The inaugural Flow Feast was held on an eco-farm in the Cambridgeshire countryside. Flow Feast differed from many other UK spinning festivals in both size and ethos. Rather than hundreds of people there were only tens and, while other events are also packed with workshops, Flow Feast’s focus was purely on learning. There was a fire spinning area and music into the night but there was much less partying into the early hours than is found at other conventions and festivals.
Instead, and most unlike other UK juggling/spinning events, everyone was up at 8am for a hearty breakfast (bacon!) Filled with food and coffee we were ready to start learning from the plethora of expert teachers that had been assembled for us.
The timetable was intense with back-to-back workshops from 9:30am through to 8pm, only breaking for lunch. Considering the small size of the event you couldn’t have asked for a much better group of workshop leaders.
Alien Jon, from the US and co-presenter of the Encyclo-poi-dia 2 DVD, taught a series of Poi /Prop Fu workshops which focussed on movement and body awareness without your prop that could then be applied to spinning with your toy of choice.
G, co-host of Flow Feast, taught several poi workshops over the weekend solidifying foundations and pushing people’s poi spinning into more advanced realms with his brand of clear and thorough tuition.
We were lucky enough to have Charlie Phoenix Hession teach some workshops at Flow Feast before he ran away to attend a circus school in Beijing. Charlie lead workshops in contact juggling, partner poi and wind-style dance.
Cat Stewart was on hand to teach all things flow wand and Chazz Parham held a number of contact staff workshops over the weekend.
Gale Francis was in charge of the hula hoop proceedings. Her teaching was obviously very effective as the standard of hoop went up considerably over the course of the weekend.
Poi throws, poi-ggling and basic juggling was taught by Joff Jarrett-kerr and Keith Marshall was a surprise guest star teaching an advanced 3 poi workshop.
Also on hand were Jenny to teach yoga and Kirsti to massage away all those aches and pains.
The all-star teaching line-up was surpassed only by the beauty of the site. The fens were lit by the late summer sun (which we were lucky to have at all!) The crowning jewel of the site was the lake just across the way from the main workshop area. Huge amounts of water birds flocked to this lake everyday including herons, swans and geese flying in their trademark V formations. Sitting beside the lake was a great way to relax and let the knowledge you just absorbed to properly sink in.
The first ever Flow Feast was a resounding success. Lorna and G did a superb job running and organising the weekend. The slightly different format worked very well, especially the food which was included in the ticket price. This did make the event a bit more expensive but the time and money saved on supplying your own food mitigated this extra cost. Everyone left on the Monday already looking forward to next year’s Flow Feast, I know I’ll be there again!