By Brett Lampitt. Original Source: Telegraph 2015
Festivals are the new national obsession, if the trend-conscious pundits are to be believed. No longer the preserve of music-fixated youth, their increasingly eclectic and niche offerings now attract devotees of all backgrounds and ages. You can check out the festivals and outdoor entertainment on offer around the country at Freedom to Go.
But if you want to enjoy the festival experience without the camping aspect and all its potential hazards – waking up cold and wet after a deluge, for example, or being kept awake all night by drunken bongoists – there’s only one answer: a motorhome.
How would the festival lifestyle be enhanced if you didn't have to worry about putting up your tent in a storm then spending the rest of the weekend trying to dry out? How would it feel if you didn't have to fret about charging your phone, or how you'll smell after skipping several showers?
For me, there was only one way to find out. So I found myself being shown over a state-of-the-art motorhome, clutching tickets not only to the Love Supreme jazz festival on the Sussex Downs but also to its highly cultured neighbour, Glyndebourne, for an opera premiere.
An ambitious double. What a weekend lay ahead.
My new home, courtesy of LandCruise Motorhome Hire near Chichester, was a Swift Esprit 484, and what a magnificent beast it turned out to be.
Any lingering doubts inspired by a less-than-successful childhood camper-van holiday were quickly dispelled as I took in its Tardis-like interior, its fresh towels and bed linen, its scrupulously clean loo and shower, its proper oven, grill, hob and fridge. There was even a satellite TV.
Fully briefed on everything from hooking up the mains to emptying the drains, I hit the road with my partner, a reliable second opinion. The vehicle was simple to handle and felt remarkably light, and it was easy to relax and enjoy the drive.
Once we arrived on site it was a treat not to have to pitch a tent and worry about what we could leave behind before diving into the fray. We simply parked our luxury accommodation and strolled into action.
The sun shone on Love Supreme as we took in a mix of big-name blasts from the past as well as undiscovered gems. Yet, supreme as its loveliness was, I was here to make full use of my home on wheels.
The times of roughing it are over. From now on, festivals will not only be musical excursions; they will be luxury breaks as well
So I divided my time between the music and our exclusive retreat – we had the full outdoor dining set to use and some chilled wine to consume – and when the night drew in, there was nothing more delicious than to draw the curtains and climb into a comfortable, roomy bed for a good night’s sleep.
When you wake up in a tent to the sound of persistent rain, your heart sinks;when you peep through the curtains of a motorhome to find it’s raining, it’s a perfect excuse to make coffee and bacon sandwiches, turn on the radio and wait it out in comfort and style.
Happily, it wasn’t long before the clouds blew away and the warm sunshine returned – but we had to get ready for Glyndebourne.
There is no way we could have showered and dressed up in our finery without our four-wheeled friend – and no one wants to go to the opera looking like they’ve slept in a field.
So we had the motorhome to thank for allowing us to arrive in style, relaxed and ready to make the most of a picnic in the sunshine and an unforgettable performance.
I have been going to festivals for more than 30 years and I have no intention of giving up. But the times of roughing it are over. From now on, they will not only be musical excursions; they will be luxury breaks as well. I can’t wait to get back on the road.