So this weekend I lost my music festival virginity.
Yes, I know that at least 80% of the people reading this will either a) grimace, b) spit their tea out all over the screen, or c) say “well really, I haven’t followed this person to be subjected to that kind of talk.
However, I stand by that comment because a) see last post, what the hell else would you expect from me, inappropriate comments are what I do, and b) it made the two people I said it to snort with exhausted* laughter so it stays.
So. This weekend I went to my first ever music festival, with most excellent friends who promised to chaperone me and the Teen around, point us in the direction of the clean toilets and generally Not Lose Us in the throngs.
However as I am the grand old age of nearly 37, this was not Glastonbury. Nor T in the Park, Reading, V or any other of the grandaddies of festivals, oh no – their very busyness puts me off. This was Cornbury. Otherwise known as ‘Poshstock’, where Joules had a stand larger than my house; Hugger-Mugger Pies (not their real name) sold, well, pies made out of pigs they had presumably known and loved and eventually killed humanely by suffocating the swine with their right-on hipster goodness; and the main act actually stopped in the middle of their set to say “And we’re pleased to announce that the Prime Minister has stopped by.” This was swiftly followed by the sound of me saying loudly and robustly, in tones of huge disgust “oh and he can fuck right off” because the day I want our current prime minister to be stopping by anywhere near me, is the day Satan sits down and says “you know, all this evil lark, what’s it really all for anyway?” On the plus side, the space we were all sat in suddenly grew larger as the various yummy mummies scattered about like so many last season pashminas gathered their little Indias and Tarquins away from the nasty commie** woman.
I’d hate to say that I went mainly for the retail and eating experience but the following paragraph proves that actually, yes I did. The flamenco dresses with their ruffly, swirly, lacey, dramatic goodness called out to me, I went back and back, considered instituting a flamenco day at work to justify spending £80 on one. Sanity, sadly, prevailed. Nor did I buy one of the fabulous sparkly threaded, mirror sequined parasols, despite having a long internal conversation with myself about how it was possible to convert it to a lampshade afterwards. Ditto the top hat, which was abandoned because, despite the fact it looked bloody good, I didn’t actually need a top hat.*** The teen is unhindered by such considerations and would have happily parted with all her pennies for all manner of plastic, plaster and glass dragons if I hadn’t asked her who in the fresh hell did she imagine was going to dust all those, not to mention give them house room.
In short, I was so irritatingly sensible that I had to go and have a temporary tattoo done as my frivolous gesture of the day. Mind, I say ‘temporary’: as I type, it has been in place for over 24 hours without fading. As it’s a considerably bigger anchor than I would have chosen for a permanent tat (‘all the nice girls love a sailor’), this is slightly concerning. Then I ate a shema chicken wrap in a tortilla so soft it felt like a pillow. And then some maple-smoked pulled pork. And then some churros with hot chocolate. And then a Mr Whippy ice cream with a flake. I would have got some tortillas and falafels as well but felt I was coming across as a glutton.
Yes, there was music that was good (nods head in direction of the extraordinarily cheekboned Jack Savoretti, the low-down-growly JJ Grey and Mofro). Yes, there were toilets that were actually cleaned (one of my principal reasons in choosing a smaller festival). Yes, it was great just sitting and watching people wander around in their festival get ups – the tutu leading the fashion pack this year, on both sexes. Yes, it was rather lovely to see children running around without fear and just, on the whole, being happy in the sunshine. And YES, there was sunshine. So so much lovely, hot sunshine that I almost feel as though my winter deficit might just be made up for now. Even though it means I have sunburned ear lobes for goodness sake.
Totally worth it. As the Teen informed me this morning, “it was awesome”. And that’s from a girl who has been to Glastonbury. It felt like a small holiday and I didn’t think of work once.
And as the sun went down, the balloons went up and we waited for the Proclaimers to come on stage, I felt the sneaking signs of festival conversion coming over me. Next year it’ll be a weekend ticket, wandering around barefoot blowing bubbles whilst sporting a henna tattoo – there’ll be no stopping me. AND I’ll get the flamenco dress. AND the parasol. AND the top hat.
*exhausted because we’d been at a festival all day. Not for any other reason. Tsk, the minds of some people.
**NB. I am not a communist, having read enough history to realise that this never works as a political policy because people are people. Give them enough power and they’ll hang all the dissenters. Read your Orwell, people. But I detest this current government – hate is too shallow a word.
***Nobody actually needs a top hat ever but it might prove useful if I ever need a second job as a music hall artiste. altogether now…”oh yes we have no bananas…”