P in the Park

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The festival season is well and truly upon us with T in the Park over and thousands of revellers descending upon Stornoway for the HebCelt festival. As I stood in the ferry terminal waiting to collect my daughter from her excursion to T in the Park I couldn’t help but notice the difference between both sets of festival goers.

The HebCelt crowd seemed more mature and family orientated whereas those from T in the Park looked like they had just come from a weekend bender on Coll beach. I watched highlights from T in the Park on the telly and I honestly struggled to spot anyone who looked over 21 years old.

My friend runs King Tuts in Glasgow and has offered me free tickets every year but despite loving some of the bands I just can’t bring myself to watch the Stone Roses whilst standing amongst a throng of sweaty teenagers lobbing bottles of piddle over their heads. Yes, T in the Park really should be called P in the Park!

This year we even had idiots waving flares whilst standing on their mates’ shoulders. If only some of the flying piddle could have hit these idiots then maybe my daughter’s hair wouldn’t have caught fire. Amazingly she is still looking forward to going back next year.

But despite the neds and the drunken idiots have music festivals really changed much since I ventured down to York and Leeds many, many years ago?

I think they must have, as I don’t remember festivals, apart from Glastonbury, with campsites or any with more than a couple of toilets. I don’t recall any special buses being laid on and I certainly don’t remember any food outlets.

I do remember walking around York in the pouring rain with a plastic shopping bag over my head as we searched all night for a chip shop.

A group of us had driven down in a clapped-out Austin Allegro full of enthusiasm for our first festival only to find there was nowhere to pitch our tent apart from the side of a road. It took two hours to get the tent up in the pouring rain.

We eventually found the chip shop, next to a pub which was a bonus and after a few pints we took our food back to the tent.

Not wanting to upset the neighbours we had a bucket for our private requirements which we took to and from the tent. On coming out of the tent my friend tripped over the lip of the groundsheet and sent the contents of the bucket flying over my food. I’ve never touched a sausage supper since.

Maybe things haven’t changed after all?