Lost festival: blacked-out buses, secret locations and absolutely no phones


These days, going to a festival is much more than just a camping jaunt to see bands.

What are you going to call the photo album on Facebook? How many portable chargers will one phone drain? These 21st-century concerns can distract from the task at hand – having a blowout wild enough to keep you going until Christmas.

A new event could solve all this. Lost festival keeps its whereabouts a secret and insists punters leave their phones at home. After meeting at a London station, festivalgoers are loaded on to a bus with blacked-out windows and taken to a mystery location.

Before we had even reached the site, my lack of phone made me notice how often I use it as a social crutch. Even with close friends, pauses in conversation are punctuated by a quick phone check – and now I had to either fill those gaps with witticisms or just shut up and enjoy the silence.

As we staggered off the coach, a quiet chorus of Where the hell am I? became audible, but was quickly forgotten when we were each handed overalls and invited to join the friendliest game of paintball ever – flicking azure blue at someone becomes a form of introduction. Presumably this is how people communicated before WhatsApp.

With no phone, I needed a purpose-built camera. Tweets were born, then died, in my head, before I had a chance to gift them to the world. A snide 140-character pop culture reference doesn’t come off as well when it is shouted at your neighbour over a sound system.

But can turning your phone off for a night really distance you from weekday cares? According to Lost’s founder, Jodie Powell, the no-phone rule and the overalls strip punters of their egos and help to fully immerse them in the experience. There has to be this real sense of escapism for people to engage, she says.

News Source TheGuardianNews

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