Yes, I limited the reasons to just 10 – but here’s why you won’t catch this fun-sponge near a festival
If you’re into Festivals and all they entail – this is in no way ‘mud slinging’ at your life choices and how you spend your spare time and hard earned cash. Call me ‘Fanny McFuck-Off Festivals’, but I bloody hate the things.
I love seeing the pictures and Instagram stories of other people living their best, glitter encrusted, unwashed-except-for-a wet-wipe-round-your-bits lives – as that’s a double win – they’re having a ball doing what they love, while reminding me of why I hated every minute of the dusty or muddy (never in between) experience.
This tome is a cry of solidarity to all of those who remain (at home) perplexed, baffled and quite often appalled at the idea of forking out £450+ for a family ticket to stand in a crammed field with volume levels I would ordinarily cry “turn that racket down” to and for those of us who simply can’t justify splashing upwards of £500 spending money on a short weekend. And it’s always a ‘short weekend’ cos let’s face it, everyone bails come Sunday when it starts pissing it down, you’ve got glitter in places where it certainly won’t shine and the deflated airbed is not only uncomfy to sleep on but is a representation of your flattened enthusiasm and wilted patience.
I’m not pissing on the parade of “just ‘cos we had kids we shouldn’t stop having fun” as I’m all for this and it’s a pretty impermeable parade anyway, plus the British climate will probably whazz on that fun bus by Sunday. So, here’s just a few of the reasons you won’t find me at a festival:
- If I wanted to hang-out with a fun-loving bunch of middle-class parents I’d just go to the PTA AGM.
- If I’m splurging £1k on a weekend, I don’t expect a queue for the loo longer than the Great Wall; to blow up my own bed; be left questioning the hygiene rating of a sweaty air-stream, serving food, or have no running water.
- I don’t want to get up at 6am to put Casper’s name down for plate spinning/tight rope lessons, only to find out it was fully booked by 3am by Arlo’s mum, high on smugness from smuggling in her 25 tins of G&T!
- I hate camping at the best of times. Chuck a few thousand exuberant, camping neighbours into the mix and I’ll be about as happy as the Grinch on Christmas day.
- I don’t need the added stress of watching the weather forecast for the preceding weeks to find out if our ‘early-bird ticket investment’ is going to be washed away in a muddy landslide – along with our £500 bell-tent.
- The hierarchical ticket systems just feed into my status anxiety. Giving the ‘haves’ access to a myriad of what are considered basics at home: hot showers, hair dryers, phone charges etc.; while the ‘have nots’ slum it for their £450 standard camping ticket.
- There’s only so much organic, plant-based, Indian/Thai/Maxican street food I can eat from someone who I’m pretty sure has never actually been to those places.
- Having my car, blocked in and over a 30-minute walk away makes me nervous.
- I don’t want to pull my bemused children round a field in an all-terrain trailer, which will rust in the shed for the rest of the year. If it’s too far for them to schlepp, chances are it’s too far for me too!
- I hate glitter and flower crowns – nuff said?!
I can assure you, this loathing for festivals isn’t coming from a festival virgin. Back in 2009, I too flirted with the notion that, as a well-earning (oh, those were the days!) family with 2 under 3 – Camp Bestival was the fancy-free, middle-class parental tribe I so desperately wanted to be part of. After all, they all looked like they were having fun. So, with our Coleman cool box the size of a Volvo estate; cutesy, neon coloured mini ear-defenders at the ready; our tent (complete with 3 bedrooms, lounge and small kitchen area – which, in the right area of the UK would probably fetch £2k a month) and two oblivious toddlers – we headed off for a blustery, miserable weekend of sleeping on a hill in the stunning grounds of Lulworth Castle.
Horses for courses and all that, it should be seen as a blessing that we don’t all LOVE festivals, otherwise the trip from the parking field would be tenfold the already 30 minute slog and there wouldn’t be enough bum-bags/flower crowns/dry shampoo in the world to go round!
I simply want to let other party-poopers/fun sponges know (we have to self-deprecate in order to not come across as complete knobs!) that it’s ok to not want to go, be near or even sniff a festival – with or without your children. If you weren’t keen on the idea of uncouth dancing in a field followed by passing out on a wet sleeping bag in your late teens/early twenties, chances are you’ll find it even more of a bag-of-shitness-sprinkled-with-glitter when you’ve got over-tired ratbags traipsing behind you.
I am indeed running the risk of never being invited to another festival in my life – but that’s one I’m willing to take! You certainly won’t catch me having a pop at spa-breaks, beach holidays and luxury-weekend breaks with Ofsted childcare on tap!