Wednesday, 29 July 2009

WOMAD 2009


World Of Music Arts & Dance (WOMAD) was held from the 23rd to 26th July in the beautiful grounds of Charlton Park in Wiltshire. This festival had some of the best and most exciting music from around the world.
Hiromi & I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who visited our shop. We met so many great people with an interest in natural fibers and natural dyes. We have to say a special thank you to LOO-WHEEZE (pictured below).
This was the one we were most looking forward to trading at. It was large, very international and a family festival. Saturday's weather was better than expected only to be followed by a Sunday of continuous rain! This is supposed to be July!!!! The weather plays a major part in the enjoyment of festivals, luckily there were plenty of interesting things to take peoples' minds off the weather.
Again, we were blessed with great neighbours. Claudio (Italy), Amy (Italy) & Dani (Brazil). On the other side we had John (England), creator of really nice ceramic creatures. He can be found at www.geckoman.co.uk
Forget Glastonbury! If you choose one festival a year, this should be it.




Natural clothing, bags and so on...

2000 Trees

16-18 July in Cheltenham.
We are still on the learning curve of finding events that we both enjoy and that suit our products.
2000 Trees was spoiled by a weekend of terrible weather, had it been sunny, It might have been enjoyable and/or worthwhile.


Tuesday, 14 July 2009

RHYTHMS OF THE WORLD

This was the 17th Rhythms of the World to be held in Hitchin and was attended by more than 25,000 people. The location was the beautiful Priory grounds which was a good size for the number of people who came. I felt that a couple of stages may have been a little too close to each other, but none of this really mattered as the weather was perfect and some of the bands were very interesting. My favourite being Etran Finatawa (pictured below) with their Niger desert blues.


LEAMINGTON PEACE FESTIVAL

June 13 - 14 saw us drive up to Leamington Spa for a weekend festival in the town centre. This is a free festival in a public park which has a history of more than 30 years. It is run by volunteers and gets no funding from the local council. I am not sure why the council doesn't get involved as it brings plenty of business into the town centre.
The feel of this festival was very warm and friendly and the size was just about right.
Leamington Peace Festival is held each year in the pump room gardens situated just off the high street. I hope to be back there again next year.


GLASTONBURY

The festival that took place from 24th - 28th June down in Pilton needs no introduction. Glastonbury is by far the largest festival that we have traded at.
It was easy to forget the scale of things when most of my time was spent in the shop, a quick stroll soon revealed the vast numbers of people and area consumed by this temporary town.
With around 170,000 festival customers, I had expected a slightly more cosmopolitan crowd. I had also expected worse weather conditions more along the lines of that seen two years ago.

We didn't really get to see many of the bands, but we could hear most of what was going on at the Pyramid stage. Closing the shop at around 10pm allowed us to get a peek at Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. Whilst wandering over to the shower block I was halted by crowd control. Ralph Harris was performing and the area was in chaos. It is good to see that he can still pull them in!!

AFRICA OYE 2009

Africa Oye is the biggest free African music festival in the UK.  For the best part of 17 years, this festival has brought the best artists from all over Africa, The Caribbean and The Americas to Liverpool.

This year the event included the Reggae superstar Freddie McGregor from Jamaica. Oye was a pleasure to trade at, not only because our shop had a direct view of the stage, but also we had the chance to meet some amazing people. This is one festival that we would definitely like to return to.
A big thank you must be said to two very special customers, whom we hope to meet again at another event in the future. Nemonee (pictured below in a Sorazora original T-shirt) and her twin sister.
Hiromi and I very much enjoyed meeting you both and will keep a look out for you both at Oye 2010.


WOAD..Good to be Blue!

This past weekend saw an exciting opportunity for Hiromi and I to see indigo dying done in the traditional English way. Woad is a plant native to the UK that produces a beautiful indigo much in the same way it did over a thousand years ago.

Any eco-conscious person who is passionate about clothing falls into one of two categories. Those who already know about what is being done at Woad Barn near Dereham in Norfolk and those who should know!

Eco-clothing doesn't just stop at using natural fibers. Replacing the use of harmful chemical dyes with natural dyes is just as important.

Woad-inc is a farm run by a friendly couple who are passionate about farming woad and extracting the indigo pigment. Ian Howard and his wife Bernadette run workshops on woad dying, explain the intricate process and share their fascination with woad. Their shop gave me the feeling of being back in Japan, where indigo is just as popular today as it was centuries before. A visit to their website is a must for anyone interested in natural dyes and if you can make your way to Norfolk, their workshop comes highly recommended.



Monday, 13 July 2009

sorazora online!!!

Since our first event at the end of May, we have been promising our festival customers that our store will be soon up & running online. I have only to say a big sorry!!! 5 events down the line and we are still promising the same thing. I know there are plenty or people who have contacted us with regard to our web presence, but things are moving in the right direction. The end of July is in our sights and we are almost ready. Hiromi has been working like a trooper with the technical side of the online store. Our product photos have all been taken and all of the important information concerning natural fibers and natural dyes is nearing completion.
www.sorazora.com will be operational very soon. 

WYCHWOOD MUSIC FESTIVAL 2009

Wychwood Music Festival 2009 took place at Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire on the weekend of 29th - 31st May.
After over 5 years of trading in Japan at many types of festival from Osaka to Tokyo and as far north as Toyama, Wychwood was our first UK festival.
It was a nice introduction to UK festivals and a great chance to make some good friends within the traders' community.
For anyone interested in learning more about this festival, please visit www.wychwoodfestival.com