The first outdoor music experience I had was, probably, something in the boy scouts. However, at university I recall seeing some bands somewhere – punk was just starting so I may have been spat at by the Clash, or had beer thrown over me by the Stranglers. Such joy!
Glastonbury has been going for years, of course, and there was a time, around the turn of the 60s into the 70s when things like the Isle of Wight festivals were the rage but by the end of the 70s I don’t really recall much enthusiasm – sweaty crap clubs in Hammersmith or Camden or Seven Sisters were the rage.
Maybe it changed with Live Aid, maybe it was already happening. But things moved outside and have stayed and grown outside. We go to Suffolk a lot and we stay within a stones thrown of Henham Park, home of the Latitude (or, because of its middle class reputation ‘Latte-tude’) Festival. It’s my sort of festival; not as huge as Glasto and with lovely mix of stages. It takes place this weekend and but for a Test Match (which naturally takes precedence) I would be there.
But it has its drawbacks, some of which I hope I captured in the following sonnet, which I offer for today. I apologise for the lack of comparators – I’ve been at the cricket for a couple of days and a little distracted!
Our gratitude to Latitude
We spent today at Latitude
In the sunny Suffolk heat. We bought
a programme for eight quid. Not being rude
it’s a rip-off really. But we’re the sort
who don’t complain at two pounds for a tea
or four quid for a sausage in a bap.
Because the biggest downer is how to pee
without gagging. And the idea of a crap
is the stuff of dreams. At least the promised rain
has held off. We slap on a factor sixty and check
the acts. Hanif K? Or the ballet? A pain
to choose so we don’t. We split and text
our choices across the lake. And ever after
this was the best, full of endless laughter.