write weird stuff on them - and I always appreciate that. This is especially crazy for me, I had so much fun I forgot to read. Whenever we went back to the tent it was either to have a disco nap, get changed or to save a few quid by having a few beers. Expect to be very busy at L Fest!
You might get festival flu
As soon as I came back from L Fest I got some kind of weird flu-that-wasn’t-quite-a-flu thing. I’m not saying L Fest is full of germs (it was actually the cleanest festival I’ve been to!), it’s because I did so much, talked so much, sang, shouted, clapped and danced...I burned myself out! Also, I felt a bit sad that I had to go back to the ‘real’ world where sometimes people shout ‘dyke’ at you in the street. But...I acclimatised back to the ‘real world’ and managed to take all the inspirational thoughts and feelings back home with me. L Fest might have worn me out, but mentally it reaffirmed that there is still so much love, acceptance and positivity out there.
Thank you so much to Cindy Edwards for organising L Fest, as well as all the hard-working L Fest crew and Bodafon Farm staff!
Roll on L Fest 2019!