Festival Round-up - Festival trends
'A Teletubby costume seemed to be key'
Friday 18 September 2009
Learning complicated crochet patterns; finding, buying, understanding and then testing a copy of 'Guitar Hero'; going to Westfield in Shepherd's Bush and sneering at teenagers; these are all preferable pursuits to sitting in a field full of pissed, juvenile misanthropes on a diet of grease and facsimiled guitar bands.
But what to do if your so-called friends guilt-trip you into going after calling you a "party-pooping numpty"? Enjoy the atmosphere, I say, and rest your ears on their one-way trip to tinnitus town.
At Glastonbury, you could spend the days between Thursday night's downpour and the sunshine of Sunday by buying a Michael Jackson tribute T-shirt and dodging the increasingly technologically-savvy costume changes. Festival-goers donned all-in-one, colour-coded latex suits; Lady Gaga had a bra that spewed forth fire; rumour has it that next year, Lily Allen's underwear will be totally virtual. Even a brief outbreak of swine flu could not dampen people's spirits. The weather had already done a fine job.
And if festival veterans didn't already feel out of place among Glastonbury's 17-year-old populace, then Latitude made them feel similarly inbetween-y. This is very much a family festival. Attendees bring exotic cheeses to spread across the grass while listening to seasoned comics and poet laureates; the kids arena is the size of a former Soviet state (entertainers, slides, treasure hunts and balloons). In Southwold it is also easier to get to sleep. You're more likely to get disturbed by a crying baby than some boozed-up kid full of cider. At the Secret Garden Party, and later, Camp Bestival, Bacchanalian debauchery in, er, a Teletubby costume seemed to be the key; Bestival confirmed its graduation from its role as Glastonbury's colourful little brother (up from 6,000 to 40,000 in four years).
Self-consciousness is to be left at the entrance gates otherwise you won't be able to enjoy the aggressive, bastardised versions of bingo, Christmas lunches and moustache competitions. Either that or take lots of drugs (ibuprofen /anti-histamines/strychnine). This year the fancy-dress theme was space travel, so on display were men with red tentacles for heads, and a lot of spandex; zookeepers, aliens, astronauts, space cadets, along with the people who forgot and came dressed as Grotbags. Roll on 2010.
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