When Standon calls, we come running. At least we will do when the boutique festival touches down in the Hertfordshire countryside in a few weeks time.
What began as a birthday BBQ at the Standon Lordship back in 2001 has rapidly transformed into one of the UK's most eagerly anticipated annual music events. But despite the impressive (and refreshingly considered) line-up, which includes the likes of Buena Vista Social Club, Metronomy, Alice Russell and Gold Panda, what we're most looking forward to is our stay in a luxury yurt, complete with a personal toilet (!), shower facilities and fire pits. Oh, and naturally there's an array of soft furnishings to choose from, the likes of which include foot-warming rugs, soft sheepskins, massive cushions and, of course, a smattering of candle lanterns.
Those camping more conventionally can look forward to toilets so clean you can, apparently, eat off them (though we wouldn't advise it), a giant swimming pool set in the centre of Standon's ample grounds, a nightclub in a cowshed and an inspired "Murder on the Standon Express" theme. Now this is the way it should be done - watch your back Mr Eavis.
Standon isn't the only festival to have jumped on the boutique bandwagon. Last year The Secret Garden Party upped its luxury offering and this year's event ran with the trend - high-end campers took advantage of a private road into the festival, bell boys, butlers and a spa.
Vintage at Goodwood, Wayne Hemingway's brand new addition to the festival scene, will be a celebration of music and fashion from the past 60 years. Given that the festival is aimed at those of more advanced years, the glamping options are endless. From horseless gypsy caravans to spacious geodomes and the Hotel "Bell Tent" (basically a boutique hotel with soft walls) there are opportunities a-plenty to make those struggling with tentpoles feel like fools.
Standon Calling 6-8 August 2010. Standon, Hertfordshire. www.standon-calling.com