The next tent only talked ’til 4:30am this time, so an early night.
Went down to the arena, in the not rain, and discovered where we should have had breakfast yesterday. Then back to the tent to sleep and listen to the Archers on the radio in my mobile phone.
Daniel Powter was playing his last track (“Bad Day”) as we wandered past.
It was getting a lot busier over at the 4 stage where the Saw Doctors were very entertaining, particularly “Doncha wish your boyfriend was OLD like me”.
Time for more noodles from Zen & Now, our favourites at The Strawberry Fair for many a year, before The Divine Comedy sang “a song about a bus” and other excellent tunes, including his now current single “A Lady of a Certain Age“
After that we caught a v. small amount of Kula Shaka but enormous crowds just sitting made us abandon plans to see Orson for a sit down in front of The Magic Numbers. They were very boring. We decided to try the crowds at Orson after all. He was wearing his hat. We dropped into the tent and saw The Young Knives finish their promising set. We gave Bloc Party a miss (too bland) in favour of a nice cup of tea and a sit down, and as luck would have it, shelter from a passing shower. Got back in time to be at the front for Keane, who really were a pleasure to listen to (and sing along with). We heard a rumour that Fat Boy Slim was starting early, but when we got to the tent it was just Girls Aloud and a very big crowd. Opted for a beer and an empty stage where the Ordinary Boys should have been. The Editors came on next, and we were sorry to leave but we had to go and get a good spot for Radiohead. They played “Creep”! They played lots of classic songs, many of which we didn’t think had words but the rest of the crowd knew them and everybody joined in. A superb finale.
The weekend finished in chaos as only one booth in the entire arena was giving beer token refunds. We retired to the tent, planning on an early departure to beat the crowds. Ha ha! Up and packed by 7am, we trudged miles through the return of the rain and then it took us 2 hours just to leave the field we were parked in.
The bacon roll and tea at the campsite burger van were disgusting, so a lesson was learnt there. Having failed to show anybody our tickets last night we set off in search of wristbands and programmes so we knew who was on when. And I had £10 burning a hole in my pocket, which was lucky as that’s exactly how much it cost.
We had a beer in the Carlsberg tent, and singing along to the DJ was our first taste of music. Back to the tent for a lie-down to wait for the bands and the rain to start.
Our flag was nicked on Sunday, but by then I knew where the tent was and Wen nearly did.
First up were The Rifles, who were very good. Planned next were Hayseed Dixie, but everyone else thought that too and the Cider House was too small.
We briefly saw The Dandy Warhols while we wandered around and a band called Lorraine who came on while we sat in the JJB tent to escape the rain. The Feeling were excellent and we liked Hard-Fi a lot. Then the rain made us seek out a Teepee for a cup of tea and a sit-down until it was time to head back to the main stage, pausing to hear a couple of songs from Starsailor, and work our way to the front for Faithless -superb as always and bouncing up and down is required.
We needed beer to recover and we walked past Morissey (as did almost everyone else) to see Razorlight, who disappointed even though it finally stopped raining – too late for the paths which were now Glastonbury- style mud.
This is the first festival I have been to since Reading in 1979, and it was Wen’s first. Faithless were the main attraction, and with Radiohead added we were sold. We couldn’t get into Chelmsford, it sold out before we could get onto the website, so we set off to Weston Park in Staffordshire after lunch on Friday.
Too late, as it happens. We got close to the junction on the M6 at about 6pm. 45 minutes later we reached the roundabout. Amazingly, there were touts walking up and down the queue trying to flog tickets. Do people really drive all that way and queue for hours when they don’t have tickets?
Then they cheekily charged another £7 for car parking, which was just a nearby field. It took us almost an hour to walk to the campsite, and that double airbed got mighty heavy.
Still, the tent was pitched, the airbed inflated and the beer (via tokens) purchased. And it wasn’t actually raining.
If the bloke in the next tent hadn’t wittered on in a ludicrously loud voice until 6:00am in the morning we might even have had a good night’s kip.