“New Years Eve of 2014/15 was the most memorable of my life. My partner Darren and I were so excited that Nahko and Medicine for the People were playing a New Year’s set at the Grande.
We arrived early, meeting a friend there and positioning ourselves close to the stage. I noticed that right in front of us was a woman with a little girl who would’ve been about 5 or 6 years old.
The music started up and the crowds grew. The message and sounds of the music were so exhilarating, being both passionate and hopeful. The crowd had such amazing positive energy. My partner, friend and I kept a close eye on the mum and daughter in front of us as the crowd pushed forward, making sure that they had space, so the little girl wouldn’t feel squashed or scared.
We were all having such an amazing time, singing lyrics like “I believe in the good things comin'” and “The body talks and meditation helps” to amazing rock/soul/reggae sounds. There was no one around me who was drunk or acting in any way disrespectful but it was definitely a “mosh pit”.
I marvelled at how uplifting and safe it was. Where else could a mother and child spend New Year’s Eve in a concert mosh pit, surrounded by hundreds of people but feeling completely safe and protected by their fellow revellers?
When 11.30pm came, the MC jumped on stage and prepared everyone for the 3 minutes silence. I told everyone that if any “tool” nearby spoke, that it was our responsibility to ask them to be quiet. Candles were passed around and lit and we all, the thousands of festival participants, stood in absolute, respectful, reflective silence for the entire 3 minutes.
I was so proud and joyful to be a part of something so big and so special. When the set finished about half an hour later, the lady with the child thanked us for creating a space for them. I felt as though I had been entrusted with a very important role and felt a deep gratitude for being able to welcome in the New Year with such joy and dignity.
Later in the festival I saw the mother and daughter walking past. While the mum didn’t see me, the daughter and I locked eyes for a few moments and she smiled and waved at me. Best Woodford memory…”