“It’s just not the same anymore.”
“It used to be about the music.”
“I can’t live like that anymore.”
These are all statements that we have heard before. I’ve heard them because I’ve said them. I haven’t been to a music festival in close to 5 years now, and I feel okay. The system hasn’t taken over my life although it’s still trying it’s best. I still don’t have to wear a tie to work, only because I’m unemployed.
So what has changed? The music festivals have changed. That’s a fact. I’m also older and the older I’m getting the more I favour comfort over almost everything else in my life… except my wife and my child. As I’ve moved past 30 I’ve realized that there is a reason why middle-aged men start wearing tracksuits all the time: because they are comfortable.
Yes, tracksuits aren’t cool but neither is someone who has been at Oppikoppi for three days without a single shower. As much as I would like to believe I’m avoiding music festivals it’s because of the pop acts suddenly appearing on the bill just to sell more tickets. As much as the festivals have changed, it’s more about me changing. I can’t do the drunken camping, the debauchery, the dirt, the wet-wipe showers, the hangovers and very little eating anymore. I can’t wake up on the floor of my tent because I don’t know where my mattress has disappeared to. yet I refuse to say: “Never again.”
Never say never. I’ll be at a music festival again. I’m just going to be a spoilt little brat and expect certain things from my festival experience. I know these are likely never going to be a reality, but a man can dream, right?
Next level camping
If I have to camp, I don’t want to be the one who pitches my tent or makes my bed. Neither do I want to be the guy with the hangover that has to pack up his camp and tent and then drive back to his home. And none of that blowup mattress shit either. Fuck that. Life is too short to have to suffer any amount of back pain. I want a real bed that hugs me at night when I stumble back from the stage area. I want proper bedding. I’m talking comforter, more than one pillow, hell I’ll even take that stupid tucked in sheet that’s on every hotel bed.
I also want coffee and rusks in the morning instead of immediately having to take a swig of warm tequila out of the bottle to “brush my teeth”. A real breakfast would be spectacular. If I had my way completely I’d have two Wimpy Streaky Bacon Breakfasts with an extra hash brown and mushroom sauce on the side with Wimpy coffee. Hell, it would be even better if I could simply order my Wimpy breakfast and have it delivered by scooter or drone right at my tent. Crazy thing is that Die Kreef Hotel is already pretty close to what I’m wishing for here.
My braai and quality meat to braai
I want my braai. The braai I use at home, or something that works equally well or better. A couple of rocks with a braai grid that is falling apart is a massive ball ache. As much firewood as I could need for the whole time I’m at the music festival because you never know when you have to braai. The only festival food I want to eat is those yummy little mini donuts. I don’t want those shitty burgers, the chicken wrap that gives you diarrhea or any of the other overpriced “food” for sale at a music festival. In fact, seeing as I can order my Wimpy breakfast for delivery, I also want to be able to order my meat for delivery. Keep your own meat cold for three days can be a hell of a mission, but if I could buy meat online I would know it already comes in a box filled to the brim with quality meat and ice packs. One less ball ache to have to deal with.
A cannabis dispensary and delivery service
Yes, I know it’s illegal. That is why people always have to smuggle it past the cops that put up roadblocks right outside Oppikoppi’s front gate. But in my dream world of music festivals that I’ll go to weed is legal. No smuggling anything yourself or having to buy from dodgy Nigerian dealers where you don’t know what you are actually smoking. I want to use an app on my phone to order my strain of choice, pre-rolled would be a nice touch and bonus points if they can deliver at my tent. Once again, scooter or drone delivery would be perfect. While we are dreaming of safe and legal dagga at South African music festivals: Would it kill us to replace one alcohol bar with a boom smoking/dabbing and vaping area?
I would also like my balls back
I think I lost them on the way back home from a music festival about five years ago. I used to revel in the whole music festivals experience, all of it. Then I think I lost my balls and now I just can’t deal with the millennials, their squads, their hipsters, their selfies or their woolen beanies middle middel of summer at a music festival. I’m getting old and it’s turning me into a pussy that’s scared of uncomfortable sleep and hangovers. WTF is wrong with me? I’ll see you again one day Oppikoppi, STRAB etc.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Music and Opinion categories on RWR.