Despite having been working at festivals for over 6 years now, this year was my first time going to T in the Park festival in Kinross, which this year is the largest festival in the UK with more than 85,000 people attending.
It was a very different experience to many festivals I've been to - it definitely had a much stronger commercial side than, say, Glastonbury (where Greenpeace actually have their own field), but there was definitely a powerful atmosphere among festival-goers and a strong determination to see good music and have fun.
The reason I was there was that I was part of an 8-strong team of Greenpeace local group volunteers from across Scotland with our new marquee, promoting the Save the Arctic campaign and doing face and body painting on anyone who fancied it.
We had a generally successful weekend, with lots of interest from people at the festival in our campaign and what we were doing, although we did field a fair number of questions about why we didn't have penguin stickers on offer alongside the polar bear, arctic fox, owl, narwhal and walrus stickers (see here for an explanation)! We did also have iceberg stickers, although these proved relatively less popular - no one wanted to be an iceberg! Which is probably fair enough, considering how melty they are right now ...
But anyway, in general the campaign was a success! The only downside was that, as we were piloting the new paper-free sign up method of getting people to text in to join the campaign,by the second and third days of the festival a lot of people had run out of telephone battery, so a makeshift paper sheet was used to write up contact details for people who didn't have working phones on them. Sometimes also it was hard to get sign ups when it was raining or very muddy out, but we still did really well on getting people involved and even got a new name for our polar bear, Frosty!
But we didn't just go there to work hard at promoting the Save the Arctic campaign - we also had a lot of fun. Highlights for the team included going to see the Stone Roses and Bellowhead play live music sets, as well as having plenty of good craic within our group in the staff campsite, which sometimes continued very late into the night! We didn't let the ample amounts of mud and occasional flooding get us down, and we hope to go back again next year.
If you're interested in going to festivals with Greenpeace, then get in touch with your local group to volunteer with us wherever you are in the UK!