Is everyone else in the world fecking off to the Picnic tomorrow?
I'm not, as I'm a teacher and it's really not good timing for us. Which is a crying shame because it's not good timing for students either. How many of you had the discomfort of some smiling brat saying "Hey Sir!" at Oxegen this year as you stumbled around on your own trying to locate a friend, slightly the worse for rum?
I've never made it to the Picnic, they tell me it's a complete love-in compared to the nasty shenanigans of Oxegen but I do wonder how long it'll be till that bubble bursts. At the first festival I went to, back when Oxegen still went under the eminently more sensible moniker of Witnness (yes, two Ns, naturally), I remember walking around in a haze feeling enchanted by how many people were there to listen to the same kind of music that I liked. I had previously thought I was the only one, and my faith in humanity was restored. I remember the Irish Times reporting it as being "a remarkably sober event" and, to a point, they were right. Obviously everyone was locked (Paddy's whiskey was my poison that year, if I remember correctly) but it did seem to manifest itself in singing, dancing and hugging rather than the puking, public-pissing and arson that pervades the whole thing now. There were drugs then, too, but even this seemed more light-hearted. I had a good chuckle when a nordy guy asked if I had any 'Donaghdees', a piece of rhyming slang I found particularly enjoyable as Donaghdee is a small town in Antrim where a venerable great aunt of mine was closeted in a retirement home.
It was when they let the Black-Eyed Peas play that I noticed everything changing. I had to make my way to the mainstage sound-desk to collect my bottles of beer off a friend with a backstage pass who had snuck them in for us. Unfortunately this coincided with Fergie and co. subjecting the whole place to 'Where Is The Love?' It certainly wasn't anywhere near me as I fought through wave upon wave of skobie, skanger and skumbag givin' it fookin' loads and raising their arms, quite literally, in ecstasy. I should have heeded the warnings of a friend who had told me N.E.R.D. had exactly the same clientele at their slot. And my eavesdropping of the two morons in front of me in the queue to get in: "Dis is fookin' deadly, wha' time are Outkast on at?" "Eh, I don' tink dey're playin' bud." They weren't playing, the first guy just imagined that a festival meant you could turn up and expect to see whatever band you really liked.
This is rapidly turning into a snobbier-sounding post than I intended it to be, but I just wonder how long it will be before Electric Picnic goes the same way. Or is it far away enough from Dublin to be safe?
I think I'm just bitter. Have fun.