Sunday, July 22, 2007


Despite himself, Oz had a good time at Port Eliot. When I explained that we were going to a Literary Festival he exploded,

"No way am I going to a LiteraCy Festival. It will be just like school."

It was interesting. Great to be out in a field, but I felt a bit odd - so much 'festival-ness' has become too generic. A bit going through the motions. There were many lovely people there. It was fun, even though we were astonishing in our propensity to arrive at every tent just as an act was closing...But where's the element of surprise and randomness gone?

The real reason to blog about it - I feel old.

Festivals played such a part of the past 20 years of my life that I worry about my state of cynicysm. I'm more used to being here but that' all changed beyond recognition. Tidied up and sanitised. Eeew. Despite a last min desire to go this year, I know I'd just look around and mourn the halycon days of the past. Not that I want to deny anyone the fun I had, but I do know, they won't know what they missed.

Half the fun was always climbing over the fence, and the best party was always in the travellers field...

I spent about five or six years working at a bundle of other smaller festivals that are now much bigger.

Am I just becoming part of a sad generation. Castle Morton, free partys... Am I just one of the many who is still looking for the party, even tho I might just be too old, too cynical to even enjoy it when I got there? Nature abhors a vacum, so there must be the same old same old going on somewhere? Yes? No?

I don't know.

Perhaps it's time I just took a big sigh and admitted that I should just raise my hands gently in surrender and enjoy, literacy...


MsAnn said...

Glastonbury - yes - funnily enough this year two friends of mine, both
in their forties, expressed the desire to go for the first time
and asked me if I was going. I smelled a mid-life crisis coming on...

There was a time when I used to mope about a bit if I didn't have a
ticket, but this year I felt only a faint stirring - it passes - I didn't experience that Glasto yearning. I told them I'd rather stay in a hotel with a tv and good surround sound!

I'm glad I did it when I was young though. Them's was good times. I
didn't care about mud and hardship then. I could stand with a full
bladder for four hours, no sweat. I think now it is just too huge and
commercial. There was a time when going was a kind of counter-culture
statement, you didn't necessarily admit it in certain circles in case of being thought a freak and a druggie, a hardcore hedonist, and I'm sure this is partly why my two lady friends didn't go back then, they were busy making serious careers, being 'straight'. But now Glastonbury seems to have become yet another notch on the middle-class consumer

Now, it seems like a weird simulation of what existed in the past - it allows you to seem 'alternative' without requiring you to actually drop out of anything. In this sense, I think, it comes without a cost, which dropping out does involve (or rather the cost is now financial - and how - rather than cultural or psychological).

And I don't know about you, but those stadium 'indie'-pop acts leave me cold.

miss-cellany said...

Ah so eloquent Ms Ann - was exactly what was rumbling in the back of my mind. They've cleaned it up to become such a giant Guardian/student/middle class ACT.

What was so strange was the drip feed of all into something so unashamedly middle class as Port Eliot.

Counter culture over the counter. Everywhere.

Should we just pin up a sign saying 'dun partyin'?

And yes, sod the stadium, bring back Wango Riley's stage...

Taiga the Fox said...

I'm glad I rambled across quite a many muddy festivals earlier, now I can concentrate on being a boring person in a garden or an art biennale and I actually seem to like it now, after I admitted I'm too old to feel cold in a tent on some field filled with drunk teenagers. But it was fun back then :)

Anyway, I wanted to say sorry I haven't had time to e-mail or comment or anything. Will do soon...