(Excuse the incredibly blurry photo)
I am one of those people that can have fun anywhere. You could honestly put me alone on a desert island alone and I’d probably still get up to some mischief and have some fun. So when my friend asked me to go to Holi Festival for her birthday there was no way on this earth I was going to turn down the opportunity to have a few drinks in Wembley Park and chuck paint all over people.
In the lead up to the event the weather was looking more and more grim but like the true runners we are we decided we were not going to waste our ticket money and were still going to give it a good go. I woke up in the morning to some sunshine which was shocking so I had high hopes for the day. To be honest though my friend was so spectacularly late (4.5 hours – a new world record) we just about managed to get there before it got dark.
Wembley Park is literally just below Wembley Arena. It isn’t a massive area, and I must admit I can see the rain having done us quite a favour because at full capacity I can imagine an area as small as Wembley Park getting quite packed. After we made the wonderful journey of about 356 stops on the Jubilee line we were welcomed to the heavens opening just as we walked to the queue and literally no where to go to the toilet. Now I like to remain positive but when you desperately need the toilet and you are shitting yourself about your eyebrows washing off it is mildly challenging to try and stay positive.
None the less we got there, I purchased a £2 rain mac and got myself two vodka and cokes and my spirits lifted considerably. So I am going to get the negatives out of the way first. For a start, they operate on one of those ridiculous systems where you pointlessly top up a card instead of using cash or you own debit card. This means twice the queuing and while I can see the benefit of this for a weekend festival it is only a day one so this was frustrating and unnecessary. The second issue was that they didn’t sell Gin. I mean, was I really in London if I couldn’t get a G&T?
Anyway with those minor annoyances out of the way I focused on the best thing about the day – the music. I really wasn’t expecting much I actually liked considering I listen to house and techno but it was actually really good. Sure, a few commercial songs were thrown in for the crowds but it mostly was house music so I actually felt like I was at a real festival. Well, a real festival where you get powder painted chucked at you every hour on the hour. I have to say this was by far one of my favourite elements of the day. Every hour after a certain time, you just literally open your bag of paint and duck it over whoever you fancy. I know there is more to it and the original Holi Festival has a lot of religious significance, but I think it is great that they now make it something everyone can join in with. There really is nothing more liberating than standing in a giant car park having paint thrown all over you while you dance to house music.
The organisation of the day was actually pretty good. Obviously I wasn’t a fan of the token system but the rest of the facilities like the toilets, bar and food stalls were well managed and the queues were not as long as they can get (if anyone went to Dance Crusade years ago at Orsett Showground you will remember the four hour queues for the bar).
Tickets are only £20 – £30 depending on when you buy them and it really is worth going if you want to do something different.