So, Bono’s not playing Glastonbury and you missed out on Bestival tickets because you were too busy deciding what to wear to Benicassim but who really gives a fuck? Every year around this time every single publication starts pumping out the same spurious festival related shite “How to rock festival chic” ie how to dress like Kate Moss on a bad day, “Top 5 new bands to watch out for” otherwise known as the top 5 bands who are only on the “to watch out for list” because they haven’t actually made it anywhere near the music industry yet, and the fact is they’re not likely to either. We love that shit, it makes us feel like we are cool and cultured, we don’t even stop think for a second that perhaps all the hype is, well, just that. If you haven’t guessed it already then here we go; “My name is Olivia Foster and I am not a festival fan” and here, for your eyes only, is why;
The music, there we go, shock horror, I said it, now get over it and read on. On average there are about 3 bands at a festival anybody really wants to see, and they’re always the same ones. You wake in the morning, not really feeling like P Diddy, with all these good intentions of getting there ‘early’, getting to the front of the stage, ready to ‘rock it out’ and other stupid things people say at festivals. Then you have one too many the night before and end up 7000ft back, stood behind a man in a comedy hat watching the band not on the stage, but on the oversized television screens. You may as well have stayed at home. You just about get over the fact that you spent £200 to see (I use that word in the loosest of senses) a gig that would usually cost you £20, when someone throws a bottle at your head and you’re whisked off to the medical tent for two hours where you have to sit next to Kelly from Scunthorpe who’s vomiting all over herself because she can’t handle her vodka. Obviously you will turn this into those ‘Remember that one time at Reading...’ stories, the sort that knobby people who go to festivals tell to make themselves feel better about not having had as good a time as they thought they would, but inside you’re weeping (and maybe a bit on the outside too).
You’re not so “spaced out man” it’s just sunstroke.
Money is also a massive issue (when isn’t it?). In terms of money festivals are like a parallel universe, a universe where everything costs about a million pounds more than it does in the real world. You think to yourself "Oh I’ll just go buy a hotdog", then you realise oh no I won’t because I maxed out my credit card buying a giant Yorkshire pudding on my first day, who even wants to eat a giant Yorkshire pudding? No one. And it’s not just the food. Would you pay £70 for a bag of talcum powder masquerading as Cocaine when you’re at home? No. Then why the fuck are you doing that now you idiot? You’re not so “spaced out man” it’s just sunstroke. You get home after 4 days having spent the equivalent of a trip to the Caribbean and all you’ve got to show for it is a slightly enlarged stomach from consuming too many carbohydrates and luke warm beers. You think you’re pretty tanned from the one hour window of sunshine that decided to transpire just before you got the train home but after closer inspection, and a quick wash, you realise it was just dirt.
Another problem is the clothes. I mean come on, what is with festival fashion? Seemingly normal human beings give up all sense of what is, well, normal and start dressing in all manner of hideous atrocities. A sarong? You’re in a field in Somerset love, not on a beach in Cuba. And that’s just the tipping point. It’s like for 361 days of the year people save up every odd item of clothing they’ve ever owned and then parade around in them like they're gods gift to Gok Wan. I wouldn’t care if they didn’t think have that air of “Man I just look so good right now” about them, no you don’t look good, you look like you’ve just been raped by a jumble sale. Everyone just seems to be trying way.too.hard. Hunter wellies? Come on ladies, when the hell are you going to wear those bad boys again, they’re hardly pop to your local supermarket material now are they? What’s worse is the people who go for novelty clothing, at Beach Break last year I had the pleasure of sharing a dance with a man dressed as a giant penis, this was funny for about 2 minutes until I realised I was literally dancing with a dick. When he tried to get his real one out I knew it was time to make a swift exit, but where to go? Back to my cold, dark, smelly tent?
See that’s the problem with being stuck in a field, unlike your local discoteque, when you start to get bit bored of the ‘crazy’ there’s no where else to go. You’re stuck like the proverbial glue. Your only option is to return to ‘camp’ where you are likely to be greeted by an every growing swarm of flies languishing in somebody’s left over wine box. Which brings me to my biggest festival bug bear; the whole personal hygiene issue. Seriously? If someone said to you, how would you like to spend 4 days rolling around in your own piss you would not run around screaming with excitement. People who go to festivals do. “Wooo I’m so filthy”, “Wooo I have to wear a hat because my hair is so greasy I looked like I rubbed myself all over a baby oiled up Chippendale”, “Wooo I haven’t showered for nearly a week and I smell like an old ashtray” This is not attractive, it’s not bloody cool either.
So, whilst thousands lament the latest line up let down, I’m going to go and get back to being cool and cultured the old school way -go and make myself a nice cup of cocoa and slip into some elasticated trousers - safe in the knowledge that no amount of festival furore is going to fuck up my day.