Festival season is upon us and I for one am delighted to say that I won’t be going to a single one. Firstly, I think I need to clarify what I mean by ‘festival.’ I’m not referring to an arts festival like the Edinburgh Fringe, (I will be performing there AGAIN because if I’ve learned anything, it’s that having my hopes and dreams crushed whilst losing a huge amount of money annually in Scotland is a compulsion I can’t shake) or indeed the Hay festival where a bunch of middle class white people chat about their love of poetry and the exciting renaissance of unaccompanied folk music. No, I’m talking about the kind of festival that finds that other bunch of middle class white people, drinking endless cans of cider whilst dancing erratically in a muddy field to music that sounds better on your stereo at home. The highlight of this kind of festival is that at the end of a long day where you might be drunk/tired/sunburnt/freezing and suffering from heat stroke/trench foot/exhaustion/hypothermia you get to sleep in a tent. Who wouldn’t pay £250 for that privilege? As it turns out, me.
Last year I decided I’d been to my last Festival, I don’t have the stamina for it. Yes it was fun when I was in my twenties, it was all new and exciting! I could watch my favourite bands play live, crack open a beer at 10am and wear tie dyed drawstrings trousers with no self-awareness. To be honest at 19 I could have had fun in a skip, I was young, carefree and desperate to ‘experience’ life.
These days I want to limit my experiences as much as possible. To be honest I get upset when my girlfriend buys the wrong brand of coffee. It’s hardly a surprise then that festivals feel like less of a holiday and more of an endurance test; the crowds, the standing around, the needing to pee after I look at a cup of water/beer/soda/coffee/tea. What the hell is that about? It’s like my bladder enters a state of panic as soon as I walk on to the Festival grounds. Where’s the nearest toilet? Will there be loo roll? Can I cope sharing a lavatory with the 6-7000 people who have been in there before me? What if I somehow fall down the loo in the middle of night and no one finds me until Sunday! Hang on, how big is this bloody toilet? FINE I’LL DO IT IN THE BUCKET IN MY TENT! Don’t judge me, we’ve all been there right?
Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of sitting on the grass in the sunshine with my good mates, drinking a cold can of beer and listening to a band I love. Unfortunately what usually happens is that I find myself wading through mud having lost my friends three hours earlier and regretting the 6 cans of warm lager I’ve downed to numb the misery as I trudge towards a bunch of portaloos that have flooded.
These days I can’t even get close to the bands I want to listen to. I don’t have the stamina to compete with those blonde girls in uber short shorts with their designer wellies and Aviator sunglasses elbowing me in the face to get to the front. And who is that tall guy and why does he always stand directly in front of me? TALL GUY! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
Sadly my girlfriend loves a festival, I think this maybe because she thinks she’s still 19 years old. So while I would rather have my eyeballs rubbed up and down a pebble dashed wall than head to Glastonbury my girlfriend is practically in mourning because we won’t be in the thick of it. Of course compromise is everything in relationships, which is why I’ve put up a tent in the living room, cranked up the stereo and chucked a packet of sausage rolls in her sleeping bag. She was delighted….ahem.
Yup, we’re going to Latitude next year.