This festival is full of bubbles. There’s a very active shop on site that blows smoke bubbles all day and all night, luring people in to buy their bubbly goods, and those people, armed now with bubbleguns, go and spread their bubbliness into the festival. Often you see big fat bubbles insolently drifting past the front of the main stage. It all adds to the atmosphere and is something I associate particularly with Green Man.
I spent a lot of time at the main stage yesterday. It’s called The Mountain Stage because behind it rises the peak of one of the beacons. Apparently it’s a four hour walk there and back, which is tempting but I’m not sure I’ve got the energy. There’s a big area in front of the stage for people to crowd in and dance, and then there are tiered grass banks for people who prefer to chill out and watch it in wider context. We sat there for much of the day, while people wove musical stories for us.
Seamus Fogarty was great as a starter, and built up our appetite. My friend had somehow found a Guardian, and read it from cover to cover before going off to break his vegan with as many cheeseburgers as he could manage. I honked a Mac and cheese. You can eat well in this field if you’re willing to shell out all your worldly wealth. I get breakfast and dinner covered at the crew catering, but I still have to pay for lunch and it still hurts. I wouldn’t be able to go to so many festivals if I had to cover the tickets. I probably wouldn’t go to any. As it is I’ve just agreed to go to another one next weekend. So much for this being the last blowout of the season.
We watched John Grant and Fleet Foxes as the dark came. The Fleet Foxes guy spoke of a storm coming, which concerned me considering my paper tent. My friends went to bed, leaving me floating around the festival like a bubble, and no rain yet, so I blew into Simian Mobile Disco, and danced until they stopped. Then I found Snapped Ankle, telling me that Herefordians get everywhere – something I can corroborate from my experience. I wasn’t particularly bothered about being on my own, which I noticed because in the past it has detracted from my enjoyment. But I was fine. I eventually found my way into Nathan Wylde, which is clearly where I wanted to be. I cracked two green glowsticks and went mad for it at the front. Inevitably that brought me into a friendship group that I knew from Wilderness. “Look at that guy – he’s going for it. Hang on its Al.” But I was on a solitary tip. I continued to blow around solo until, walking past the Ferris Wheel that was pumping out drum and bass, I was popped. A small person excitedly chased after me. “It’s only three pounds!” Pop. Natalie had served me a round earlier when she was working. All her friends have gone to bed and she’s just finished work. She’s in tech support up in Manchester. She is looking for the party, and the glowsticks imply I might know where it is.
We go on the Ferris Wheel. We pretend to be twelve. They eject us after about six rotations because they start playing airy music and she is shouting “Drop the beat!” every time we go past the bottom. They don’t like it. The guy looks at us like we stink as he opens the cage. We don’t care. We go for a drink and laugh a lot and I’ve made a new friend. Eventually I go back to my tent which is still upright, and sleep beautifully. It’s never been that cold again. Tonight is the last night in this bubble, and then it’s back to the real world for about 4 days before it all kicks off again…