Sam Smith has sold over 1.4 million copies of his debut album in the UK. He has sold over 4.4 million singles in the US. He is a pop sensation. Bestival 2014 was nearly seven months ago and last month sometime at about 6 o’clock in the morning as the sun came up, after all my friends had disappeared and the depression started to kick in, I laid in my bed reliving my entire life (as you do) and I suddenly remembered, I definitely fucking met Sam Smith at Bestival.
Bestival takes endurance, motivation, allegiance and a little bit of Zen to get to, because seemingly it is too middle-of-the-road to hold a festival on the mainland. From my home town of Torbay to the Isle of Wight it takes about five hours driving, an hour and half sailing and the rest of your life lingering. Now just to keep things chronological and relevant I still believe (friends, fiends and my Bestival family may disagree) that this is the part that caused me to forget meeting big Sam. I arrived at the best festival at four o’clock in the morning disinclined to begin the festivities. I want to head up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire. I needed kip.
20 hours into an intense day of ‘planes, trains and automobiles’ had left me lethargic should we say. But rather than a standard procedure of curling up, crying a little, few tokes on a spliff and then a siesta in my mates little sisters Ford KA, we decided to try and enter the festival. This then left us creeping at the entrance with two northern security guards (whose jokes were about as textbook as their views on immigration) for about an hour. We had to wait for my press bands to be delivered by a portly fella on a golf buggy , the opulence and lavishness of my lifestyle defined.
Once in the festival we made for some friends of ours who had set up the moist, putrid and charming campsite where we would halt for the next three days. It turned out to be a 35 mile stroll, but it’s alright we both did some ten tours training like five years ago. Once there, I genuinely believed that snoozes and cuddles would be on the cards, it turned out to be Stella and NOS instead. And that was me for the next 30 hours or so.
Now this is the section of my vacation to the Isle of Wight, which by the way is famous for being one of the first places in Europe where wheat was ever grown, I know, I couldn’t believe it either, which I seemed to blank out or maybe suppress. The majority of the Saturday of Bestival I stumbled around the arena with pitiful abandon, someone else’s Supreme hat decorated with marijuana leaves on, and an unlit roll up. Then I guess I must have reasoned that going to the press area was a good idea, maybe to locate it, maybe to charge my phone but most likely just sit down for a bit.
That’s when I saw him. The big pale pop miracle. In the middle of the press zone was a sofa with more cushions than sense, a rainbow of what looked like festival related stains. He was swarmed by interviewees, camera’s, gurn’s and I’m guessing security. I turned into a fan boy who must have looked dead behind the eyes. I mingled (tried to not fall over) and watched him chat about festival vibes, 2014 being his biggest year and probably some stuff relating to music. I still can’t remember much about this bit, but at one point I thought it was a clean looking Boy George.
Anyway, as he was leaving to prepare for his set, which of course he smashed (I think), I managed to fall into the crowd of people and get a hand shake! I know, honestly how could of I forgotten this. The most impressive bit for me was then a formulating linguistic concept called ‘English’ and burped “WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BESTIVAL?” He replied “I love the vibes.”
There we go, if you honestly don’t believe that you could meet one of the most famous pop stars and forget it, then go to Bestival, get absolutely fucked and stumble across one.