I’ve spent much of this week lounging around and recovering from my time at ATP. Unfortunately, unlike last time, I didn’t witness any groups of grown men dancing shirtless around a keg, pounding it and their chests while bellowing, “Keg, keg, keg” in forced deep voices. The same primal behaviour that is no doubt responsible for making people believe that hog roasts are acceptable social activities. In fact, I don’t the doubt that a hog roast would have taken place if the people chanting “Keg, keg, keg” had been able to find a pig and then discover that there are more effective methods of making fire than simply beating things with sticks.
I think it’s safe to say I’m not really a festival person. I hate camping, large groups of people and the festering smell of toilets mixed with congealing meat and chip fat. When I attend a festival, I enter a hyper-vigilant state. I become overly aware of my surroundings, specifically the people around me. Some other people aren’t quite so aware of their surroundings or others, and that’s probably why such awful smells occasionally arise and ruin a good band/song. Nothing’s worse than being stuck in the middle of a crowd of people where you’re physically prevented from escaping a horrific stench. I don’t know if they’ve momentarily got too carried away in the music or if they’re just wilfully emptying their bowels in public, but it’s disgusting nonetheless.
How I wish I could walk gormlessly through a crowd of people, a couple of newly-bought pints in my hands, snapping at anyone who finds fault with my plan to push to the front. How I wish I could say, “What?! I’m taking them to my friends,” as I walk aimlessly, mouth wide open, through a sea of annoyed festival goers. But it takes a special kind of person to execute something that ridiculous. Someone who has absolutely no sense of how obnoxious they appear to others. Something terrible has happened to their brain to make them genuinely believe that this action is not only acceptable, but a good idea.
I often wonder if grotesque men who flash people in the street ever feel shame. Whether while flashing a group of unimpressed girls they glance down and notice a piece of toilet paper that’s stuck to their shoe. Is that embarrassing to such a person I wonder? I wonder the same when I’m stood less than 30 centimetres next to an obnoxious smell machine at a music festival, who whoops and shouts something that may as well be, “Song I know! Play the only song I know! This is boring, play something I know!”
But I don’t want to sound too negative. Perhaps loosely comparing annoying people at music festivals to sex offenders is a bit strong. The truth is, I actually really enjoyed ATP. All the bands I watched were fantastic and I genuinely had a really fun time. I’ll just be sure to bring a keg next time and use it to pretend I’m taking it to my friend near the front of the stage.