Creatures of Castlefest: Cindy

In Creatures of Castlefest we want to put the wondrous creatures, that are part of the world of Castlefest, in the spotlight. From visitor to entertainer, from exhibitor to volunteer. What moves them and which role does Castlefest play in their lives? This week Cindy, an active member of the Castlefest Fanpage.

The first time I visited Castlefest, I was hooked by the famous atmosphere. Everyone always talks about how it makes you feel right at home, but you have to experience it for yourself to really understand. This was in 2015 and I've visited Castlefest ever since. Over time I started to see Castlefest as my moment to charge with new energy, it's almost like a national holiday! 

That feeling starts when I get on the bus in Hillegom. Together with all these people heading to the festival, most of us in awesome outfits. I visit the festival together with my mother and brother on the Saturday, as it is the best and busiest day. The first few times I had to convince them to come along, but they love it just as much now and I make sure to make a costume for each one of us.

Making those costumes takes quite some time. I often start around Christmas to be able to get it all finished by august. I use about six months to finish my own elaborate costumes and two months for the costumes of my mother and brother. 
Each one of us chooses our own costume and inspiration, we don't make group costumes. This way, we can have the costume each of us likes best and feels most confident in. I myself love to get my inspiration from materials. Previously, I made a project with soda can pull tabs. I had a few of them on my table and they reminded me of the rings of chain mail. I enthusiastically started collecting, but as soon as I realized I wouldn't be able to collect them on my own I asked on social media if people could help me.

I asked for help in the Castlefest Fanpage as well. I got the help I needed and people were very interested in what I was making. That's how I started sharing my progress in the Facebook group. I get a lot of nice comments! People even recognize me later on when we're on the festival terrain. The nicest compliments are when they tell me that the photos didn't do the outfit justice and it's even prettier in real life!

This last year I've been working on my costume for CelulindĂ«, the queen of Spring. She brings spring and is covered in flowers. I handstitched over 8000 flowers on a ballgown for this character. I don't trust glue for these things. Right now, the costume is finished and I'm hopefully waiting until I can wear it to a festival. 

Our house is quite small, so my workplace is in the living room. My mother collects witches, so we have many figurines around the house. With our hobbies combined, you find a bit of Castlefest through the whole house, all year round.

My Castlefest exists mostly of strolling around the market and getting pictures taken in my costume. We have to get home by public transport so unfortunately, we don't have the time and energy to stay for the Wickerman Ritual. We are home just in time to enjoy the ritual on the live stream. I really hope that one day I can experience it live! 

Article by Lena Gijsbrechts
Photos by Cindy Tiekstra

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