A new wellbeing area, some great food and the friendliest of vibes makes this a must-go for groups new to festival hospitality
Words: Damien Gabet
Photos: Gobinder Jhitta, Giles Smith, Justine Trickett
To think that this small but elegantly formed festival was once a barbecue for friends isn’t actually that tough a notion to get your head around. There’s an inclusive, friendly atmosphere here that pervades all elements of the experience – from the security guards at the gate to DJ Thundermuscle (AKA former snooker champ Steve Davis) on the decks.
This is an event we’ve not been to in a while, which is silly considering its credentials: There are a variety of boutique camping options; it punches above its weight with the acts it pulls in; and it knows how to treat discerning festival goers who are as keen to eat as they are to listen.
These were my findings when I stopped to contemplate how well the weekend had gone from the comfort of a Soak LDN (link to Soak LDN) wood-fired hot tub on Sunday evening. The spa area itself was part of the larger (and brand new) Boots Summer Sensorium, demarcated with a fetching white-picket fence. Besides taking a dip, the enclosure’s ‘premium pass’ offered groups the chance to enjoy a sauna, have a massage and order drinks from on-hand waiters.
Another of the weekend’s highlights were the two happy hours we spent working our way through as many of Le Bun’s hot wings as possible. This was at their diner-style restaurant on the other side of the festival. Stuffed to the gills, we cooled down with plenty of prosecco while taking in Laura Mvula’s tunes which beamed from the main stage.
Speaking of booze, I mustn’t forget to mention the very civilised Hendrick’s gin enclosure, which was our favourite little watering hole of the weekend. At the back of their English garden some double doors opened to reveal two ‘mad scientists’ keen on showing us how to use electrically charged cucumbers to make music. Odd, but great fun for a group of six.
There can be no denying that Standon Calling has a family friendly vibe. Though, it’s sufficiently civilised to be a great option for new comers to the festival game. Here you can venture into something different to your regular hospitality options without dropping your favourite clients in to the madness of somewhere like Glastonbury!
You can already secure 2018 tickets here. For more hospitality reviews, check out our news page.