Monday, September 23, 2013

The dream of British camping...

Since moving to London I've been in constant awe at the glorious music scene they have here. Since London is a major hub of fashion and culture, tons of my favorite bands have come and gone. The problem more or less has been noticing in time that they are coming and actually buying tickets enough ahead time to go and see them (everything interesting sells out here because there are so many people).

Another version of music-watching, especially during the summer time, is festival going. Similar to what is offered in Finland, the Brits love to have multiple-day festivals in which their favorite artists come and perform in mass. Unfortunately unlike the Finns, who have a rather organized and efficient way of doing things, the Brits prefer to do this out in the countryside. I guess the justification is that the city is just too packed already as is. Something something go out in the open air and enjoy the...beautiful weather?

I don't know whose idea it was first to do festivals outdoors and out of the cities, but whoever thought of it should be shot. This is not convenient and it certainly isn't pretty. Do you know what British people are like outside of their city habitats? They're disgusting. But I'll get to that later.

Anyway, one of the bigger festivals that comes through during the summertime is called Creamfields. Oddly it's next to Liverpool and a place called Daresbury (the second of which no one has heard of, so no worries on that account).

I had made vague plans to go with British C and Ozzie L earlier in the year when they told me they were going, but after hearing that it required camping and logistics I backed out in a haze of laziness. I don't own camping gear on this side of the ocean and without a car getting to places far away is actually quite a bit of hassle. Having seen quite a few of the headliners at various places and times in my life already, it just didn't seem worth the effort (this is how you know you're getting old: you just can't be bothered...even in the name of fun).

Well, as luck would have it (or just pure happenstance), one of their friends backed out last minute and a ticket was made available. I was asked if I wanted to join, and as it stood, I'd failed to make plans that weekend (one of the few completely unplanned weekends I'd had...and a weekend with a bank holiday attached nonetheless).

It didn't take long to convince me this was a great idea.
  1. I didn't have plans that weekend. So these plans would fit perfectly into my nonexistent plans.
  2. What about the camping equipment I needed? British C and Ozzie L had a spare set of everything for me. OMG so perfect that's not even funny.
  3. What about transportation? I would just need to get up to their house in Milton Keynes and they'd drive me the rest of the way. OMG so convenient.
  4. What about the rest of the stuff I would need to bring like food or booze or whatever? I could just pay for people's drinks there once we were in the festival to contribute. Yes, throw money at the problem and run. I can do that.
  5. Uhh, yeah, I think that pretty much solves any qualms I'd have.
I even got a packing list of items I should bring. All it took was a 5pound shopping spree at Boots and I was ready to rock (things like dry shampoo, which I'd never used before, were purchased...oh and lots of face wipes...which are like fancier baby wipes...and waterless antibacterial gel...I think you get the point).

And so it as arranged. I would be going on my first British festival camping experience. Holy crap.

Holy crap was definitely right. But I'll get to that.

Before I knew it it was the night before and I was packed and ready to go. My stomach was turning in a churn of knots. I didn't know if it was something I'd eaten or just nerves about being out in the British wilderness for an extended period of time, but something was gnawing at me.

Adventure ho! I was ready to rock.

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