Monday, 2 July 2012


airstream reflected

OK I'll admit it - I was dancing the other night, well when I say 'dancing' I really mean shuffling about on the spot in a vaguely rhythmic manner. Still, it's very rare that you'll see me busting my moves in public. Admittedly when I say 'in public' I really mean ‘at a festival’ which isn’t at all like being in public.

We were at Hop Farm Festival in Kent - kindly given free passes by my friend Blue who earns his living at such events. He and I first went a-festival-ing a long time ago, and when I say ‘a long time ago’ I really do mean decades ago. We watched Roy Harper & Ginger Baker having a punch-up on stage at Glastonbury in 1981. (You may never have heard of Roy Harper or Ginger Baker - ironically they were a couple of old hippies who should have known better than to start brawling at a CND concert.) I can still remember the intensely vibrant sense of excitement and discovery as we stumbled into a variety of marquees where all manner of musicians, actors and comedians were sharing their talents, often in intimate surroundings. Since then I’ve whiled away many pleasant days at all sorts of festivals over the years, and always relish the rekindling of those first magical experiences.

Anyway, where was I? That’s right - doing some ‘dad dancing’ in the early hours under a Moroccan style awning along with a few hundred equally ‘relaxed’ revellers. If you really want to experience a tiny glimpse of our long lost personal freedom, then I suggest that there aren’t many better places to do so than at a festy in the middle of the night.

Of course I’m under no illusion that today’s festivals are incredibly mainstream and more devoted to the spirit of making money than the spirit of the counter-culture revolution. They tend to be much tamer affairs these days too - it would be unlikely to see a naked guy, tripping on acid sitting cross-legged IN the speaker cabinet whilst Gong thrash out some sonic psychedelia. But I believe there are still a few strands of the original DNA remaining in even the most commercial modern festival that allows people to tune out for a couple of days and disregard normality. Hey, if you fancy cracking open a couple of beers before breakfast - go for it, why not? What’s the worst that can happen? You may feel the need to have a lie down later on - well that’s fine, in fact that’s probably a good idea anyway. Preparation for the inevitably long night ahead! Likewise, if you want to spend the whole weekend wandering around in nothing but a loincloth, I guarantee nobody will be bothered by that either.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make here is that personally I enjoy individual pursuits. I’ve never been into team sports or clubs. I get my kicks from surfing, which in essence is a solitary activity. But I was reminded again last weekend that sometimes freedom can still be found amongst a crowd of thousands.


  1. Hey Sqz - you're right, a festival can be a whole different world. I spent the weekend at home parading around in my loincloth and got nothing but grief. Great pic in the Airstream.

  2. Hi Rob, I know you're a master when it comes to the pre-breakfast can of lager...

  3. Who won, Ginger or Roy?

    My money would be on Ginger.