Music festivals weren’t really a thing when I grew up. We used to go to concerts in rugby parks and theatres, and gigs in pubs.
The first concert I ever went was the U2 Lovetown tour in Christchurch, way back in 1989. I was 16 and my ex-boyfriend was there with my former (for obvs reasons) best friend. Man, I still wish I had that tour T shirt!
Concerts used to take a few hours max. I didn’t drink because the queues for the dodgy loos were so ridiculously long that you would miss large swathes of the concert. Not going to happen when I had to roll ice creams in the weekend to pay for my tickets – and for the 501s I wore with a vintage Scout belt.
The Welshman and I used to go and see bands before we had our son. Afterwards, I was too knackered, and then too sick for years with chronic illness to cope.
A few years ago, we went to see Eddie Vedder at the State Theatre. The perfect date night with the perfect man. The Welshman is awesome too.
Last year, I put my big girl panties on and went to see the Foo Fighters with some girlfriends. Too many
drunken bogans people for me, but it was totes worth it.
The Welshman has regular mandates with a fellow British music fanboy. They head off for curry, beers and concerts. They’ve even attended a few music festivals (they bought VIP tickets so they had a seat and didn’t have to queue for loos and beers), but have decided they might be too old to handle that many
drugged bogans people.
Luckily, we don’t have to go far to go to St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. It’s right across the road from our house.
We’ve had some interesting experiences over the years. Having to bring my washing inside so it didn’t reek of marijuana. Hustling Boyo past the rather amorous couple who clearly couldn’t wait to drive home, so decided the car in broad daylight was the perfect place to share their love. Enormous walks in the rain the following Monday morning to collect our car from the next suburb.
As long as we don’t have plans to go anywhere for the day in our car, it’s a great Sunday. We kick back, go for a walk around the neighbourhood for the people watching, and hang out in the back garden enjoying the music.
Here’s my tongue in cheek guide to things I’ve learned whilst living next door to music festivals.
8 things I’ve learned living next door to music festivals
- When the wind blows in the other direction you can’t hear the music properly. Sad face. Who would have thought we would be wishing they’d turn up the volume?
- Drinking is still a massive thing at festivals, judging by all the boys shoving hip flasks into their undies outside the bottle shop down the road, and girls drinking entire bottles of wine in the 5 minutes walk from the bus stop to the venue. Here I was thinking it was all about pills.
- More tix equals more dicks. As my son says “those people are failing our family motto, Mum.” This year, 50% more tickets were sold which meant a lot more people, thereby increasing the dickhead quotient.
- A great way to get some exercise during Laneway is to go out in your car and then have to walk 2 kilometres back to your house. Or stay home and do the Bend & Snap picking up all the littered bottles all over the verge. What’s with that, dudes? Play nice.
- The fashion viewing / people watching opportunities are outstanding. Festival fashion is fun! Plus a lot of people appear to have got dressed in the dark or whilst drugged. Underwear appears to be an optional extra too.
- The cult of the car continues. I’m really surprised at how many people drive, especially as it’s a 7 minute bus ride from the city to Victoria Road and a 5 minute walk. There’s already no parking in the inner west so this might explain the creative approach to parking. Footpaths. Over driveways. Inside private property. Yep, my house. They weren’t best pleased at being moved on.
- What looks like a half naked man pissing in your garden planter is actually a half naked man using your garden hose to rinse off the front of his pants. Who knew?!
- The wind direction also meant our garden didn’t smell like dope this year. There were no couples having sex in their car parked outside our house either. Yay for avoiding awkward conversations with the tween!
I happened to have my camera set up for my outfit shot when I saw a bloke walking through my front gate. This was my face when I saw him standing on my verandah, when I thought he was pissing in my planters, and when I realised he was rinsing “spilt beer” from the front of his shorts. Allegedly it was beer. Unfortunate placement, shall we say?
Want to know more about the recent Laneways in Sydney? Read this fab review by Nick Hallworth
Do you go to music festivals? Like me, have you decided that you’re too old?