Did you know that we each check our phone around 200 times a day? And that 80% of us have admitted that checking our smartphone is the first thing we do in the morning. Academic performances, our ability to work, and even our attention spans are all declining as one little phone notification is enough to leave us seriously distracted and unable to concentrate. This information is shocking. And yet I’m not sure why I’m so surprised – I am completely guilty of being addicted to my Phone. It has become my security blanket, I won’t go anywhere without it. So when the folks over at the Innocent Smoothies asked if I would be up for a digital detox at their Innocent Unplugged festival* I knew I HAD to say Yes!
No Wi-Fi, no texts, no traditional electricity. Just a load of people camping in a forest clearing with great music, real conversations and lungfuls of fresh air.
– Team innocent
Over the May Bank Holiday weekend, Innocent invited those who were willing to leave their phones at home to escape to a festival in a secret location in Kent. At just £15 for a weekend camping ticket (what a bargain!) the Innocent team created a heaven-like atmosphere in a stunning woodland clearing, with a strict No Phone policy! They didn’t want anyone to be distracted by Twitter, Facebook, emails or Whatsapp, but instead to log offline, connect to the real world and live in the moment (not to mention enjoy sets from the likes of DJ Yoda, workouts with Mr Motivator, and classes in Laughing Yoga!) And here is exactly how I got on pulling the plug on my own digital life for a day of festival fun…
Okay, so I didn’t actually leave my phone at home. I know, I know, a big detox fail on my part. But because I couldn’t camp for the full weekend yet still wanted to stay late on the Saturday night, I was told I would need to call a cab to pick me up and take me to the train station. Plus I wanted to be able check train times etc, although even this made me realise just how much we rely on technology these days.
I took the Beard along with me and we were both using our phones on the journey down to Kent, soaking up all the apps and data that we could why we still had the chance. That was until we began to get further out of into the countryside and were distracted by the beautiful yellow fields and blue skies (and our 4G was cutting out, ahem). But once we arrived at the station and were picked up by our minibus to be taken to the secret location, we both proudly turned off our phones.
The festival is tiny and the location is simply stunning. It is a million worlds away from the big commercial festivals such as Glasto, Reading and Bestival. On arrival you walk past the camping area and then through the greenest of green forests, it truly was one of the most beautiful forests I have ever seen. As you leave the woodland, there is one final opportunity to grab a picture for instagram before you enter the main area, which, by the way, is absolutely beautiful…
A pathway walled with the most beautiful flowers leads you through to an area of giant tents, bars and food vendors. Walking into the area all we could see was happy people, some were chilling out on the grass listening to live bands, some were sunbathing in Innocent deck chairs, others were getting their faces painted. There was a yoga class taking part in one area, whilst a bake sale took place in another. I’d never been to a festival with such a lovely, relaxing and happy atmosphere; not one single festival wanker to be seen!
I was lucky enough to be able to sample the Spa which I have to admit was probably the best part of my Innocent Unplugged experience. For £35pp, this outdoor oasis (also known as bathingunderthesky.com) offers you two hours of Hot Tub fun, plus a glass of Prosecco AND free reign of the Dry Finnish Sauna. They also have a champagne bar on site if you fancy ordering more bubbles. It was a bit surreal to be sat in a big tub of hot water drinking a glass of Prosecco, whilst being surrounded by tall glorious trees and singing birds. I absolutely loved it. My only complaint would be the lack of proper towels. We were given cotton cloths instead which became wet instantly and so were useless for drying. If you are going to a festival that bathingunderthesky.com are going to be at, I definetly reccomend booking, but I advise taking your own towel.
I am not a plastic cup.
– The Cups
I was hugely impressed by how green and environmentally friendly the innocent festival actually was. Not only were ALL the plastic cups not actually plastic cups but 100% biodegradable compastable tumblers, but all the toilets were also compost toilets. This basically means in 12 months time, all poops that were unleashed at Innocent Uplugged will become fertiliser – winning!
Thanks for Giving a Shit.
– The Compost Toilet
Despite there being a No Phone policy, I was disappointed to see a few people using their phones. At one point I saw a group of people using an Instax camera to take polaroids. That’s such a good idea, I thought. And then I watched on as one chap took out his iPhone and took a picture of the polaroid to instagram it *Rolls Eyes* I get that it’s hard to detox the digital life (it was surprising how many urges the Beard and I had to look at our phone, clearly out of habit) but it was wonderful being surrounded by people who werent all engrossed in their phones and who were actually talking to each other. It was great meeting strangers and engaging in a conversation with them, something we don’t do enough as human beings. And it was fantastic being able to watch live performances without ten zillion phones being held up, blocking the view.
I will absolutely be going back to Innocent Unplugged next year, next time I’ll be camping for the whole weekend and I plan to take a big group of friends with me – friends I know could do with a switching off and detoxing the digital life.
Could you go a whole festival without your phone?? Or even just a day?
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