14 September 2010
I just got back from Bestival on the Isle of Wight. It's a nice wee festival with some great bands playing in a pretty valley, and thankfully the rain held off (mostly). Unfortunately, there was one major problem - the audience. 95% of the crowd was made up of middle-class, white, trust-fund hipsters who came from either East London or Brighton. I know this because we were working gathering names for a good cause.
For a festival that's all about dressing up and acting like a freak for a few days, there was a surprising lack of communal atmosphere. In fact, any kind of "this is a special moment" atmosphere at all.
Where were the older folks? Where were the scallies? The Northerners? The people of colour? The trannies (Giles, wearing a dress on the Saturday doesn't count)? I know there's nothing the organisers can do about it, but now I have been I have no major desire to return and have to mingle with lots of pampered, privileged kids who have never been to festival before. People like this:
FESTIVAL TIPS FOR HIPSTER NOOBS:
1) Don't wear your "loik totally wacky" (and very large) hat into a crowd who are trying to watch a band. Obstruction of view will cause permanent wacky hat removal.
2) If leading a conga line of people through a large tent which is rammed shoulder to shoulder with folk, DON'T be Facebooking on iPhone at the same time. It's not about the danger of injury - it's about not looking like a twat.
3) Don't speak on your iPhone ALL THE WAY THROUGH a set by a legendary 70's glam-pop/art-rock band and then heckle them with shouts of "Oh hurry up and play Virginia Plain! We're waiting for the Flaming Lips". If Wayne Coyne heard you say that he would punch you in the face.
4) Don't sit on the ground while in the middle of the mosh pit, or anywhere within the vacinity of the first 150 rows of people. If you get trodden on, it's your own fault!
5) The point of a mosh pit is to, yes, mosh, but also to look out for your fellow moshers and PICK THEM UP if they fall over. Also, you can expect to get your clothes and hair dirty at an outdoor festival, so shut up and stop moaning about it.
6) Go to T In The Park and THEN tell us Bestival isn't a very posh festival. You'd be lucky to come out of Scotland with your teeth/hair/glasses/trainers/iPhones/Macbooks/dignity/horsey accents intact.
7) Don't be called Tarquin/Imogen/Pheobe/Tamsin/Jeremy.
8) Don't be a Tory.