Festivals: Headlining the main stage - Mr Nobody

Maybe I just hate hippies? I do hate hippies

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The Independent Online

I’ve tried as hard as I can but … I really can’t hack festivals. I just don’t think they’re for me. Maybe it’s because I dress like an idiot for work, so the idea of wandering around the gardens of some stately home disguised as a hipster lobster is less appealing to me than the average middle-class dad on a weekend off? Maybe I’m just a killjoy? It’s certainly true that I wander around these things when forced to be there with a rain cloud hanging over my head ... a full-time festival grump.

Or maybe I just hate hippies? I do hate hippies – they smell and serve no useful purpose. But then festivals don’t really have any hippies any more; they can’t afford the exorbitant entrance tickets or the price of a Goan cuttlefish curry. To me, festivals appear to be a parody of themselves.

In the “old days”, they were a place where youth could rebel against their parents by adopting the counterculture, smearing patchouli oil over their pathetic breasts before ending up in a wigwam with a couple called Cabbage and Jericho. Now it’s the parents who do all the embarrassing stuff, play-acting like a bunch of terrible history re-enacters while their kids hang around bored until they’re old enough to drink cider and snog someone.

Let’s face it – anyone properly into counterculture from the “old days” is either dead or is that weird annoying bloke with dreads and mad staring eyes who is kicked out of today’s festivals for scaring the children.

So you’re left with middle-class parents trudging around an expensive field being fleeced by every trader in sight before listening to someone who last made a decent record back when people knew what records were.

And there are millions of them – festivals, I mean – and middle-class parents dressed in Fluo Lycra or pseudo Native American garb. What did everyone do before these bloody things? They have now taken the place of the point-to-point, the village fête, the arts extravaganza. Anybody with an oversized garden now turns it into a festival ground. Near me in Cheltenham, I get literature festivals, science festivals, medieval festivals, music festivals, cricket festivals, food festivals … there are just too many festivals. Stop it now. Everybody stop going to festivals and stay home and go to the pub like normal people. Please.

If you don’t, I’ll be forced to launch my own festival. It will be called “No-Such Festival” and nobody will be invited to play music there. Nobody will be allowed in and there will be a strict fancy dress ban. Nobody will be allowed to cook or sell food or drink and anybody doing any “circus” type acts will be hunted down and killed.

I actually quite like the sound of my festival. If you also like the sound of it, you can apply for exclusive VIP tickets that will allow you to get unique access. I will personally wander down the drive and tell you to bugger off when you show up. Best book fast – tickets are selling like expensive hot cakes and are only £3,500 a pop.

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