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The Summer Festival

One of things I’ve definitely missed out on in life is festival going. As a younger person, my summer weekends were always taken up with things far more important. In 1984, I was invited by a university friend, Paul Eavis, to come along to his dad’s field in Somerset. I’d never heard of Glastonbury and £10 seemed like a lot of money to see The Smiths, Ian Dury, The Staple Singer, Joan Baez and Dr John. Instead I opted to play cricket. What an idiot.

Since then I’ve been close to going to Latitude and this summer, I nearly went to Wilderness. However on Saturday, my festival duck was well and truly broken – and it was absolutely worth the wait. I know I’m not an expert, but in my opinion, the Highgate Primary Festival had everything and more than you’d get from Bestival or Green Man – and you get nice toilets and a comfortable bed.

I think the success of the Highgate Primary Festival was perhaps helped by its build-up. It’s been a very difficult time for the school’s PSA, who have shown such resilience in making the best of a bad job, but the reality is that Zoom just isn’t quite as good as the real thing. Without a live PSA event for what seems like an eternity, the school community was absolutely ready for a party.

And what a party it was… I turned up at lunchtime and expectation was in the air. Tents were popping up, straw bales had been delivered and the barbecue was ready to go. The sun was shining, Andrea and Gonzalo’s paella was simmering away and DJ George’s sound machine created the perfect festival vibe. What followed was five hours of fun, happiness and absolute festival joy.

After a great lunch (thanks Barbecue Dads), I headed over to The Spoken Word Tent for the poetry event where children past and present performed their ‘summer’ poems to a packed audience. From there I wondered around the festival, perused the book fair, joined in Hilla’s singalong, chatted to children and parents, sat-in on the main stage with the school band and announced the lucky winners of the raffle! My highlight – the Senegalese djembe drummer (and Anaya and Amanata’s dancing) which mesmerised those that had stayed on into the evening. Even the clearing-up was fun with so many parents on hand to pack everything away.

Thank you Jenny, Julie, the PSA and everyone for making Saturday such a great success – a true festival feel and a real celebration of our fabulous school community. Next up – it’s the return of Highgate Primary Fireworks Night!

William