diary [Roskilde Festival 2009]


monday morning

i don't check the time until 11:15am. the fact i managed to stay in the tent so long is a small miracle. a medium act of kindness. the early morning sun had been dulled. and with an open tent and a slight breeze, the chirping birds, and me in the corner avoiding the direct sunlight, i managed to sleep the rest of the morning too. when i'd first woken up it was with a furry tongue and onset dehydration. stupid me had forgotten to grab a bottle of water before crashing in for the night. and now there's a stain on the matress from my sweating leg.

it's so very peaceful. this is not the roskilde you're familiar with. our small four tent camp, currently inhabited only by me, is spacious, grassy, and spotless. the only mess is a small pile of shell from a carefully peeled boiled egg. the few other camps that i can see, hanging naked out of the front of my tent and craning my neck around, they all look pretty clean too. you can see the grass. i can guarantee that walking down into the festival will be like walking down into a landfill site. what's the difference really?

but this is the workers camp. for the priviledged who didn't even have to pay to get in. we have flushing toilets that you never have to queue for and our own showers. ditto. here is just perfect.

and getting in wasn't even that hard. there was a lot of walking back and forth between buildings, no one knowing anything. i'm not sure if that makes it easier or harder. blagging. all any one person knows is what you need, be it armband or sticker or number, to get into where they're guarding. it's amazing how the festival runs with such a lack of information distribution. ant hill dynamics. being with girls helps too. had we been a group of guys it would have taken ages, and we wouldn't have blagged half as much. parking in funny places, sneaking in crates of beer, etc. girls get what they want.

the three of us had met at fisk at 10am and driven to the site, the back of the van filled with tents, sleeping bags and seven crates of out-of-date beer. festivals have never been this easy. once we had camp set up, and had discovered where we can get free breakfast and lunch (with folkekirkens), the girls left and i was on my own. me and thousands and thousands of people. jølle had text me which block they're camping in (C58), but after walking around it many times, and all the adjacent blocks, i just couldn't find them. it turns out they're in C48, but even after me explaining very carefully (and probably mildly patronisingly) why they were wrong, how the square on the map isn't the tower but the agora, how it's not accurate anyway, how i counted the blocks from every direction, they still didn't believe me. i was pissed off, but nevermind. fuck this drunken stupidity.

before jølle came to find me i'd sat in the shade for a while, dodging the golden rays of fat-ass sunshine and watching the world go by, trying to decode jølle's not-exactly-cryptic "10mins" text. i waited much longer than ten minutes, walked around again, then went off exploring. crossing the bridge, looking up and all the people framed and blurred by the hazy glare. late afternoon sun. and all these people with cameras doing nothing. fight back. i briefly watched a band, hard but dull. then went back to my tent feeling somewhat lonely. abandoned. i read what the awful descriptions of the bands (also badly translated, but i can forgive that) and i ended up falling asleep. i only woke when julie called me. pulled from the void. and of course that's when jølle tried to contact me too.

so i finally find their camp, tiny and drunken. cold beers. jølle is way more wasted than i expected, after talking to him on the phone. of course i expected him to be wasted. but still. it's all exaggerated by his crazy fucking hair. and this is where the festival turned typical. excellent. naked guys, passed out guys, remorseless cruelty. i've seen whole camps passed out, beers in hands, as early as 2pm. i got a free banana, some guy just threw it out. jølle got an almost whole lasagne. bent double into the trashcan he looks everything like a caveman. then everyone dressed in shellsuits and dancing to drum and bass. at the skate park. barefoot. it freshly dark and getting hotter. jølle getting ever more naked. something switches and suddenly it's me wearing the shellsuit. free reign to dance like an idiot. we went looking for a particular party, but who needs that when there are endless camps to crash? and he's still naked. more naked. batshit crazy everything. stealing/acquiring too many beers. easy with a cock distracting everyone. and suddenly i'm alone again. and very drunk. following a soundsystem in the shape of a coffin around the camp. a constantly moving party that really wasn't all that. fades into the night. buried in a field somewhere hopeless.

right now i'm just sitting in a field, quite happy doing very little. but wishing i had friends here. wondering how long i can sit here with this hazy head.



tuesday morning

i made it down to breakfast. without even trying. who knew 8am was so easy? but i only just made it, which means i get no bread. only oats and milk, which i have to eat ever so slowly. and i'm thinking i'm going to have to take a water bottle from the bottle trash bag, because i don't have the (completely reasonable) 2kr to get a cup. i'll wait til less people are around. but they're good people. all folkekirkens volunteers. all bronze thighs and light stubble. volunteering gets you all kinds of refuges. and free porridge. orange juice would be nice. and a game of backgammon. anyone?

when i left my camp i was still the only person there, although another tent had appeared during the day. i'm very happy for restricted camping. the only time people make noise is at 5am. playing acoustic guitar. oasis songs over and over. and lame old britney. i hate travis. i get woken up by people talking too loudly in the next camp. it makes no festival sense. you can't stay in a tent in this heat anyway. the brutal sun returns. yesterday was perfect. in the middle of the day the clouds rolled aside. there was a straight divide between the blue and grey. it was a gorgeous afternoon. relatively tame. i spent most of the day with the studenterhuset/stavanger camp, with the occasional trip out to scavenge for food (futile yet, but it's early days. i'm surviing on folkekirkens bread and jam. free hot coffee) or see some music. nothing special. but still, you can't hang out in a camp of alcoholics all day. playing solitare. wanting to break solitare. or hanging out besides the first aid tent. they have the best job here, they're all smiles dealing with the hilarious and stupid drunk idiots. and when it gets serious they're doing the most important job here, keeping people alive.

now the tiredness is returning. the social tent needs air circulation. and less michael jackson. too humid.

when it starts to gets dark the mist drops to tent level. thousands of tents hiding in the clouds. wisps dancing around the spotlights of the towers, making all the half empty bags of crisps soggy.

someone passed me the ipod to put on a song. i thought i'd be a prick and put on 'wandering star'. this is everyone sitting around at the crossroads between camping blocks. but when the song came on it felt so right. no one noticed. kids, it's fun watching them go so quickly from sober to having difficulty walking.

i just got goosebumps walking past a camp playing weezer. this is worth writing down. i showed my portable backgammon set with the people who i played "backgammon exxxtreme" with last night. he remembered my name. and more impressive, we bumped into jølle's neighbours from last year and one of them remembered my name too. but back to the backgammon people, turns out they're from the tiny town of horten, where i bought my guitar from. that's a nice coincidence. they barely believed me when i said i'd heard of the place, nevermind having been there.

a sad sight is the huge and bulbous queue for the can/bottle refund stand. trolleys stacked five bin bags high. the "donate your refund" stand next door is empty apart from three very bored looking staff. they will have no business today. and people are going to burn under this ruthless sky.

question now is, should i wake jølle to give him coffee?

i'm going to sweat to death just sitting here waiting. and i can't drink it myself.



wednesday morning

i'm sleeping too well. bitten and sticky, but retaining coherence. i was in bed before midnight last night. i'd trekked back to my camp to change and pick up supplies before heading back out into the unkown melodrama, but lying in my tent, consciously deciding to drink no more alcohol, tired but not shattered, i figured i could just go to sleep there and then. it's all about timing. i have plenty of time. up at 8:30 every morning. there's almost too much time. how to fill the day? throwing it into the jaws of alcoholism seems to be the popular choice. the beer void. i can do better.

besides, i was getting bored of everyone pointing and taking photos of naked jølle. their looks of pathetic surprise or disgust. you've never seen a naked guy before? this is a festival for fucks sake. or the macho rich kids sneering, the ones who can't help but smack his ass. a little too hard. it's a shame for them really. the prudes and the repressed. we should all be rolling our eyes at the tried and tested naked festival antics, but everyone is so shocked and entertained. the world's gone to shit.

i wish i'd brought my thinner shorts.

i woke up only once during the night, maybe around 4am, the sun just about to rise. the mixture of rainbow light bouncing over the horizon and the festival spotlights creates these beautiful dripping and shining hues. everything quiet and peaceful except for the obligatory and ubiquitous thumpa thumpa of the distant soundsystem.

pulling black out of the nose. taking jølle hot breakfast coffee. playing guitar. talking to stavangerns. writing on toilet walls. failing to find free food. finally succeeding at mama mombasa thanks to the huge and obviously underrated salad portions. i can live off this. i might have to. and the nachos. of course. what is interesting, if you ask someone if they're finished with their food they're happy to offer it to you with smiles, but if you ask if it's theirs and take it when it's not, all you get is looks of disgust or disbelief. obviously, if it's theirs they know where it came from and would happily eat it themselves, but still. we are too much for this festival. even down at the swimming lake we're the only guys visibly skinny dipping. it was a delicious swim, trying to keep the rum bottle above the water. no shower replacement though, which is something i'll take as soon as i can tear myself away from neil young. made a lot easier just now by the shit lorry that decided to park outside the social tent. very sociable.

we met a cool pair of sisters. AK (i thought her name was "hardcore" when she said it) and aunt green. they bought us cold pints, very nice of them. but they are hardcore. moonshine drinking norwegian bikers who live in the mountains. totally awesome. they were being amused by our horse riding/racing, where elizabeth won every race. the strangers didn't have a chance. but most of them didn't get it anyway, "it's just a saddle, it doesn't move". we're at a festival? hello? someone photographed us and got us into a copenhagen paper:



i've not spent any money yet. although i do owe jølle some money for vodka. i'd pay a fortune for a cool breeze. malicious weather. i can't believe it took so many days for the studenterhuset camp to get themselves a pavillion.

and i finally got some cheese. after asking two days in a row if there was any vegetarian stuff to put on the bread. i wasn't complaining, this is free food for us workers. so they stopped putting the cheese out, so that there's some left for the vegetarians who ask. for those who need protein without killing animals. only torturing them.

now i'm just putting off going back into the sun.

what's really stupid is girls sitting in camp putting on makeup. especially lipstick. and people sunbathing. as if they wont get enough sun. you're going to be outside all week. you're an idiot.



thursday morning

cheese for breakfast. which means i must have got up extra early. the sun hotter than ever at 7:30am. vicious and unrelenting. yesterday was dangerous. after breakfast i took a soothing shower (there were four of us in there, with room for at least 12, but still two guys stood waiting). i even washed my hair. clean clothes, put on resentfully. my shirt has a hood which is weird but practical. i carry my shade with me.

so off i went to the fisk store to help set up. it was fun, climbing ladders, tying stuff up. but it wasn't long before i started feeling distinctly funny. i doubled my water intake and tried to stay out of the tent but in the shade. after too long, and a great feed courtesy of one of the fisk volunteers (tortillas, salad, lots of fruit, and a huge tub of icecream from ben&jerry's) i realised what i need wasn't sleep, but to soak my head. cool the fuck down. from then on my head has stayed wet. this shit will save your life. so every fifteen minutes i'm saturating my hood in cold water. it's nice.

inbetwen all that i had a fun trip around the media area. their pristine streets and fancy bars, cafeteria halls and rooms full of computers. i was almost sick. that's the media for you. and finding water around the inner site area is really difficult. i had to walk for ages to find a toilet with a tap. but i was enjoying the fields whilst they're still empty, just me and the trees and no doubt's "underneath it all" being used to check the soundsystem on the orange stage.

i might regret this dairy binge later. but i can't resist passionfruit and strawberry yoghurt on my museli. so far the folkekirkens volunteers have collected 228,000kr worth of pant. that's 228,000 cans in four days. there's 70000 people here. and the non-charity collectors are way more efficient (and aggressive). it's a crazy amount of alcohol.

yesterday i didn't start drinking until late, when the sun was downing. spreading its love in bearable portions. but i felt very drunk. probably all that rum and vodka. i ended up at a large party with 2500kr worth of glowsticks being thrown around. fun for five minutes. stumbled home and slept with my sleeping bag the wrong way round, unzipped and with the feet end at my head.

at least i'd managed to expel all the mosquitos. i'd woken up the previous morning with three in my tent. the worst bites are on my arms and legs, they swelled up so large and stiff that i went to the first aid tent. they told me we have "cow mosquitos", with poison ten times the normal strength. ten? well, the swelling on my arm has a radius of about 4cm. i just hope the bites on my forehead and lip fair better. must not scratch. it's a relief when i find an itch i can scratch.

at least i didn't get bitten by a human.

after helping the fiskers i met up with jølle and erin to see the 'megaphonic thrift'. apparently they're friends of friends and they sound just like sonic youth. two guitarists, both with two jazzmasters, and a bassist with the nicest rickenbacker. but the band after were rubbish. since when did pulling faces on stage make you a great live act?

we sourced food, massively successful, and ran away. my new technique is not asking "is this yours?" but "is this mine?".

when it finally rains (it can't possibly keep this up) there will be cheering and dancing in the streets.

these people here are using a 25 person liferaft as a tent.

did you realise kids who are 18 weren't alive in the 80s anymore?



friday morning

the festival changes so much on thursday. the area doubles in size, but it feels like the density of people does too. it's the transition from brownian motion to us all moving along the same vectors to the same loci. cramming in.

i was just floating along. still worrying about heatstroke. the sun is hotter every day. people will start dying soon. and falling backwards off the urinals. worst thing i saw was a guy with his hand down his throat. there was blood involved somewhere. but i'm digressing.

i'd just got to jølle's camp and laid down in the shade when i had a call asking if i could retrieve the dankort machine from fisk, as it wasn't being guarded. that's ok. i was able to charge peoples' phones whilst there and get some food. after a while another fisker turned up so i could leave. i did a tent run, bringing my airbed and sleeping bag back to the shop. then back to camp. then i did a beer run for someone with a bad leg. even with six queues it took me ten minutes, waiting with no shade. at least on the way back to the camp i could carry the crate on my head for shade. i earned that beer.

we ran down to camp van damme to see hjortene, who are the perfect roskilde band. i've never seen two bottles of jagermeister drank so quickly. "we are hjortene". dust everywhere and rock and roll.

so i turned up at the fisk meeting two beers up and full of jagermeister. dazed and happy. filling up on food. potato salad and humus. celery and carrot sticks. two full plates and two helpings of cake. then i kept falling asleep during the meeting, confined in the hot tent. dogs in cars.

everytime a cloud passes between me and the sun is a moment i wish would last forever.

haven't we been at a whole festival already? and only now do the bands starting play. i saw ten minutes of 'wolves in the throne room', who were surprisingly good. i saw the start of 'social distortion', who were boring. then back to camp, all this unnecessary walking around in the sun. no shade across the orange stage.

but the camp is cool. and there's only one guy here who i really don't like. it might be based on a misunderstanding, but he's an asshole. and no one else seems to like him much either. on the first night he appeared i kept asking him where his camp was, being friendly. "right here", he said. i wasn't realising he was staying in this camp, why didn't he just say? rather than grinning like an idiot. i was asking him where his camp mates where, where are your friends? i appreciate it would have come across badly. but when he starts feeling girls' asses he can fuck right off. i'm not justifying me being an ass though. he'd passed out on the matress and i pulled the plug. later, or earlier, i was moving a camp chair so i could sit in it, and he gets up, snatches off me and throws it in his tent. because it was his chair. then he smokes too much and passes out in the middle of camp with his legs up on a chair, taking up all the space. so the girls started drawing on him in glitter glue. fair game. he wakes and starts bitching and moaning about them getting it on his shirt. at roskilde. shit gets dirty. and if you pass out in someone's camp people will mess with you. it's not like we put his hand in water or moved his tent on top of him. that would have been funny. a both stupid and amazing idea. but no, why he pisses me off is his smirking face and total lack of decency.

good times though. everyone in stiches. dark and deadpan. staring into flickering LEDs.

this tree isn't providing me adequate shade. but it's nice to lean against. i started writing in the fisk camp, my camp. i spent about half an hour there, nice now people have finally arrived. then i was in the studenterhuset camp for a short while, them all sweltering with no breeze under their pagoda. shaded, but no air. some genius bought connect4. i forgot how much i loved that game ("oh you're going to win by default", "no, i'm going to win by winning").

too many details. there's a lot to said for dictaphones.

i've started seeing people with bubbling skin.

yesterday we saw 'fucked up', but missed the start where the big fat guy jumped into the crowd and smashed a bottle on his head. that's how to start a gig. blood covering your face. then we saw five minutes of some shit i can't remember. found masses of food. i'm eating better as the festival goes on, i'm eating better than normal. we scored two almost-full boxes of nachos. if you buy them with chicken wings they're 80kr. ffs. and people don't even eat half of it. but the ones we found weren't even with meat. beautiful.

i've been carrying my hipflask around, but i'm trying to leave it at the fisk stall when i leave the main area. bottles and such aren't allowed inside, but since i'm working here it was easy to smuggle it in before the festival started. now i don't want to lose it, despite it being a cheap piece of shit. i accidentally took it out into the camping area yesterday, but luckily it was no problem getting it back. the crazy guys infront of us had stashed vodka bottles up their sleeves. that kind of inventiveness deserves reward. then this morning i discovered i can skip the normal entry queue (and search) by going around the back and through the fisk store. worker privilege. it's just great.

anyway. we were on the way to trentemøller. good and dirty enough for me to be impressed, but the beats didn't excite me at all. no matter how much he fucked them up with his chaos pad (without which he'd be nothing). it's still straight 4/4. you could hear those beats across the whole site. i could still listen whilst falling asleep/passing out in the fisk store. brilliant.

that was my first proper shift, just being there from 2am to 10am. it started well, comfy and listening to trentmøller fuck up MIA as i dozed off. but two hours later a security guard woke us up, shouting through the tent that we aren't allowed to sleep there. this is 4:30am or something. ridiculous. so we just ignore her. but she's back in ten minutes. garbage about fire hazards and us lying down. so we take to the seats. me on the ugly hard blue one that's been splattered in pink and yellow paint. the other volunteer on the sofa, her not much better off. it was ok until 8:30am when the fisk delivery arrived. i hope they weren't expecting me to get up and help straight away. such things aren't always easy for guys in the morning. i just had to wait until 10 to leave, and by then i'd missed breakfast at the folkekirkens social tent.



saturday morning

the first thing i didn't write yesterday, about yesterday, was meeting the girl who wasn't vegan, but who i made a good coffee for once. but it's not really a story worth repeating.

that opalescent sky. and why.

who brings an electric toothbrush to a festival?

but whilst talking to that girl i'd managed to snag two full plates of chinese "stuff". everybody hates those thick chewy noodles. they eat the squid rings, or whatever, off the top and then leave the rest. it's not the best food, but it fills you up with some nutritional content. better than nachos i'm sure. later in the day i developed another technique. i found some bulgar salad and took it to one of the tables. then when i was done i took the abandoned nachos and moved to a new table, gathering all the chips and dips from there and moving on again. the next table i get mashed potato. no one notices you eating other people's food. and that's the best mash, how could anyone leave it? i actually over ate three times yesterday. another time whilst walking away from the astoria and eating oily pesto pasta. more chips. this is the cheapest and easiest lifestyle going. i work 24 hours in eight days, 16 of which are whilst sleeping, and i get all the free food i need. i haven't spent a single øre yet. it's our waste culture scaled up to breaking point, stipped naked and sunburnt for everyone to see. bubbling flesh.

actually i tell a lie. i spent 70kr on a cartoon of wine for everybody.

so. anyway. the first band i saw yesterday was goira. i heard them whilst entering the inner site. nothing exciting but they were worth checking out since i was passing. but all i got was a three minute drum solo. then there was satyricon, who disappointed me by singing in english. and about dragons breathing fire. incredible drummer though. kenneth needs two kick drums too. and huge pompoms. that was at mono. they are amazing. but you know this already. they bought a huge fucking gong, all the way from japan, and they only used it once. but we left before they finished, too hot and tired. we passed isis on the way out, but they weren't exciting enough. sorry. after mono they just weren't all that heavy.

some faffing at the camp then back for 'faith no more' in pastel suits. i've never been much of a fan, but i'm in it for the patton. very entertaining.

in the middle of the white wine dusty haze i reach into my pocket and pull out a crumpled piece of paper. unfolding it, it has "laurence" written on it. in my handwriting.

our group started to get too big. unmanageable. one person going for food, another for beer, another for a piss. all uncoordinated. always people missing. so we left for 'mars volta' very late, after they'd started. we had no chance of getting a good spot. and it didn't help that the sound was rubbish. we left after two songs.

drinking wine from the bladder. echoes of last year. it all rolls into one. time is meaningless in this place. it's measured in soakings of my hood. cans of beer.

oasis are fun enough. everyone dances around and sings. but there may as well have not been anyone on stage. they don't exactly have the presence of patton.

and then everyone starts disappearing into the chaos. unravelling into the night. fading back to camp or wherever. i announce i'm going to get lost and leave too. squinting through the dust and covering my mouth. everything is turning dirt brown. how do they cope at burning man?

i find myself a comfy spot for NIN, but it's already 1am and i'm tired. as lame as that sounds. i chat to some randoms about 'tassle' not meaning the same as 'hassle' and other banalities. NIN was nothing much. the back area of the pit was completely empty, like no one cared (god is dead?). they were far away and unengaging. i'd have gone into the pit area but they check bags on entry and i'm packing illegal bottles.

this morning i found a bunch of bananas and three nectarines in my tent. i know i didn't put them there, and i'm sure they weren't there last night. it gets weirder all the time.

i totally forgot about nick cave. we saw him too. he was great.

i got an ant in my museli bag. good for him.



sunday morning

and i feel fine. waking up in the fisk tent, the world is drastically improved. it's a dull grey morning and everyone is going to be happy. being able to sleep in. the relief. pressure release. i only hope it doesn't rain. yesterday i would have killed for rain.

freshly showered (i've had a lot of showers). cleanish clothes. it's funny. i've been wearing my shirts palindromic. blue shirt, red tshirt, green tshirt, green shirt, green shirt, green tshirt, red tshirt, blue shirt. that's a lot of days. what have i been doing here? today i'm finally going home. tonight after all (i thought i had to stay tomorrow, but my shift is actually in copenhagen). walking through C camp, all grey and misty, i can't say i wont miss it here. i stand by my statement, this should be how we live all the time.

but i survived. and with only one more mosquito bite. the fucker bit me whilst pissing.

my armband is almost unrecognisable, covered in dirt. but that's it. when i leave camp A i'm not coming back.

i want vege sausage so bad right now. but instead i walk out of the fisk store straight into a full plate (minus two fork-fulls) of potato fritter and salad.

birds flocking above the big wheel.

yesterday. after smuggling the remains of my rum on site, conceding my water bottle top to fake honesty ("this is all i have"), i went for a walk and bought some shoes. i probably found some food. i sure didn't buy any. i watched hauschka, a nice guy playing prepared piano with a string quartet. just great. ran to 'trail of dead', also well good. they played my favourite song and i was happy to leave. went to 'cancer bats'. we lost jølle. went to see some mongolian space disco. dub beegees. fun but it started to drag on too long. the rum wasn't working. we saw 'sorte skole', the band who practices next to us beneath studenterhuset. at the same time the band who plays on the other side of us were also playing. where were we? but the 'sorte skole' crowd was dense and too large. we were at the edge of the tent and had to fight our way out when we left.

this festival is the best gallery of the worst tattoos of all time. just horrible.

and the dust has become terrible. my hood is going around my face. we look like banditos. jølle looks like a nomad. especially now he isn't naked all the time. we met back up at the deep storage project, something i wish i'd participated in. this is a festival, organising to do anything is pretty difficult.

fuck this, i can't write in this drizzle. it's making my pages damp.

we sat around in the shade of a wooden mock-up HDSP sculpture listening to gogol bordello, not really understanding why we weren't up by the stage and dancing. we went to dance. they're the perfect festival band. what eurovision would sound like if the music was good. the violinist (sorry if it's a viola) is wearing a v for vendetta tshirt. each new song sends a new cloud of dust into the air. and at one point i forget that i'm not at glastonbury.

then it's waiting around for slipknot, with their over the top pyrotechnics and other general over the top ness. i'm sure the show was good but the sound was shit. they started with the first three tracks from their first album. or the first four singles. or whatever, i wasn't paying that much attention (now or when they first came out). we were quite far back but it wasn't too long before a topless male pit had started near us, and it wasn't long after that until jølle and a few crazies from our camp joined it. six man crowd surfing, etc.

our group crumbled, as is to happen. i saw it happening and stuck with the larger. we danced some outside the astoria (later learning the others were just inside). then went off in search off free food, in a big group and the new people very excited about the prospects. we ate well. we even found two almost full beers.

i saw some of the pet shop boys. their stage show was impressive but confusing. i couldn't quite work it out. but it's ok because it was time for my shift anyway. i retreated to the fisk shop. we took care in covering the windows this time, so no nosey security guard could see us sleeping. i took a beer and soon i was out. i didn't wake until about 9am, not even when other fisk people entered the tent in the middle of night to get their bags. so much for me guarding.

and that's up to now. all the glistening lights.

but what was nice about the heat was that you sweated instead of pissing. so i just know i'm going to be going the toilet all day today. and something else that really annoys me, the whole festival talking about being sustainable and blah blah blah, yet when they hand out water at the stages they only half fill the cups. and all of those cups end up on the floor. they could halve the waste by filling them. it's not like there is a lack of water. although there's definiately a lack of public water points. needing to queue half an hour for water is disgusting. and it's made worse by people not being allowed to bring water bottles into the site (to stop people using them as missles, apparently). you just can't carry a substantial amount of water around with you. yesterday they'd wheeled in huge wates cubes. it's nice they acknowledge the desperation. i'm sure they could cut in two the hassle the first aiders have to deal with by providing adequate water to everyone. makes no sense.

people are sleeping under the oversized table tennis table. the snow machine has finally stopped spitting out its cold droplets of water, it having been too hot for snow. a guy over there only has one arm, but he can still firmly hold a beer with his stump and thumb. that's doing it properly. nearly every toilet cubicle against the far wall has a drawing of jølle naked. some of them are even quite good. with all the doors hanging open it's quite a scene, an army of naked jølle's charging from the murky depths of the festival. one of the girls in this camp is reading 'kavalier & clay'. i miss it, almost ask if i can borrow it.

monday

i was sitting in their camp for a good couple of hours, watching them play random games based on the premise of having the cards spread randomly about the camp, amongst the cigarette butts and every other kind of detritus. the odd game of connect4. my backgammon didn't survive two festivals in a row. i'd taught everyone the 'english' version of cheat the previous day, that was a lot of fun, but there were too many people for it really. now i was just waiting for julie, getting ever more unduly nervous about whether she'd get in with her sewed on arm band, but staying cool. either way i'm much better shape than last year, something i can confidentally 'blame' on sleep. this camp is half a block away from one of the largest soundsystems in the whole camping area, and they've been proving it to everyone every night from midnight to 6am. maybe it's what festivals are about, but when it's too hot to sleep during the day you're just thoughtless bastards as far as i'm concerned.

but i'm all good.

julie made it onto the site and i met her down in city west. we spent some time back at camp, adjusting, before heading into the main area for neurosis. they were ok but they were too slow for the time of day. i wanted cult of luna. it just wasn't heavy enough. we took a wander, looking for things of interest, free food, showing julie the site.

we saw some of 'eagles of death metal', random other bands. from a nice distance we saw the first few songs of madness. they were great until they started with the new material, at which point we left.

what i like about the big wheel is you can only ride it if you spend a certain amount of time riding the bike generators. you have to power it yourself.

two swedish girls are trying to fill their water bottle from the urinal flush. when i tell them there's a water trough two meters further down they tell me they know. so i'm all confusion. i piss next to them, because what else was i supposed to do?

the 'yeah yeah yeahs' were just brilliant. they seemed genuinely thrilled to be playing at the festival. of all the bands who said it meant something for them to be here, only the 'yeah yeah yeahs' sounded convincing. smiles and delirium. they played a lot songs i didn't know, but i didn't care. it was truly great.

outside the tent we bumped into a drunk incarnation of the guy who works in our local fakta. he's working at 9am tomorrow morning and he promised us free organic onions if we come in. or never speak about this again. he said he remembered us because we're alternative people and he likes alternative people. he can barely stand up. look straight.

we meet up with jølle and erin. we escape. through the dying chaos. the last chances. and without my glasses the view over the camp is almost beautiful. a sea of perfect white tents. a low red moon strafing the windmill. the sky in demon pink. i'm even glad that i can hear coldplay. a once in a lifetime experience. i hope. but perfect in the moment.

recognising faces as we leave. recollections of random encounters. awkward moments. exhausted and just wanting off the bus, waiting for the first person to pass out and fall in slow motion through the fat syrup passing for air. the relief of the train station, not waiting too long, happy for the slight chill. unfortunately still hearing coldplay from however many miles away. a girl runs of the train to quickly piss on the platform. we need reintergrating. because back in the city i feel alienated and alone. but comfortable again. and just about ready to pass out myself.

were not wasting paper [or grammar]
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