Somersault was held for its second year on the beautiful Castle Hill Estate, in North Devon. The Gama camping area was in the same place as previously, and most of the festival layout was the same. The accent of the festival was on fun, families, outdoor activities and good living. Unfortunately the weather did not help – it rained on the Friday and again on the Sunday.
The Gama field was comprised of about 120 people, made up of a few caravans, many tents, and some live-ins. There was room to accommodate the 20 or so people that were not on the pre-list but clearly needed to be in our field. We had suitable toilets, some showers, and a small marquee with electricity for charging wheelchairs and medical equipment. We were also able to provide a parking area for about 30 cars with blue badges, some for people that were coming and going each day, and some for people that needed their car nearby and chose to camp elsewhere on the fields with their friends and families.
There was a small viewing platform that we all managed to get on to, and it was packed for Bombay Bicycle Club, Jimmy Cliff, Laura Marling, and some of the other main performances. Everyone seem to enjoy it on the platform, and the job of security was made easier as the festival had provided ‘viewing platform laminates’ that we could distribute to those that needed them, and avoided confrontations with others who thought they should be allowed on it.
The feedback from people who stayed in the Gama field or used our provisions was very positive:
Sorry for the delay sending this to you but I wanted to say how excellent your accessibility camping was at Somersault. From the initial introductions to the ongoing care the team from Gama, especially Jos, have inspired us that festivals our possible for someone with limited mobility. The site was also perfectly arranged close to the entrance but with the option of using the access road to avoid the energy sapping mud. All this meant we were able to enjoy Somersault as a family rather than it being just hard work. We hope to be there again next year.
Thank you, Emma
We were also very honoured to have some visitors to the viewing platform, who let us take a photo of them with one of our regular Gama visitors, Hamish:
I have just read on the Somersault website that the festival at Castle Hill is taking a year off in 2016, so we will have to see what the future holds after that. Gama would be very happy to stay in touch with Somersault and hopefully work with them when they rise again. It was a very enjoyable festival where everyone helped to create a safe and accessible space for everyone.
Finally, this was something I saw on the floor of the viewing platform just before the Bombay Bicycle Club took to the stage for their last ever gig:
Yours, Jos and the Gama team from Somersault.