Conor Godwood, age 16, reviews the teen-friendly festival at Norfolk Showground in Norwich (30 August-2 September)
Right at the end of the summer holidays, two weeks after A level results and one week after GCSE results, Sundown is timed perfectly for a last blast of fun before teenagers head back to the books.
The festival site features one main stage, two dance tents and a rave area in the woods, so there’s always something to do and see. I had a weekend camping ticket, which gave me access to the Friday night Campers’ Party, hosted by DJs Sigala, Macky Gee and DJ EZ. This was a brilliant start to the weekend and really gave me a taste for what to expect – and how little sleep to expect! – over the rest of the festival.
I’d been to one festival before Sundown, and the food options were pretty awful, so my hopes weren’t high and I went equipped with a lot of cereal bars. But I was really impressed with the choice at Sundown – there was Indian food, Greek food, pizza, a pasta van and a toastie stall which was brilliant for late-night carb loading. Some of my friends are veggie and were worried they’d have to just eat chips all weekend, but there were lots of options for vegetarians and vegans, too.
Some of my friends clubbed together and opted for the ‘posh’ option of a ready-erected tent, which was a great idea as it meant they didn’t have to lug their own tent across the festival site, and you could make sure you were pitched with your friends even if they didn’t arrive at the same time. This is a really good idea and was actually great value, so I would probably do this in future. It would have been nice not to have to take down our tent at the end of the festival when we were really tired!
On the Saturday night, campers had access to the silent disco – I’d never been to one of these before and it was a lot of fun; there were different stations you could tune in to, so you could all listen to different music, which I really liked.
We spent a lot of time in the two dance tents, The Castle and The Nest. There were DJ sets going on all day, and while it was great that the weather was so good, it was sometimes good to get out of the sun and have a dance indoors. But my favourite part of Sundown was going to see some of the acts on the main stage. We saw Anne Marie, Tinie Tempah, Ella Eyre, Mabel, Not3s, Stefflon Don and loads more, and we managed to get up to the front for nearly all the acts that we saw. It was amazing seeing people that I’ve only ever seen on TV or heard on the radio so close up, and I almost destroyed my feet – and my new trainers! – by dancing so much.
Everywhere we went on site there was a brilliant atmosphere, and everyone there was up for a really good time, with lots of people dressed up in brilliant clothes with their faces all painted and glittered up. My friends and I have all just left school and are heading off to sixth form in a few days, and we’ll all remember Sundown 2019 as a brilliant end to this special summer.
Conor Godwood, age 16, from Linton in Cambridgeshire