Archive for July 17, 2011

Day 1: Enduring The Masses

Posted: July 17, 2011 in Previous Rants

It was the first of three days at one of the biggest festivals around. It would get muddy, and loud, and I didn’t want to think about the tent. Thankfully, we were not alone in the task; my friend’s parents were kind enough to help us with unloading the car and even helped with setting up the tent. We would have otherwise struggled and given up on account of the weather which threatened above. The tents surrounding us were nowhere near as magnificent, several had collapsed and one appeared to have been hastily assembled, then taken apart from the inside. The occupant nearest to us had collapsed with his legs sticking out – only his snoring suggested “Mr Feet” was still alive and more probably drunk.

With the main priorities out of the way, we quickly unpacked and grabbed something to eat. We had ages yet to wait for our other friends to arrive. We were in a rush, it’d been a long, tiring day and we were exhausted – we did not want to be stuck at the back and miss the bands we’d come to see and so decided to meet them there. We wanted what most people consider the “best spot” – to be as near to the front as possible, ideally within feet of our favourite bands. I’d been looking forward to the music festival for ages and I definitely wanted a good spot.

We calmly made our way through the masses of people – the trick was to be subtle, not appear to be pushing in or trying to get to the front. Travelling in diagonal paths we eventually found a decent spot. Not that we could see any other way to get closer; we’d reached a barrier which broke up the crowd. It was a fantastic view and it was filling up rapidly behind us. We didn’t have too long to wait until the first act came on and so made conversation with the people around us – that was when it started.

I knew not by looking up, but by the sound of the crowd and the initial wave pushing against us. We managed to survive the first band on, after that, the music got better, but the crowd got worse. A few had started to become almost violent. I had been stood at the railings for just over half an hour when a small space became available – just enough room for my hand – I took the opportunity and anchored myself.

I was more concerned now for the safety of my best friend and a new friend we’d made during the wait between bands. They both had a firm hold of the railing, yet they were still being pushed along with the crowd and crushed against the bar. I had to help! I braced myself against the waves of people pushing towards the front, both arms locked to the barrier acting as a shield for my friends. I suppose it couldn’t really be helped – a chain reaction caused by one man carelessly throwing himself into others would eventually cause others to fall too.

All was well for a few moments, I could move a little, though it didn’t take me long to realise why few people actually held the railing. I found my right hand trapped beneath the sweaty palm of a small old lady with vice-like grip and my left beneath the sharp elbow of a man who continued to moan about “the lack of room”. Despite the crowd, I managed to enjoy the experience, the atmosphere was immense! Thousands of people singing at once, accompanying the speakers as we literally felt the music.

Bottles of unthinkable matter were being thrown everywhere, though none hit me, I still suffered. I couldn’t drown out the monotone slurring to the right. He was ruthless, with long greasy hair dangling far too close to my face. He was most insistent on “singing” everything, attempting the lyrics, guitar solos and even tried to repeat everything the vocalists said, from “It’s a pleasure to be here again” to “Thank-you and goodnight!”. Unfortunately, everything he said was accompanied by a breath of foul air, so it was to the left that I craned my neck to appreciate the rest of the bands. I told myself the pain was worth it but knew I’d have to rethink my strategy for the next few days…