I understand people waving flags in an attempt to be the centre of attention, and the thowing about of inflatables over the crowds... even if the crowd surfing dinosaur during the Kaiser Chiefs seemed to find the experience deflating. But there's two things I cannot understand why people feel the need to throw - beer and toilet paper. The throwing beer pisses off the people who wind up wearing it... OK, if you're a cunt, I can see your motivation for wanting to throw it. But aren't you a weensy bit annoyed that you're wasting alcohol? And alcohol at festival prices to boot?
The second thing I don't understand the throwing of is toilet paper. If you've had the foresight to take your own bogroll, you don't want to throw it away on your first afternoon, do you? When you wake up on Sunday morning and have to go for a crap (which you certainly will do after eating festival food the day before) you're gonna have to drag your arse across the grass like a dog! And that's just not dignified, even at a festival.
The worst thing about festivals though is the mud. Yesterday the rain held off all day, until I was snuggly in my car and heading back to London. I felt disproportionately smug about this, after the last time I went to V 4 years ago and got soaked through to my pants. But, despite the absence of rain, the ground was still soft, moist and muddy. I'm currently on a train up to Scotland (and hooray for having my computer as a distraction from staring at the guy sitting opposite me who keeps going off to vomit) and am taking plenty of Essex mud with me where it's firmly caked on my wheels. Today I feel like I have the upper body strength of The Incredible Hulk after yesterday's wading through swamps.
The bands I managed to view during the day were:
* KT Tunstall - Why did no-one tell me she had such a sexy accent?
* Good Charlotte - Boring - apart from the couple of songs I recognised off the radio, which were worth bouncing along too. Took their set as an opportunity to go get some lunch if I'm honest.
* The Bravery - You'd think that with a name like that that they'd be a band solely made up of wheelchair users, wouldn't you? But, their name misleads. I'd never actually heard their name before, but I recognised a couple of their songs, presumably from Popstarz.
* Kaiser Chiefs - Fab. Lots of energy, enthusiasm, and who could go wrong with a mystical ability to forsee riots? Even if they were slightly weary seeing as they'd never been that far away from home before (Go, groan, I know you want to)
* Robert Plant - So boring I'm amazed my arse is still attached. I expect to be lynched by lots of middle-aged folk for typing that.
* Texas - They're Texas... is any more of a review needed?
Exiting I managed to blag my way backstage! This was because I'd parked in the car park near the production gate, and backstage was not only a much shorter route to my car, but they'd also laid down temporary roadways, whereas us ticket holders, who'd paid to be there were expected to wade our way back to our vehicles. In my begging to be allowed to take the easier route I kept using words like "reasonable" in conjunction with words like "access" until I think I confused the toothless security guard (hey - I wonder if it was his grandson in the crowd with the flag?) and he let me through, with a warning that I'd probably get sent back the way I'd just gone as I didn't have a backstage pass. About 200 yards on, I came to another security checkpoint where the path passed right behind the Channel 4 Stage. I was just about to open my mouth and explain the access inadequacies to the man trying to look fearsome, when two women came up behind me, with their backstage passes and said "she's with us!" La. No explanations needed. Hooray for that good old festival spirit.
On the subject of festival spirit. When I was on my way over to the JJB Arena to see Texas, I passed a man, sitting on the grass wearing a T-shirt that I thought was somewhat entertaining. I went up to him and told him I liked it, and asked where he got it. So, he took it off and gave it to me.
What do we think:
I have to say, I think it looks better on me than on a non-disabled bloke. On him, he looked like a bit of a cunt. Me - I can pull it off as a kind of statement. I don't mean pull it off as a statement in the Lady Godiva sense, I mean, oh, you know what I mean...
Going back to the me being allowed to roam backstage. That was fair enough, it was a reasonable access adjustment if you ask me. I'd have had no objection to being escorted by security while I went through... just to make sure I didn't go harrassing Texas. But, they didn't care. Not that I would've gone hunting for people off the telly. That'd involve going off the laid down track and would be like far too much hard work if nothing else.
But, I would like to award the security staff at the event in general my "nutsack of the week award." Particularly to the ssecurity they put to protect the cripple viewing platform by the Channel 4 stage. They didn't care about the fact that, as far as I could make out, on the festival site itself (not including the campsite) there were only 4 disabled loos. Their job in patrolling the viewing platform also included protecting 2 of the toilets from non-crips. Did they? No. They just made sure the queue remained orderly. By 7pm the toilets were full. I'm so glad I only had a day ticket and don't have to face the prospect of having to use them today. Though, I am currently on a train, and the "space for a wheelchair user" is of course next to the toilet, so I've still got that festival aroma with me.
Ooo, here comes Edinburgh. No time for a humourous punchline. Instead, to commemorate my return to Edinburgh, here's one my friend made earlier: