And why I’m so glad I haven’t contracted it
It seems you can’t turn sideways these days without bumping into a festival. They are no longer the preserve of the music industry and appear to celebrate a wide variety of hobbies and interests including yoga, fishing, comedy and knitting! Every day events are jumping on the festival wagon by using ‘Fest’ as a suffix or prefix to make their event sound more chic and presumably attract greater attendance figures.
Some of my friends have taken a turn of middle age hysteria by embracing all things festival and extol the virtues of leaving societal norms behind, opening up to new experiences and a different way of thinking. I can only envisage the experience I would have sharing a field with a lot of pissed people and I don’t think it would make me particularly happy or free thinking, but it does have visions of me shouting for silence.
Imagine trying to explain to a refugee that you leave the sanctity and safety of your house with electricity and running water to spend several days either wallowing in mud or baking under the glaring sun, sleeping in a tent, queuing for food and having to share a latrine with hundreds if not thousands of strangers. And then add that you do this for fun and pay highly for the privilege, they would quite rightly think you had completely lost your mind.
But that’s what millions of Brits do each summer. Having been struck with festival fever they move from one to another with reckless abandon and then come back and to evangelise to non-believers, which let’s be honest is a little bit patronising. I can’t understand why they deride me for not wanting to experience this modern day rally, I studied to be a field guide and was more than happy to sleep under the stars without any canvas but the festival I experienced there was the festival of nature and sounds of the bush which I believe are the most beautiful and melodic of all.
So all the time I have breath in my body I will not be attending any festival, but I’ll race you to the Kruger Park – last one to kiss a hippo is a sissy!