I guess I could write a short paragraph on each band that I saw at Ypsigrock, I could write a "Five Best Bands at Ypsigrock"* piece, or one of those "Things I learnt at Ypsigrock"** things. I could rehash the same piece of writing that everyone writes. (I mean of course, everyone who goes on the dickhead express around the summer festival circuit, not everyone else who is actually capable of having fun). You know the standard festival piece. You know the structure it follows because you've followed it over and over again through it's 800 words of nothing. A jovial intro that mentions the weather and the location, a sentence or two on each band, pull quotes and a paragraph for the headliners, nicely tied into a bow in the last paragraph with comparison to the ethos of other festivals and a final mention of the weather, pass go, collect £200.

It would do a great disservice to Ypsigrock if I was to write that piece. It doesn't cater for the people that went, the casual reader who didn't, or the interested party that still might.

If you didn't go to Ypsigrock and you are reading this to pass the time, then these words need to pique your interest. They need to dazzle you with their colour because the Siciilian palette is positively bursting. From the lush green of the tree covered Madonie mountains that surround Castelbuono, to the burnt and faded orange of the buildings, their peeling motifs waiting for you to look up at them, how they juxtapose with the deep blue skies throbbing heat down onto the tiny streets. The language of the piece needs to reflect the beauty of that small town in the mountains. A place where you can lose an afternoon over seven courses at an alleyway table, before a pianist called Federico Albanese strips away all your concepts of time in an understated church. His piano leads you through a string of private epiphanies in that crowded room, sending thoughts rattling around the brains of a hundred strangers, all gasping for air in the gaps in sound, all acutely aware of the intimacy of the scene they are a part of.

You want to read and enjoy the picture it paints in your head without the writer gloating at your absence. For it to trigger memories, sounds and feelings of your own, thoughts that gently encourage you to move from a casual reader to an interested party (maybe these photos will help).

In the UK, festivals market themselves as being more than just music festivals, but the truth is that their wonderfully booked lineups are still crammed into the mold of the great British festival; so while you may be enjoying the process of cultural enlightenment, you're going to be doing it in a damp field, in close proximity to some jerks. Whereas a tiny boutique festival like Ypsigrock, if you are thinking of going, is more than just a music festival despite it just being a music festival. The journey to it makes the difference, to prepare your mindset for arrival, to culture shock you away from your habits towards the potential possibles. Freedom is a short haul flight and a bus away, waiting, currently existing only as a life lived without your crutches. It's what music and art and creativity is for. Light, air, life, kindness, exploration, heightened senses, connecting with strangers through language barriers, smiles and gestures in the air, dancing barefoot on the warm stones, getting hung up on the tiny beauties that surround you. All the things you would miss at home. You couldn't pick a more picturesque setting for a festival, in all honesty it doesn't relate in my memories as being a festival, the town, the kindhearted people, the endless food; all etched inside my head like some sort of dream. None of them images that evoke "festival" in my brain. No, this awakening of the senses was much more than that.

I floated around those streets feeling like my sole reason for being, the reason I existed at all, was to experience Savages play their interpretation of Dream Baby Dream by Suicide, and then follow it with Adore. Like all the emotions and trained responses that I had acquired during my days were gathered and learnt with the expectation of this; of staring towards the stars unable to grasp the air until Jehnny Beth jumps up to the high notes of the crescendo, of days exploring, tasting, of loving this alien environment. This technicolour sensory explosion. This place devoid of grey. I'd been learning my whole life just so I could experience it in the fullest possible manner... and when the band finally ramped up, and she reached those high notes, the release of pressure is lasting. I still carry it with me and I hope all those that screamed at the sky in unison do.

This is the point, this is the reason you go, the reason you travel, that you leave your comfort zone and head out towards the unknown. Challenging yourself to overcome your habits sets you free, its influence will permeate your daily life, opening doors to the world that you hadn't even noticed before, such was the confines of your routine. Agnes Martin once said that "Beauty is the mystery of life. It is not just in the eye. It is in the mind. It is our positive response to life". So if you are thinking of going to Ypsigrock please take this from someone who did; smiling into the dark, screaming at the sky with strangers, will be the best thing you ever did.

Likewise, if you went to Ypsigrock, you don't need me to tell you that Castelbuono is an incredible location for a party. That the people you meet will be friendly and accommodating. That it has more good places to eat than you can fit into the weekend. You already know that. You already know that between bands you can scurry down to the gelato stand in the square and dwell on a tub full of watermelon gorgeousness, before realising that the whole square is heaving with people at 1am, because it's that kind of town, and you already know which is the good gelato stand and which is the great one. You know that the disappointment of Kiasmos cancelling was instantly forgotten when Grandbrothers took the stage, that their music allows focus on the smallest nothings, that it all happens around the edges. A zoetrope of sound; a galloping horse that runs on the spot, provoking the idea that music is fixed but can somehow remain free. You know that if you venture away from the main festival circuit, away from sterile corporate areas to places filled with passionate outsiders, that you'll find, share and live through the best experiences. You know it's not identikit but it's better for it. You know all these things and hundreds more that you can't explain in words; about the town, the food, the weather, the people, their wonderful attitude to it all. You can't explain it, but after experiencing it for just one weekend, you think it just might stay with you for a lifetime.

*Georgia, Federico Albanese, Grandbrothers, Savages, Daughter (but Yombe deserve a special mention).

** I need to learn to relax, Daughter are the best band to close a festival with, gigs in churches are wonderful, LUH are disappointing live, beers between bands are fine but have you tried watermelon gelato because oh my god.