Thursday, September 26, 2013 2

All of us woke a little after dawn. There is something to be said about the combination of lots of booze, cheap tents, and young people. You get little sleep and what sleep you do get, is pretty poor quality.

Despite bringing sleeping bags and other fairly alright camping equipment, all of us were up really early. It gets very damp and very cold in the English countryside and Creamfields was no exception. It was probably still in the low double digits in the mornings but it was damp enough to put dew on everything and make things generally unpleasant (you could see your breath and once again, wellies and boots were the smartest thing you could be wearing).

Everyone was either woken by the sun or by the cold. I was woken by the fact that I'd gone to bed at 9:30pm the night before and despite being woken up at 3:30am previously, I was just done sleeping. I was up around 6am. There you go.

Wherever I am my routine always follows - I did my morning rituals before everyone else was up and desperately sought out a warm beverage. Since the British don't enjoy any tea that's uncaffeinated, hot chocolate was my only choice other than hot water. I took one for the team and took hot chocolate (it's still caffeinated but I like to pretend it's slightly less caffeinated than normal's probably about the same). It was surprisingly good (I think more to the point I was hungry and conditions were outdoor so everything just tasted a little better than it should have).

Soon after everyone was up and wandering around. We had a lot more shows we wanted to see that day, so more scheduling and logistics planning. Also because there were more famous artists on that day, our group wanted to split, making things a little more difficult. No problem our group couldn't solve though!

And so we got ready (relatively quickly, in comparison to yesterday), got our faces painted (plus diamantes, once again) and headed down to the festival after some more joyous day drinking. Once inside the prices of drinks went steeply up (from our own supply, brought cheaply from various supermarkets, to London prices...which everyone aside from me greatly detested).

Who did we see on day 2?

Porter Robinson
Feed Me
Groove Armada (a DJ set of remixes)
Sebastian Ingrosso + Alesso

The last two I saw on my own while everyone else went to see Tiesto. I'd seen him already at another festival in Finland previously and Sebastian Ingrosso was more interesting to me (though I'd already seen him in Finland last year as well).

Surprisingly, Feed Me was probably the outstanding winner out of all of the performances I saw. Porter Robinson was also good, but having seen him in San Diego before I moved, there was something that didn't strike me the same about him. He also admitted that his set was a bit less mainstream because he was getting tired of touring and wanted to play the things he liked, rather than what a crowd might like. I'm totally fine with that but it's sort of a funny thing to admit to a crowd. So there you have it.

At this point my body was starting to feel pretty broken, though it felt slightly better than Saturday. I had to sit down for most of the Sebastian Ingrosso set and everything ached. I had assumed at first it was just getting old and not being able to sleep on hard ground for a few nights in a row, but after doing some stretching and not having the pain abate even after warming up and moving was clear something was actually wrong.

I still ignored it though; I was at Creamfields for holiday and was going to enjoy every bit of my youth that was possible, given the circumstances.

As we walked back from the festival and regaled each other with stories of glorious people watching and sets unseen by the others...we walked through the camps closest to the festival entrance.

Horrid smells washed over us. The odor of urine, overflowing toilets, garbage, unwashed people reeking of alcohol sweat, and rotting food all stuck in mud. There is no smell-o-vision experience for this blog so I can share with you what that smell was like but know that it was more than nauseating. It made me want to stop breathing.

All the camps at the bottom of the hill near the festival entrances were what my sister would kindly call "trash camps." (Akin to "Garbage City," what my sister had dubbed Athens after weeks of their trash workers going on strike and refusing to do rubbish can only imagine what that is like in 35 degree summer heat and a penchant for deliciously fresh and seafood-based cuisine...yeah). Not only were people urinating around their tents and anywhere that looked vaguely open (so on the roads we were walking on to get anywhere...all compacted under the pounding footsteps of tens of thousands of campers and dampened by the urine of about 70% of those campers), they didn't bother going anywhere to dump anything. Trash was everywhere...rubbish, just thrown to the wind (which luckily there was not much of, so the smell didn't carry as far as our camp, happily sitting on top of a hill).

The grass had been trampled into nothing, the entire thing was just...filth. Real slums are cleaner than these camps. Everyone living in just pure and utter squalor. The product of pure first world neglect. Ambivalence. The ability to have everything at your fingertips, absolutely anything you would ever require for a life of luxury and just...destroying it without any regard simply because you have the ability to do so.

I have no other real feelings about this other than complete and utter disgust. All of us felt it.

We walked back to our clean camp on top of the hill and felt thankful once again that Ozzie L and British C had enough experience to get us there. Our grass was still green and long, a brisk breeze blowing over our camp from behind us, bringing us fresh clean air from somewhere not associated with the festival. Though the camps next to us weren't as clean as us (we brought garbage bags to dump everything in so nothing was left strewn about), at least they didn't urinate on our tents, only on their own. When you have young neighbors that's all you can really ask for. Unfortunately some of my friends still had been fallen on by drunken walkers in the middle of the night, so it's not that we all came out unscathed.

We took it easy for the rest of the night, knowing that we would be packing up early the next morning and getting out as fast as possible. We left the partying to the young ones. Our fun here was nearing its end. We talked into the night and contented ourselves with the fact that it was a weekend well spent.

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