Friday, July 29, 2011

A passing commentary on festivals

Festivals, although such an enormous part of the English summer, have never really captured my imagination before. That is, until a friend offered to take me along to Lounge on the Farm as her plus 1, my curiosity was piqued. Lounge seemed a great festival to get me started, a taster into what they must all be like.

'We could camp', she had said languorously, 'but I quite enjoy my flushing loos and running water. Besides, I have attachment issues with my bed.' So our accommodation consisted of a house fifteen minutes away from the site itself.

As for the line-up, I'm ashamed to say that the only act I managed to recognise was
Ellie Goulding, whilst others rang vaque bells in the recesses of my memory.

We walked up to Merton farm on what I thought to be a hot Friday, but the combination of a blustery breeze, shorts and being on a bald hill reduced me to a shivering lump within minutes. However, I resolved to scout out the atmosphere, very inquisitive as to the happenings of a festival. The first thing that struck me was that I saw a great many pairs of white arse cheeks protruding from Levi's 501 cut-offs that had been butchered at a slant, sometimes at such an angle so as to reveal lime-green lace pants. Then there was a whole array of wellies, ranging from Hunters to red ones adorned with weed leaves.

There were also a great many ponchos, the sort made out of rough, Peruvian wool with hoods that liken one to a member of the KKK, and trilbies made of cheap plastic 'straw'. Rings glistened on every finger, and roll-ups lay poised between tobacco-stained knuckles.

The whole place reeked of cannabis and vomit, and the Portaloos had all run out of toilet paper within four hours and required one not to breathe at all.

However, one must also accord Lounge the compliment of being one of the more picturesque festivals, what with tents selling vintage clothing and silver jewellery. It is a place where Daily Mail readers go with their Aigle wellie-wearing offspring, to sit in tea tents strung about with florrid buntings and eat brownies.

Frankly, after the first day of general exploration, I had ceased to see the point: after paying the sum of £80 for a youth week-end you meander between vintage stalls and food tents, where you spend a small fortune on a falafel, dosing in the fleeting bursts of sunshine and listening now and then to the odd bit of comedy, whilst endless unknown acts play on in the main meadow. There are hordes of overly-hormonal teenagers set loose over the fields, and masses of men in their fifties crooning along to Elvis whilst sitting slumped in a stoned heap in the corner of the dance tent. Ellie Goulding was on for an hour, and then my enthusiasm for the whole thing vanished.

Why the English will never cease to celebrate the festival I will never know. For them the lot is even harder, consisting of nothing but Portaloos, public showers and, from my slightly poncy point of view, limited security in a tent. They wear wellies, drink and get sunburnt. Then again, that is what the British hold amongst the activities they are most famous for, is it not?

So next time I get asked to a festival, I'll be politely declining, as I happen to be rather fond of flushing toilets, four solid walls and hot water. And I too, have attachment issues with my bed.

Hope you are all having a great summer wherever you are, and, if you happen to be at a festival, make sure you are wearing sunscreen.

XO Cendrillon

No comments:

Post a Comment