Holi Festival of Colours 2014 - London Adventure

29th-30th June.



Oloha boys and girls!

It's been an exhausting week now since I ventured to Holi Festival of Colours at the Olympic Park, London, for an unforgettable day in the rain (oh how I longed to say sun!)

Now some of you may have seen me ramble on about this 'Holi Fest' for a while.

Holi-This? Holi-what? Is probably what a lot of you are thinking.
And for that I apologise as you are therefore missing out on a simply beautiful concept.

Let me educate you. 
For those who may not know, Holi Festival is originally an Indian festival that celebrates the vibrancy of life by using colour. It seeks to make us aware of colour and how we can sometimes take it for granted. The special feature is that the people paint themselves; or, like at my festival: throw powder with various colours in the air to express the freedom and colour in their everyday life. The most important thing is, that on this day all castes of the indian caste-system are nullified and put out of force. The good overcomes the bad. On this day of celebration, all people are supposed to be equal. 

Equality, tolerance, happiness and peace are promoted through the concept and even during the festival. This is where the idea to bring this festival to the rest of the world came from and why it has so easily spread universally. There are at least 20+ Holi events in England each year. Holifestival.com hosted the one I attend, although Holi One are hosting many in August - London's is at Wembley which sounds incredible! 



Holi Festivals over here currently aim for a 'clubby' atmosphere, which can be generalised to everyone. Despite myself having a strong dislike for clubbing, I was pleasantly surprised. The point is to wear white clothing so that you go in plain and come out the festival as a rainbow.

Here is the line up for the 28th/29th June to get a taste of the (mildly horrific, in my opinion) music! 



Now you know what was in store for my day, here's how I spent it.

Are you sitting comfortably?
Then let's begin.

Harry and I woke up at 8
As you can see from our facial expressions we were not impressed.

Anyway, we then scrambled into Harry's car, I was basically thinking for Harry that morning as he was half dead.
We stopped for a beautiful McDonald's breakfast, which I could really do with right now.
Then headed off to Harry's Aunt's again as we were staying over and catching a train from her town.
Grabbed a lift from her (instead of walking thank god!) and were on route to London Waterloo.
Our excited faces were in use as you can see.
Harry took a picture of my face, because I had a cute dimple on my nose, hello face.

We then caught to the tube to Stratford and walked and walked all the way to the Olympic Velodrome. It took forever, my legs were already suffering!
We queued for a good while before being let in.
Security treated me really well as I needed a bottle of water for medication and despite no liquids etc being let in, they let me! We were off to a good start.
First you had to buy tokens, by handing £5+ over and recieving that in token form. Which was a bit of a con, but the tokens were pretty regardless.
As usual, this festival was expensive once inside, but probably the most expensive I've been to.
£10 for 1L of Cider was just ridiculous.

We frolicked in front of the stage whilst taking selfies for a while before the second powder paint countdown as we had finally bought (the horrifically expensive) powder. (You can only buy on site)
We had been in the crowd for the first one, (when everyone throws powder in the air) hence sploges of colour but not fully taken part!


"Do a double chin with me Harry!!" "How about no?"

My hair is basically as short as Kylie Jenner's there.
This was the result after the first countdown and there were still 6 more to come! (One from 3pm+ every hour)


Once engulfed by the powder, at first it feels incredibly beautiful and fun then smack; it's nearly impossible to breathe! 
You have to quickly take your last fresh clean breath and hold it until the air shortly settles after all the powder. You also become temporarily blind whilst jumping up and down, immersed in powder.

It's like getting gassed!


Not that I've ever been gassed, but you get the picture.

It also left a very clogged up air around us and the crowd, it became very hazey.
I would not recommend this to amesmatics!
It shortly began to rain, torrential rain.
We were saved by my binbag type raincoat but regardless we got soaked.
After over an hour or so, Harry, who did not come prepared as me, started to honestly look like he may catch flu.
My pain levels were also increasing due to the water and cold, we decided to look around for somewhere I could sit.
They did not provide any shelter for any festival goers so this was a difficult mission.

We first asked security, I stated that I have Fibro, ME, IBS etc and showing my tablet box.
It was a no. I found them so rude.
We then asked the first drop in medical bay with the same procedure.
It was a no again. From an actual medical bay?!?!??
The huge second drop in medical bay WITH an ambulance ALSO rejected my pleas for help.
By this point I was honestly disgusted as no one was actually in this bay and I could see 2 free seats that I was longing to sit on for 10 minutes max. I even told them that I would spend no more than that amount of time in there!
The press tent showed the most sympathy, a lovely lady felt so sorry for my situation however the press tent had strict on rules and had to say no.

What disgusted me the most is that I genuinely got turned down by medical staff because I don't think I looked 'unwell' enough.
How can medical staff be that ignorant?!
I hope it's not this dire at Reading Festival.

Anyway on a happier note, we decided to leave and go into the Westfield centre, grab some food and watch a movie.
It was hard work walking back again.

If you're thinking of going, here's a list of equipment I reccomend bringing: 

• a mask
• headscarf 
• sunglasses or googles
obviously wear white clothing
• boots or trainers
• a binbag type raincoat
• a binbag
• a rucksack
• a small plastic see through bag for your phone and valuables to be kept safe and clean.
• Water - it gets stuck in your throat sometimes

You also had to be 18+/ID'd to attend this event, although a lot allow all ages.

I hope that list doesn't scare you off too much! It's really worth going for purely for the atmosphere and sense of freedom.
My advice is to go on a hot sunny day, I guarentee it will be a day you'll never forget.

We stopped off at Bumpkin, which serves devine food and has lovely staff.
However Harry and I were covered head to toe in paint. Staff of Westfield weren't letting anyone from the festival into shops etc but luckily I had a clean top and managed to pull off being a normal person. 

To get an idea of how messy we were, these were once white tee's:


It was so bad that I had to buy new clothing for Harry in Primark!

After Bumpkin, they had closed down Westfield's shops and as we still had traces of paint on our faces it was incredibly difficult to get into the centre due to security.

Once inside we visited the Casino.


I fell in love with the lights!

We grabbed popcorn and an ice blast and bought tickets to see TFIOS, The Fault in Our Stars. I wanted to prove to Harry that it is in fact an incredibly sad film, as since I told him that it made me cry he's been teasing me!

Half way through the film he cracked and started crying. I was in hysterics and made a complete mockery of him. Not so hard now huh?

After this we grabbed our second McDonalds of the day and caught the train home.
As you can imagine we were exhausted. We ditch the original idea of having a shower, despite our messy selves and slept ASAP.

The next day I woke up to my hair as pink as the pink panther.

I felt like 2007 Avril Lavigne, it was brill.

We decide to make the most of our day by taking a cute visit to Hampton Court Palace, just outside of London.
It was literally so beautiful, I was in awe.
Like dude, I want that golden arch way.
I really reccomend visiting if you want an easy quite day out, as it has a cute cafe and wheelchair facilities!

We then decided travelling home would be wise as it had started raining again.
The weather was not in our favour.

Overall it was such an adventure and I enjoyed it ridiculous amounts. It was physically and mentally draining, but I didn't actually crash that much after.
I have noticed recently that I barely have any horrific crashes, it's crazy weird.
Anyone noticed that too? I'd love to know if any of you have noticed an improvement, it's so so good to see the positives.

Anyway, just in case some of you are interested in Holi Fest, I dug out a vlog of the festival and a 30 second clip.

 The vlog is done by the lovely RhiannonAshleeExtra here




And here is the quick countdown filmed on a go-pro;




I'm yet to finish my post on my graduation ball which will be up at the end of the week! I'm SO excited to tell you guys alllllll about it.


I wish you all the best of health, keep positive my sunshines!

Poppy x



2 comments

  1. Looks soooo fun! Not impressed by the lack of empathy and unfair treatment from the medical staff though. I think at these sort of big events there should be a lot more facilities for the disabled and those that have health conditions!
    When I went to Reading festival before ME, a friend of mine fell ill and they were really good with her and helpful. There are also several ST john ambulance tents and stalls where the volunteers are friendly and they gave me a bag of plasters for 5p when I had cut my hand quite badly! So hopefully it will be better for you there should you need any help :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was such an amazing experience! Neither was I, I was very disheartened. They really did need to have better facilities, there were none!
      Oh wow, I've had experience with festivals such as Bestival and their facilities were great; thankfully from your experience it sounds like Reading is very similar and just as helpful. Thank you pretty!
      I'm applying for a disabled ticket and hopefully it'll make life a LOT easier ahh if only there was this option in everyday life.
      Speak soon sweetheart!:)

      Delete