Friday, July 04, 2014

10 tips for doing #Greenbelt on your own

Greenbelt on your own

10 tips for doing Greenbelt on your own

Jackie Elton, founder of Christian Connection, explores how to do Greenbelt on your own this year…
For many, coming to the festival each year feels like returning home to a familiar community of family and friends, while for others it can be very daunting, particularly if you are coming on your own or for the first time.
But the rewards of being at Greenbelt on your own can be transformational. I have personally made lifelong and life-changing friendships through encounters with people I simply bumped into unexpectedly at Greenbelt.
So how can you take your courage in both hands, and not just survive the festival on your own but thrive? We’ve compiled our top list of suggestions and insights from Greenbelters on how to get the best Greenbelt experience. In no particular order…
1) Volunteer! Either be an official volunteer or just offer your help to a particular organiser, cause, exhibitor or venue. When Christian Connection ran speed dating, we were always short of helpers and were delighted to welcome friendly volunteers.
2) Buy a Festival Guide. Plan your weekend, but still enjoy the unexpected and chance meetings… they are what Greenbelt is all about. Experience things you would never otherwise think about.
3) Chat to people in the queues. You’re attending the same event so you already share a common interest. At the end of a talk, turn to the person next to you and share your thoughts. Get involved in the Q&A.
4) Eat with friends. Make mealtimes social. Find out who else is coming. If you bump into friends, arrange a few lunches and dinners. Make it a time when you can look forward to being with other people.
5) Grab a book from G-Books, a coffee from The Tank or the Tiny Tea Tent & relax. Go where you like, when you like. Dip in & out. Contemplate.
6) Pick a venue and hang out. Some find the Jesus Arms is the best place to hang out, others feel daunted. Probably depends on you and the time of day. The Tiny Tea Tent can be a little more relaxed.
7) Don’t feel upset when confronted with “exclusive” behaviour – groups asking you to move to give them space or not letting you take a seat. Expect it and don’t worry. Forgive them. They just don’t get it.
8) Look out for organised activities – pub quizzes, organised walks, interactive events including alt worship services. Follow the hashtag#gbonyourown
9) Soak it up, try a little bit of everything, or nothing. Don’t feel pressured – take your time, go at your pace. Soak up the sun and the atmosphere.
10) Come and find us! Break bread with us on Sunday. Pop along to our drinks evening at the Jesus Arms. Come to one of our talks.
Lots of Greenbelters come on their own – you are one of many. You have every right to be there, and being on your own is not the same as being alone. Remember there will be good moments and less good moments. A bit like life, and the same for most of us.
Join Christian Connection at Greenbelt this year for:
• Talk: The secrets of online dating revealed – Friday evening
• Social: Drinks evening on Saturday
• Meetup: Communion service on Sunday morning
• Talk: Singleness, a challenge to society – Monday morning

Find us on Facebook and Twitter and keep an eye on our Events for Christians site to get details of the social events.
We look forward to seeing you in August.