Posted by: seasonaire | July 27, 2012

Secret Garden Sludge

So, instead of standing around for hours on end waiting for my 10 seconds of fame to come in the Olympic Opening Ceremony, I had a last-minute offer to work at the Secret Garden Party, and took it in a flash. Being paid to go to a festival, to do a job I like and am actually good at, while hanging out with my friends, was really just too good an opportunity to miss.

From what I have now gathered about festivals, and particularly the Secret Garden Party, is, that about 5000 of the 6500 staff are employed purely to hang up a jangly thing, look a bit kooky and wear inappropriately summery clothes despite torrential rain. I have honestly never seen so many whiteys with dreadlocks, a practical solution to not being able to wash for several days or weeks at a time, granted, and quite possibly the best form of festival pillow.

This is possibly the worst summer ever to choose to start spending long stretches of time in a tent, and 9 days was really pushing the boat out in terms of personal comfort, but when the offer comes through, it is important to grab it, lest it never be offered again. My job, was mainly to make sure articulated lorries and tractors did not clog up all of the pitifully narrow farm tracks we had to work with, most of which were about 3 foot deep in mud by the time the punters were allowed through the gates. This particular part of the job wore thin very quickly, as it mainly involved throwing myself in front of huge vehicles to halt their progress. High-vis is good under these circumstances, but being tiny is not.

By the time the punters arrived, I was definitely ready for seeing some fantastic drug casualties, and they really did not disappoint. I will also never get over how terminally useless some people are when it comes to bringing suitable shoes and clothing. Realistically, wellies or work boots are the only option given the 6 weeks of rain leading up to the event, but many people seemed to think that canvas trainers would suffice, resulting in much amusing shoe lossage.

My housemates, as ever, provided plenty of entertainment in the form of failing to be able to put a tent up over the course of about 10 hours. The result, looked more like a mud igloo, but at least it had some basic functionality, especially after it was moved across the whole site to my camping area, that still retained a small amount of grass. This time they erected the tent sober and during daylight hours, still hilarious, but less time-consuming.


Secret Garden Party


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