What do you get if you cross straw bales, cheesecake, a pint of Bohemian Ginger and portaloos with a sprinkling of positivity from Jonny Wild? Well read on and you’ll find out!
Rosie and I have just been to our first festival together. Off we went in convoy with our friends the Harper-Danns and the Oakleys to ‘Y-Not‘ Festival in Pikehall, Derbyshire. It’s the first time I’d camped at a festival; as you know until we had Rosie it wasn’t something I would do. It was also the first time we’d had guests in our awning so a new adventure all round. First thing was to set up camp and Dubber didn’t check the new blow up mattress. It needs a socket and we didn’t have hook-up. It left us a little deflated until Uncle said he had brought a mattress in his van.
We weren’t just camping, mind you. The boys (Dubber, Dunc and Uncle) were performing on the Sunday afternoon as Jonny Wild and the Broken Hearts, but before then we had lots of music and entertainment to watch and plenty of food and drink to try out.
First stop…..beer! All the youngsters were drinking cider but I like the real stuff so a pint of Leatherbritches Bohemian GInger, 5.9%, did the job. Actually it didn’t seem that strong, but there was definitely a ginger aftertaste. Refreshing after setting up camp. The main real ale bar was set up in what seemed like a circus tent filled with straw bales, which my friend Aunty seem to struggle with. Not once but twice did she fall through the gap between the bales, luckily with no drink in hand, but legs in the air, making us all laugh as she came up smiling and straw in her hair. And she hadn’t yet had a drop! Well maybe a gin. And I don’t know how she does it but she attracts oddball men and managed to engage with a number of them through the course of the weekend, the most infamous a guy from Liverpool called Paul Potts – no not that Paul Potts.
Off then to the Hog and Barrel for some cool music from our friends. Tee and Katty aka The Herb Birds have such a great sound and got us in a great mood for more entertainment.
Then it was the turn of our star billing, the one and the only Duncan Oakley!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉. Dunc strutted his comedy stuff supported by Tony Basnett. Mad as a bucket of frogs but oh so funny, Dunc gave us a fast paced set with loads of laughs, or is that laughittos, Dunc? Don’t know how you do it Dunc, but the pace of your act is amazing.
The best music of the night came in the guise of Peter Hook and the Light on one of the smaller stages (there were 12 in all). He should have been on the main stage as the Joy Division and New Order songs really got the crowds excited, with everyone singing along.
Time to eat and so much choice. We went for wood fired pizza which did a great job in soaking up the beer. Now the problem with drinking beer is that the need to go to the loo increases, particularly if you’re drinking pints. And if you’ve read my blogs before I am not the best at using public loos, and even more so portaloos, and imagine my horror when I saw the numbers of them compared to the 25,000 festival goers. This was not going to be good and it wasn’t. I won’t go into detail but crossed legs were much the better option otherwise it meant holding your breath, wearing a full face mask and rubber gloves to ensure the stench didn’t get you before you had to breath again and escape trying not to touch anything. Lots of sanitiser used!
The other major disgust was the amount of litter, particularly in the Rock and roll campsite which we had to run the gauntlet of every time we walked from the campervan site to the main arena. Amongst the thousands of tents it was like a biblical scene and it was only one night in. By Sunday night it was hell on earth. Or is that me just getting old. No, it was actually disgusting because there weren’t enough bins.
Noel Galllagher and his band headlined Saturday night and I really enjoyed it although there were mixed views from our circle of friends. Then it was back to our simple abode, a few quiet drinks together and then we were tucked up in Rosie for the night….well after 2pm when the noise from the discos finished. You see …getting old!
Sunday morning and we cooked a full English for seven. Not an easy thing on Rosie’s little stove, but we managed with the use of foil trays, which kept the food warm. It set us up for what then became a busy day toing and froing with gear for the boys’ gig. They did a great job in the Saloon, singing Dunc’s songs which really went down well with the crowd.
Then it was a quick race back to the Hog and Barrel for more comedy. Dunc really did a great job in finding the comedic talent. Scott Bennett was hilarious with very funny story telling about his dad and cheesecake. Then we had the American comedian Will Franken with his wacky but clever observations.
We had a snack and went back for another beer and then it was time for Madness on the main stage. All the old favourites, not always perfectly delivered but then like me they’re getting old! ‘It must be love’ was great as was ‘Our House’.
It was a great weekend; blessed with good weather; time spent with friends was brilliant, sharing a bit of Rosie joy.
Lessons learnt when attending festivals in the campervan:
1 The window opens over the sink making an outlet for breakfast sales….or so says Uncle.
2 Avoid straw bales when with Aunty or water down the gin.
3 Go for colonic irrigation before the festival and don’t drink beer to avoid any need to use the portaloos.
4 Remember Scott’s dad has all the cheesecake.