FESTIVAL season: a heady six months of incredible music, blurry nights and the inevitable flooding of your Primark tent. But no-one looks forward to those days of blissful freedom more than Pontefract artist, Sam Pattison-O’Brien.
Sam’s travelling art camp, Angel Gardens, pitches its teepees in festival fields all over the country, hosting a children’s creche, creative workshops and a chill-out space for weary revellers who need a brew.
And this year, Angel Sam – as she is known on the circuit – has been chosen to create this year’s sculpture at Glastonbury’s infamous creative haven, the Green Fields.
“I’m creating 20 little pods made out of willow which people can climb into and they will be all lit up at night,” said Sam. “I’m also producing a garden where I’ll be carving into the grass.
“Festivals are such creative and inspiring places to be doing this. It’s lovely, you can’t fail to be inspired at Glastonbury. “It’s not just about the music. To be chosen this year is a real honour.
“I was thrilled to be selected, Glastonbury is the biggest collection of artists, performers and musicians in the country, and to be invited to be part of that is wonderful.”
Alongside her artistic duties and childcare facilities, Sam’s decorated caravan, the Pixie Pad has been chosen as the VIP meeting place for performers and celebs behind the Pyramid Stage.
The full-time artist and part-time university lecturer is hoping Bono might make an appearance in her mobile home. But with a team of up to 90 volunteers and countless activities to organise, it’s a wonder the festival fairy has any time to enjoy herself. “
When we get into a field we put up our tents and take over about two acres and put up all sorts of creative things,” she said. “It’s a knock out. We have reading and singing workshops, a baby care area, performances, circus skills, a vintage gaming area where people can play Pacman.
“We do a fire show and toast marshmallows, we even teach kids about fire safety. There’s lots of stuff going on throughout the day right through the night.”
Angel Gardens is fast becoming the largest travelling space of its kind, with artists, performers and musicians pitching up at festivals everywhere from Yorkshire’s Magic Loungeabout to the Southwald’s Latitude.
Sam said: “What we’re trying to do is make it for everyone. We try to integrate children together with adults because it’s their festival too.
“It’s very much a community, it’s about living together, and sharing a cup of chai tea and child care and cooking – I wish we could do it all the time.
“We have been waiting all winter and climbing the walls to get outside. It’s hard work but once you get in that field and living with like-minded people, it’s just wonderful.”