“T in the Park won’t be too bad, the Scottish like the Welsh”, this is a line I remember hearing just before setting off to the next festival.
Even the run up to this event had been worse than the last. I spent most my wages from Download replacing the gear that I lost. My boss spent his time pulling in new recruits as we were down a few members of staff after the biblical downpour at Donnington Park.
Somehow I was still kind of excited for the next festival, I swear I must be glutton for punishment. So I packed my kit, and took it down the bossman’s house, because this time our luggage was going up ahead of us.
I awoke early the next morning, met up with my cousin and a few others, and we drove down to Lidl in Tylorstown. This was our pick-up point.
I remember thinking at least this time we aren’t going to be all squashed in cars. A minibus seemed like a better option … oh god, was I wrong.
The drive took about 14 hours. 14 long god damn hours. Due in part to the fact that the bus decided to break down at the services. Seeing as there was not much else to do, a lot of us got drunk… Never a good idea.
The ride there was the ride from hell: there were tears, tantrums, fights, arguments, banter and more piss-stops than I can count.
Worse still everyone was following the Euros, Wales had managed to make it to the semi-finals. Now I’m not a sports fan by any degree, but I was even rooting for Wales to win because I knew if they lost, the rest of the journey was going to be even more unbearable.
The stars were not in our favour at all during that journey, Wales lost.
Then even more bad news broke, someone back home had passed away. By this point we were ready to turn around and go back. But we knew that we had a job to do.
We arrived at Strathallan Castle Estate in Perthshire, it was right smack bang in the middle of no man’s land. The nearest town was about 5 miles away, we knew when we got out of the bus. We was not going to see civilization again until the end of this festival.
The weather once again was not on our side, it was absolutely belting down. Bossman came up to us, told us we were working PUDO (I had no idea what that meant) and that we were on tomorrow’s night shift. I wasn’t going to argue with that, a lie-in was absolutely in order.
So now all we had to do was grab our kit (in the rain), set up the tents (in the rain) and try to get some decent sleep (before dying of hypothermia).
Sounds difficult enough right? But just to add to the drama … Some of our kit was missing … So we spent the next hour tracking it down or replacing what was lost … By the time we got the tent set up, (me and my cousin were sharing this time, someone else had my tent) we were soaked right through, pissed off, emotionally and physically exhausted.
But now it was time to sleep … Tomorrow we had a whole day to recover before work … Tomorrow would be better yeah? … I’m sure you can guess the answer to that question.