Somersault was a new festival that we were literally asked on the Thursday to come down to it the following Tuesday. It took place in North Devon, just outside Barnstaple, on a beautiful country estate. The Somersault organisation had linked with “Surfers Against Sewage” to create a new, active, buzzy and exciting family based festival with really good music, lots of small venues and some spectacular theatre.

There were approximately 45 groups of people that came through the Gama route – some stayed in the accessible camping area, some just parked there and camped with friends in other areas, and some just came in and out each day. As it was a new festival, and we had had no advance site visits, we were not sure what to expect. We ran the usual locked toilets and tried to be as helpful as we could. As it turned out, it was excellent – but there were as always, challenges.

The site was long and thin, with a stream going through the middle. There were two ways over the stream – either a stone humpback bridge, or a metal walkway – neither ideal for those with walking problems or in wheelchairs. There was also stony paths, and clumpy grass. Some of our guests did find it quite hard going, and we did manage to move a few of them to nearer the stages and to beside the main hard track through the site. However, most managed. We are writing a report and certainly hope to be involved again next year, with more preparation and planning time in advance to work with the organisers to remedy a few of the site problems.

Here are a few of the comments we have received about our Gama work at Somersault:

To Jos & Seagh,
Just a quick note to thank you SO MUCH for your support at Somersault to enable a smoother festival for our son who has had a liver transplant and who has bowel problems. To have a safe and clean ‘home base’ with accessible toilets made such a difference for us and has given us confidence to camp again. We really appreciated your cheerful attitudes and willingness to help. Hope to see you again next year!
Best wishes
C.G.

Hi Jos,
T and I are now back from Somersault Festival which, to be quite honest, we were sort of dreading and had almost thought of cancelling due to T’s slipped disc for which he has been having intensive physiotherapy to regain full mobility. Whilst ordering the tickets from the website, I had thought that we had purchased a pass which gave us nearer access to the camping, as suggested by Ticketmaster, only to find on the day, that it was another type of blue car park ticket. Jos, your help in resolving what was on the verge of being a thorny logistics crisis, was nothing short of inspirational, and completely transformed our festival experience.

We had such a memorable and thoroughly pleasurable time with our friends, and T has not come out the other side of the weekend with his back in shreds and back to square one…We cannot thank you enough for your kindness and help. Our son works in Event Production, and so we often hear about festivals from the other side of the coin, and our only negative comment about Somersault was about the lack of chairs and back up given to the exhausted security man on the entrance to the camping. He must have been shattered. With so many thanks again for your help to us. I hope our paths cross again. We shall certainly be back to Somersault next year. Best wishes,
A Y

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