from AndyB : back to nature
Ambiosonic is set in the forest and it could easily be the set of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's a woodland paradise.
Having spent an hour in the car with screaming kids I was overjoyed to see a horse and cart waiting to ferry us from the car park to the campsite.
My son was beside himself with excitement and spent 10 minutes talking to Junior the shirehorse. He was awarded front seat. Nice touch, and duly changed the tip from a handdfull of coins to a note. We were in good hands.
We ambled down a leafy lane and came upon the campsite 1km later.
There was a makeshift bridge to cross the bubbling brook and we hauled our stuff into the field and found a shady patch.
It was the first time I'd taken all 3 kids to a festival and the new tent posed a few problems. A friendly face offered a hand but I was convinced I had to tackle this alone.
The neighbours were friendly and I soon found a pump for the mattress, having left mine back in the car!
When we left the camp and headed up the hill to the festival is was around 3pm and we had to forge a few streams with 1yr old twins and a 3yr old, so I felt like Ray Mears by the time we arrived. The no car policy is obvious once you get inside the festival. It is one serious chill out party.
Ambient music is pumped from various well hidden speakers and you're hit with a sense of well being immediately.
The bar gets round the license issue with a 'pebble system'. You exchange money for stones and then pay for your cup & drinks etc.. with these snazzy, multicoloured pebbles.
This party does not stop. The music is all weekend, as is the food and beverage situation. Sleeping is evidently cheating.
The drinks are all organic, and the wine is from a local vintner to keep transport to a minimum. There are homemade cakes to keep the kids happy.
I tried the organic beer (on tap) and the local rosé, both of which were excellent. At 2€ a pop you can not complain.
There are several different chill out spots, with the Psychedelic Nurses on hand with massage and thai chi if you over egg your omlette.
There are swings and a trampoline for the kids, and facials and macrobiotics for adult well being and general feel good factor.
I only knew 2 of the main acts, Tripswitch and Random Thoughts, but I enjoyed most of the live performances without bothering to find out who they were. It was about living the moment rather than trying to hunt down a CD at a later point, or surf someone's MySpace. Names were unimportant. The vibe was beautiful.
The toilets were non chemical. Everything was recycled. Car sharing was encouraged and practised. Most lights were solar powered. It was a very green festival.
Free spring water was also a nice touch.
On Sunday morning I caught a few people having a dip in the river before heading back up the hill to catch some brunch and a few live acts. Some of the up all nighters were looking a bit frazzled, but it was all peace and love and smiling faces. I could not imagine anyone having a bad come down here.
Everyone was super approachable and friendly. The vibe was that of a big family, coming together to celebrate in fine style. Prices were very reasonable throughout. The food was tasty and the only problem would be wheelchair/pushchair access; very difficult (but we made it).
Hats off to the organisers on their 4th edition of this beautiful, tiny gem of a festival.