OPINION | Never too old for a music festival

I went to a music festival the other day.

That’s not a sentence I’ve been able to type for about 20 years, nor is it one I think I’ll be writing again. Possibly ever.

The reason I was there is too convoluted to explain, but let’s just say that it wasn’t my first choice of activity for that Saturday.

Which is not because I don’t like the music. I know I look like I should be listening to Smooth FM, but I’m actually a big fan of the kind of music on offer that day, much to my teenagers’ collective bemusement. (They’re not sure whether to be proud or embarrassed by the fact that I like the same bands as them – so far, they’ve settled for mildly baffled.)

What was worrying me – apart from the fact I thought I might be the oldest person there – was all the rest of the stuff that goes along with the average music festival.

The heat. The crowds. The boys who think it’s funny to all turn up in Hawaiian shirts, drink eight beers and vomit on your feet. The pervading stench of the devil’s lettuce (yes, I heard someone call it that).

There was also the sheer, enervating length of it – 10 hours, topped and tailed by two hours driving each way. Could I even do that? Ten o’clock normally sees me tucked up in bed fast asleep. What mid-life craziness had led me to say yes?

So I was – in stark contrast to my carload of excited young people – rather worried. But as it turned out, the day was fantastic.

Yes, someone tipped a drink on my shoes – but I was sort of relieved because they were filthy with mud by that time. A nice splash of Corona could only have been good for them.

Yes, I was propositioned by an inebriated 20-year-old. But I just smiled and told him to take his beer goggles off. He wandered off harmlessly, maybe to find some other woman old enough to be his mother.

And no, I wasn’t the oldest person there. It was rather cheering to see people a whole generation older than me calling out the lyrics to indie rock songs.

But I was pretty bloody tired the next day. It’s okay, though – I finally acted my age and had a cup of tea and a lovely nanna nap on the couch. Much better.


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