Penny For Your Thoughts // Matthew Britton

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are festivals even that good…?

Unbelievable as it may seem at the moment, there will be a point this year in which you will feel the urge to wear shorts, pop on a t-shirt, eat an ice cream and, whilst chances of getting any kind of decent suntan are low, you’ll probably also consider attending a festival of some sort, and you may even actually go – but will you enjoy yourself?

As with a lot of things in life, the promise (and, indeed, the premise) is often much more exciting than the actual event itself. When you fantasise about what your festival experience is going to be like, in your head you are perpetually having that first sip of a cold cider as sun pours down and you and your friends settle amongst like minded souls to watch Destiny’s Child play a 12 hour set of b-sides and rarities with care and consideration – knowing every word to ‘Girl’ but choosing not to sing along. In reality, you’re covered in light drizzle, wearing a plastic poncho and your Dad’s old wellies, nursing corporate lager and watching roadies tune up for The Twang, trying to supress your own sobs.

Now, even less believable than summer being on it’s way, there seems to be a real mine of people that really, properly, enjoy this kind of experience – the muddy fields, the soggy tents, the full body searches, underage drinking and overpriced felafel. But who? And how? In a country ravaged by recession, and youth unemployment (the prime demographic for these things) at an all time high, who would willingly pay £180 to spend two – or, worse, three – days shivering in the cold, feeling unloved and alone whilst Feeder inevitably headline some stage? There are many problems that a Cornetto can solve, but there is some doubt over whether it’ll ever be able to remove the emotional scars of somehow being surrounded by people singing along to every word of ‘Buck Rogers’ and almost joining in yourself.

By Matthew Britton