It’s festival season. This is the time of a year when a variety of well-meaning fashion individuals let us know we need to dig out the Hunters and denim hot pants before wading around in a field made slightly damp from a mixture of rain, sweat, alcohol and wee.
I am as guilty as the next infrequent female festival goer. I scan magazines for suitable festival outfits, consider ridiculous eye make-up I’ll never be able to successfully apply in a tent, and pack expensive eye cream alongside the wine in the hope it will make me look fresh and like I’ve actually slept. For the record, unless it’s blazing sun, I loathe festivals. I once spent two miserable days at V Festival in a cheap Tesco tent which leaked in the torrential rain. My hair, and patience, did not enjoy the experience. The only redeeming feature of the whole experience was seeing Scouting for Girls – a band I’d been ‘meh’ about beforehand, but converted me into a diehard fan through their live performance.
But then that’s the whole point of festivals, isn’t it? It’s all about the live music and that tingle you get when you see your favourite artist go on stage and belt out your favourite song while you sway or jump up and down enthusiastically with thousands of complete strangers. Or the buzz you get from discovering an artist you’d never heard of on a small indie stage and knowing you’re going to download their album as soon as you have signal (which on a festival field will be never – write their name down!)
So now I come to my main problem with festival season, the constant piping of live festival music through the radio or TV. Radio 1 Live Lounge it is not. Sure, it sounds pretty amazing when you are there, probably because you’ve had a few drinks, people are singing around you and the background music is loud. You are swept along with the atmosphere so the odd off note doesn’t matter or isn’t even noticed. For most sets on the radio or TV however, it sounds like cats being strangled with white noise in the background. If I’m not at a festival, I don’t want to hear it thank you. What I want to hear is the nice polished mp3 that I would buy. There is a reason why artists don’t, as a rule, include festival sets on their albums. I’d quite like to do my commute to work with the radio on without an assault on my ears. Stop this please, or I might have to don some Hunters and head for the countryside to pull out the plugs on the recording equipment.