I have, this end-August Bank Holiday weekend, discovered I am not suited to festivals. The main reasons can be summed up quite succinctly. Firstly? I don't like camping. Second? I don't like the festival music scene
[I didn't know this before heading off, of course. It's all about discovery - Ed.]
I scribble, rather than type, in one of the tiny notebooks I try to keep secreted about my person. To elaborate:
Camping is plain not my scene. I don't get a kick out of tents: either 'living' or sleeping in them. Although my cheap [8 squids] tent has been nothing but dependeable. And there's a great deal to say in favour of waking up in a piece of vaguely idyllic countryside every morning. Even if you were woken by an insistent sun turning your tent into a greenhouse. Great place to live, but I seriously do not want to live here. Like I have been doing [for 4 days]. Although I'm impressed with how well I've managed, living with insects and small arachnids as a matter of course is not sustainable. So yes, camping is not really my (sleeping) bag.
But festival life is much more disagreeable. Music-wise there is obviously a large variety, but it's a lot more impersonal compared to the small, local gigs I prefer. On that note, the epic magnitude of the event seems to bring out the worst in people. I will highlight but a few strong, reoccurring incidents:
* Men whacking their cocks out in the middle of a field and pissing into any nearby recepticle. This was, where possible, often followed by the apparently ever popular see-how-far-I-can-throw-this-cup-into-a-crowd-of-dancers-it'll-be-well-funny-even-though-loads-of-people-have-already-done-it-this-song.
* People with more money than sense and less sense than amoebas. Concequences of this being people passed out off theiir faces on a random substance and/or dressed in as much overpriced tack and merchandise as possible.
* People who will up music venues standing still. Now, I can't talk as I sit on the extreme end of the spectrum. I'd bop to a funeral dirge if it had a good beat. However, I would do so out of the way of people who wanted to be all stoic. I would not fight my way into a prime position to act like a slack-jawed yokel or concentrate on waving my large, pointless flag.
I am a self-confessed music snob, and proud of it. And I don't think my opinions are right, but they're mine which means they're pretty fucking good. I have no respect for people whom, during one of the two live gigs Rage Against the Machine will do this year (if not forever more) in this country, fail to dance. Or people who come to the bar. Or, even, sit down and watch. This is a paradigm busting, massive headliner of a band. If you weren't fully arsed about getting involved, I don't want to know you. And I am happy to rip you off for drinks, as a sign of that total non-respect.
I prefer smaller gigs, where the bands aren't stick figures and where I am not surrounded by thousands of people who barely care about the music. I was working behind one of the main bars for Queens of the Stone Age and then Rage Against the Machine, but I showed more enthusiasm than most people who had actually paid to come and see them. And that, more than anything, is why festivals don't do it for me.
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