Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Festivals - and why I hate them.

Every time someone asks me if I am going to a festival this summer I die a little bit inside. I cannot get my head around why these weekends are so popular. What you are asking me, essentially, is if I too have agreed to pay the price of a small house in order to spend two nights in a field attempting sleep in a canvas cage. If I’m lucky I might be able to rest my head on a rock. During the night sounds of shouting, fighting and vomiting will entertain my tent friends and I, ensuring all will be cranky and tired in the morning. Not to worry though, I knew this, and brought red bull for this exact purpose. During the daytime we will be queuing mostly. Upon reaching the front of the queue we will be ripped off and leave, burger/drink in hand, feeling violated and abused. At V festival in 2007 I actually paid £7.50 for a grease sandwich. I paid this because I was hungry and had been queuing for around half an hour. I did not enjoy my snackette. The fury gave me indigestion. 

People who have paid hundreds of pounds to sit in a field.
This year if one wishes to voluntarily attend Reading Festival it will cost around £250. Why not go on holiday instead? Or stay at home? Once you have arrived at the fun house you are destined to spend the entire time queuing for vouchers. These will then be used when you reach the front of the gigantic queue for the voucher bar, where you will be charged approximately two hundred pounds for a plastic bottle containing wine which will undoubtedly taste like paint stripper but which you will drink anyway, because you are parched and need to get sufficiently paraletic before any enjoyment of the festival can occur. 

(Google Images)
People having 'fun'
I suppose the main reason for attending festivals is to see bands and dance about in uncomfortable proximity to strangers who have not showered for two or three days. Although this is gross, it is understandable for festivals such as Reading and Leeds, not so much for V Festival. Cheryl Cole was supposed to be headlining this year.  In a cruel twist of fate Cheryl contracted malaria and MAY NOT be well enough to present the X Factor this year, let alone headline V. Hopefully with counselling we will all overcome this news, life is full of hurdles. But really, why was she headlining? Who is it that has not yet realised that Miss Cole is not good at singing, or dancing, or performing, or entertaining, or whatever it is she is attempting to do. She is famous because she is nice to look at, but at a festival one cannot hope to come anywhere near enough to the stage to actually see the face of the performer. I presume Scouting for Girls will be taking her place as they seem to show up at V every single year without fail despite the fact that no one has liked them for a number of years. 

(Google Images)
Pandora's Box. 
After some sweaty dancing with strangers, where one spends the entire time distracted by the constant need to dodge flying bottles of urine, there will come a time when you too need to use the toilet. This is the point during the festival where I am overcome by fear and anxiety, and start to prepare myself for the worst. Fortunately there is plenty of time for this because the portaloo area is a popular festival haunt, thus you are likely to spend around an hour queuing for the pleasure of its services. Last time I attended a festival I reached the front of the queue and dithered about which portaloo would be preferable. As I started to feel lightheaded from holding my breath for a number of minutes I tentatively approached a green plastic door. I reached for the handle and a man behind me shouted “NOOOOoooooOOOOoooo!!!!” In my haste to back away from the offending portaloo I almost lost my balance and fell in mud. The next person to approach the door was not warned in time. The sight was not a pretty one. The walls of this little green tomb were caked in excrement. I don’t know how things like this can happen but I imagine someone had been quite unwell a few hours previously. All those who had been in high proximity to this monstrosity turned a pea green colour as they too started to worry about their turn. I searched for some time for a toilet which did not make me wretch but was unable to find one, eventually giving up, shutting my eyes and holding my nose until the ordeal was over. Needless to say I was reluctant to consume any fluids for the rest of the day as this was not an experience I was willing to repeat, ever, in my life, ever. I was reduced to peeing in a field, like a dog. I cannot comprehend why, when the ticket prices, and prices of everything in the festival arena (a programme is £10) are so exorbitant, the portaloos cannot be cleaned more regularly, or be more plentiful so one does not have to queue for an hour to wee. It makes me enraged and disgusted, but mostly enraged
The only memories I can recall of V Festival are those of repulsion, horror and outrage. Oodles of cash were ripped from my clutching hands, constantly, for two days. As I left, covered in grime and mud, tired and grumpy, I felt as though I’d been robbed. I can’t understand the pleasure which some appear to gain from festival attendance. I wonder what such people are thinking. I continue to wonder for some time and can come up with no legitimate reason for any fun being had at these events. So no, I am not going to any festivals this summer.
From Alexandra


  1. I am glad I'm not the only one who thinks Cheryl Cole is a fool.
    I've never had to experience a festival and I don't think I ever will - not being able to wash properly, expense and toilets put me off xx

  2. That's a very cynical way of looking at it. Hahaha. I would stay at home too though.


  3. Thanks for the blog love Alexandra! I'm pleased that I was able to discover your blog as well.

    I think you summed up festivals fairly well. Even having to deal with portaloos for a few hours at an outdoor function is bad enough, but for a couple days, ew! I'd save my dosh and skip the entire thing as well.

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts!
    Happy Weekend, The Empress


  4. nice posts! keep it coming. i enjoy your writings :)