Festivals: Where men go to have an existential crisis
Find me a festy that’s not full of needy blokes please
A couple of weeks ago I went to Found festival and I didn’t fit in. Not because I wasn’t cavorting around in bum shorts and a bindi (don’t worry, I was), but because it was full of male twenty-somethings who’ve lost their sense of identity.
The last conversation you had about a festival probably centred on how annoying girls are. I mean look at them, dressing up and having fun, it’s disgusting.
But while you’ve been busy grumbling about flower garlands and Instagram in the smoking area of a gentrified bar with a secret door, you’ve been missing the real problem. It’s the blokes – this year they’re spending June-September having an existential crisis. Attention seeking men are murdering the great British festival.
Chavs are nothing new, but boy do they thrive in the summer months. They’ve ruined Bulgaria, bikes, and now swaggering teenagers are ruining festivals too.
At the front of the stage is where he’ll be, gagging for an unsuspecting nice person to veer into their eyeline, so he can start on them. You’ve heard the stories about the animals bringing knives into festivals and robbing people’s tents.
The great British philistine goes to a festival to literally put his stamp on it, in the same way he claimed his three metres of pavement outside Londis a couple of years ago.
Mark Simpson, inventor of the “metrosexual”, recently dreamed up this bullshit marketing term. He might have actually got it right this time. If spornosexuals do exist, they’re at one-day festivals called VIBE, and they’ve waited all fucking year for it.
In some ways, spornos – also known as douchebags – are even more terrifying than thugs. This year preened men killed bucket hats, bumbags and anything that in any way covers your top half.
In the eyes of everyone else, they’re just a piece of meat, but weirdly, that’s all they long to be seen as. And that’s what makes their meltdown the most aggressive of them all.
Thanks to the unspoken rule that people with money don’t belong at festivals, the Humphreys of this world are going in twice as hard. Boutique festivals are where yuppies go to drape themselves in fur, leaves, feathers, bandanas, tie-dye and worst of all, Hawaiian shirts. What they want is everyone to think they’re a clique of ketty animals, but the only word to describe this bunch is camp. When the glitter’s gone, all that’s left is the bloke who does the payroll at Working Title counting down the days to next year’s middleclastonbury.
The guy with loads of wristbands
Yes, this crowd still exist, and they’re still having the same crisis all indie music fans were having around the age of 17 – they can’t stop hoarding wristbands. And they’re hefting at least five of them around from a variety shit gigs including Wakestock 2010. Usually sixth formers, these are the sort who enjoy getting lost in heated debates about the demise of the Arctic Monkeys after their first album but stand at the back of the crowd when they play. There’s no sniffing for this innocent young soul, he’s proudly swilling a luke-warm Fosters from his deckchair instead. They have one thing to prove to you – I don’t know if you know, but they’re really into music.
There’s a rubgy-playing swathe of festy goers who will still be wearing onesies even after Primark stop selling them. They’re happy to endure the sweat and embarrassment of an animal costume because they are on a serious mission to prove how cute they are. Onesie wearers are the university freshers of life – the regulars don’t like them, and all they do is chant meaningless noise while revelling in how zany they think they look.
In a year’s time, they will have overcome this very public disaster, ditching the surfer hair and wayfarers along the way. But for now, everyone just hates them for being there.
“Come my dear, escape the bedlam and enjoy the clandestine delights of gin in teacups at the swing stage,” the Dandy cries. And lo, how he cries! Is it Russell Brand or Pete Doherty’s fault there are men walking around in top hats, espousing the merits of snuff and the “arcadian dream”? Maybe, or perhaps like ol’ Russ and Pete, they just long for the romantic bliss of a simpler time – when poetry was an acceptable form of flirting, and men were enlightened beasts.