Going to a music festival in 2019 will, it appears, be a recipe for death. Dying not dancing. What happened to the good times, when did it become a death wish, not a fun time?
My experience with music festivals — and yes I’ve been to a few! — involved nothing more lethal than wine and sore feet. Yet, I do have a confession, and it may sound like I was an irresponsible and bad parent in this case. I took my children to a music festival. It was in 1969, at the height of the hippie era, and it was in a field in Shepton Mallet, United Kingdom.
Well I didn’t actually take them into it. We had been out for a Sunday drive and we spotted the crowds and could hear the music, so we walked across a field or two to get close, from our standpoint, we could see it all, no entry fee, no mingling with the drug scene! We watched as Santana performed, we heard The Rolling Stones, and saw Pink Floyd, and as they finished hundreds of pink balloons were released into the sky. The kids loved it. Then we walked back and went home for dinner.
The following day they wrote about this ‘excursion’ in school books, and I then had a ‘please explain’ note from teacher! I assured them they had not been exposed to drugs or debauchery, and all was well. The children still remember it, but mostly for the hundreds of balloons.
In those far off days we went to lots of parties and drugs were all around us, but nobody we ever knew died. We just drank the wine and had fun. We never took drugs. The most outrageous thing we might have done was dancing sometimes until 5am (I wish I could do that now). It was, if anything, my drug of choice, just dancing.
I also saw Fleetwood Mac at Bath University, in 1971, It was an amazing show. The place was packed with students having a good time. The venue was filled to overflowing, but I don’t remember hearing that anyone had died due to drugs. We were there for the music, for the atmosphere and perhaps some wine. Why does it now have to be a Russian Roulette of dicing with danger? When did it become more than music and dancing that festival goers and music lovers expect?
I’m nearly 80, and I still love live music, we go to a local show where bands turn up and just play for nothing, it simply gives me such a buzz. I may drink a champagne and eat chips, but that is all the debauchery I partake of these days.
Just dance for goodness sake. I still have a good time, my grey hair does not stop me enjoying life. I like some a lot of music. My playlist recently included the Black Keys, Tame Impala and The Rolling Stones, UB40, Dire Straits, and Santana. I feel there is so much to enjoy and with the wonders of YouTube, I often do a mad music search and play music from my youth and today hits. I am just so sad that the youth of today can’t just go for the happy times, and leave the drugs alone. Instead they dice with death and everyone loses.