Buddhafield festival 2008

Healthy camping breakfast of raw oats, nuts and dried fruit

I ate the above every morning – a perfect no-cook nutrition-packed camping breakfast. From now on I will never travel without a spoon, a bowl, and bags of organic jumbo oats, dates, sunflower seeds, sultanas and pecan nuts. All dried so easy to store – just add water to bring them to life (plus a slice of apple or two).

I don’t know why people bother with expensive foreign holidays when they can go to a five-day long Buddhist festival in a Devon field. Its rigours test you, its strange culture intrigues while all around fellow festival go-ers are shaking off their everyday constraints.

Chapatti cooking on open fire at Buddhafield festival 2008

Lots of interesting food to try such as the chapatti (above) cooked on an open fire and stuffed with homemade basil pesto and split-pea houmous (a must-try because quicker than soaking chickpeas).

And every cafe served fresh homemade chai, for me and the other two thousand people milling around in four fields.

Buddhafield cafe
Buddhafield cafe (above) was always busy, while other cafes such as the Organic Fallafel tent and the Indian Food tent did equally brisk business. As did Padma Pancakes which featured live music (including the unmissable The Wraithes who put classical poems to music).

Even the compost loos had their charms, with wooden steps as if unto a throne.

You could not do a thirtieth of what was on offer.

At night, there were live bands in every cafe, a cinema, DJs. A packed daily programme included talks on climate change, workshops in kung fu, lessons in Indian dancing, skilful flirting and sacred chanting. There were saunas in wooden huts, impromptu cabarets and Buddhist rituals with a butterfly on stilts (below).

Sainttina - butterfly on stilts at Buddhafield

And, just like the end of an exotic holiday, it was a culture-clash returning from Buddhafield to civvie street.

3 responses to “Buddhafield festival 2008

  1. Breakfast looks great – may well copy at Shambala Festival. Thank you


  2. Yes, this does sound fun. And it looks like the weather was good. However, I know I’d need an EXTRA thick camp bed or air mattress before I went camping!
    Another idea if you can’t afford expensive trips abroad, is to visit friends in the country and the seaside (if they will have you.)
    Of course, this can pose problems. My husband, son (14) and I went to visit a friend of my husband in California. But there were strings attached, my husband had to listen to myriad complaints about myself, totally unfounded ofcourse, and not in my hearing. It all started when I failed to lock their front door properly, and left it unlocked, horrors, for all of 10 minutes. A mention of my PhD to our host, provoked a complaint that I was boasting. I ended up feeling like a wicked diva, so not me. But my husband didn’t feel he could leap to my defense, given his status as a guest. I wonder what the protocol is, in these instances.


  3. Thanks for the lovely review of Buddhafield Festival. I’m one of the co-creators (I built the showers – and the compost loos) and it’s great to read a view from the ‘outside’ as it were.. From the food angle, we’re keen to promote variety with a major bias towards vegetarian, organic – and fresh cooked food. It all helps when faced with variable weather – and living in fields for a few days! It’s all good. x


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