I was contacted by a charity called Starlight not long after my first Diagnosis. Starlight help very ill children (or 19 year olds!) and give them an opportunity to have a ‘wish’. This wish could be anything from travelling somewhere, meeting someone or doing something that they would really love to do. I was lucky enough to receive a wish. Originally I had asked to go to America and visit Carlos’ Bakery which is the inspiration behind the TV show ‘Cake Boss’ but after my second diagnosis it looked like it would be difficult for me to travel so I was given the opportunity to change it.
So the Reading Music Festival was between Friday 28th-Sunday 30th August with Mumford and Sons being one of the headlining acts. Now I’m sure I’ve mentioned my love (or obsession but I think that makes me sound a bit crazy so I’ll stick to love) for Mumford and Sons before so I asked if I could meet them!
I thought it would be a long shot because they’re a very popular and busy band and they probably get requests like this all the time! But I didn’t mind if it didn’t work out because my friends and I had bought tickets to Reading and we were going to see their performance anyway! I kept in contact with my ‘wish granter’ at Starlight, Kate, and over the upcoming months it seemed less and less hopeful.
However the week before Reading Kate called me and said they had received some contact from the band and that they in fact seemed very keen to make it happen! As you can imagine I was really excited but still didn’t want to get my hopes up just in case it didn’t come through. You know how these things go! In the meantime Kate sent me something very special! I received a framed, signed Chef’s Jacket from Heston Blumenthal! This was enough of a wish for me really but then the day before Reading I received another package.
I’d pretty much given up on the idea that I would be meeting Mumford and Sons until a courier delivered a box. In the box was a back pack with lots of festival essentials from Kate, including some very nice sunglasses and an autograph book. I then spoke to Kate and she said that it had all come together and I would be meeting Mumford and Sons!! I was over the moon and barely took in anything Kate said after that. I then rang my friends, Hannah and Lucy who were coming with me to Reading (and also big Mumford fans!) and told them what was going to happen and they could barely believe it either!
So we set off the next day in Dad’s taxi (Dad hasn’t actually got a taxi!) and arrived at the festival at 3.30 pm. We waited around for a while and then met Ceri, who was also from Starlight and she would be looking after us for the day! She took us to the VIP section where we waited for a while until we were called in to Mumford and Sons’ dressing room.
My legs were buckling and my palms were sweaty, I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous! We then met Marcus Mumford, the lead singer of the band. It was surreal and crazy, for a while I struggled to talk (I know, I was shocked too!) but he was the nicest, funniest man! We then met the other band members and had lots of photos taken. After 45 minutes of chatting and photo taking Marcus signed every piece of merchandise we put in front of him and then he went to his wardrobe, pulled out a denim jacket, signed it and gave it to me! Needless to say I wouldn’t let anyone else hold it for the rest of the day!
They then gave us side of stage passes and were rushed off to get warmed up. For a very long time we were all in a daze (I think I still am now!). The passes meant we could watch the band’s performance from the side of the stage which really was just the icing on the cake!
It was such an incredible day and one I will never forget (although I was so adrenaline fuelled that there are patchy bits – which wasn’t helped by the fact we went to bed at 3 am!).
I know they say that you shouldn’t meet your idols but if your idols are Mumford and Sons then meet them! Definitely meet them!!