What's with the change?

What I learnt at Bonnaroo Part 2

5. Festival virgins are painful

At 4:30am in the staff camping, where you have been camped so close that the guy ropes overlap, it’s not cool to keep the whole campsite awake with your lame stories. Especially when General Admission are all sound asleep. Sure, I might be getting too old for this shit (in my psycho rant about some of us having to work in the morning, I may have dropped a I’ve been going to festivals for fifteen years which either made me sound awesome [unlikely] or just plain old).  Either way, I was a hero with our other, awesome neighbours, lessening the blow of going to work with 2 hours sleep under our belt. Lucky our shift comprised of sitting in the shade waiting for something to do. 
The festival virgins did indeed ‘show some fucking respect’ for the rest of the fest.

6. Paul McCartney rocks out

I’m a huge Beatles fan. As a kid I felt like I was born into the wrong generation. I don’t know what songs belong to which albums because my Beatles listening pleasure revolved around a few cassette tapes. 
Years ago on a 6hr death-ride in a speedboat along the Mekong in Laos where you couldn’t hear anyone over the motor or through your crash helmet, I passed the time (and settled my nerves) singing every Beatles song I could think of. 
So I was extremely excited to watch Sir Paul. And he delivered! In almost a 3 hr set, he astounded with his musical prowess, making me reassess my happy-go-lucky-bop-around-behind-a-microphone-while-strumming-a-guitar image of the Beatles. He joked around and told stories, name-dropping like no tomorrow. The ukulele intro to Something was a highlight and everyone lost their shit in the synchronised fireworks during Live and Let Die. Not a bad effort for a 70 year old.

7. Americans don’t know how to do the Timewarp

In the cinema tent (yes, we lined up for an hour), The Polyphonic Spree performed the songs from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was quite entertaining even for someone who doesn’t really know the movie (and it makes me a little queasy thinking of Newcastle's embarrassing theatre restaurant of a similar theme). I was pumped for the Timewarp- all those primary school discos had lead me to this moment. Imagine my horror (lame pun intended) when the crowd did not throw their arms in the air or hug themselves whilst shimmying. Further research (youtubing the film clip) has shown that there isn't really a specific dance to the chorus. Must be a weird Aussie thing.

8. You’re not cool unless you’re talking about the drugs you’re taking
By the last day there were 5 or so bags of butts

I’ll put it out there: I’m not cool enough to take drugs. It’s a combination of being a wuss, concern at how my normal silliness would react and just not feeling the need. Good for you if you’re cool enough. I’m sure it saves lots of money you would’ve spent on alcohol and lots of time not having to line up for the dunny. The difference between Bonnaroo and the other festivals I’ve been to across the world, is the amount of talk about it. Every second conversation was about how much acid someone brought or the rating out of ten for their weed. I’d be very interested to know how many of these people regularly get on it or just feeling like being awesome at a festival. It did give me a little satisfaction to hear the annoying festival virgin who had previously declared, “God bless America and Bonnaroo” (no, she wasn’t being ironic) complain about the bands she missed from her bad trip. I can be spiteful sometimes.

Backstage in a cart. Yew!
9. Musos just want to get laid

Volunteering is a pretty cool way to see a festival. You get to go for free and see behind the scenes. I got to work in the artist hospitality tent, first as door bitch rejecting all the free-loaders trying to sneak into the food tent, then serving food to the artists. After five nights sweating it out in a tent and six days in the sun bringing out my galaxy of freckles, the number of ‘How you doin’?’s was astounding. Sure, I thought I was rocking the boots/skirt combo, but I had more pickups in five hours than I’d had in five years. Musos!

10. I’m too old to do cartwheels
It’s always a good idea at the time. Vodka smuggled in and added to freshly squeezed lemonade is also a good encouragement. I can’t remember the last time I did a cartwheel but gee I did a good job (Must be all the yoga I have to do for my bad back). So I kept on doing them. I wasn't sore the next day; I felt it all the following week. So I still don't know why I attempted another in Milwaukee a few days later.. It’s all worth it though for the experience of cartwheeling to Bjork in Tennessee.


1 comment:

  1. Oh Ellen. What fun. SO much more exciting than NYE in Times Square. I watched the ball drop from Central Park. My daughter walked away from us in disgust as we launched into a prolonged - fireworks! You call those fireworks! No music, no harbour, no, no, ..... BUT we were in NYC on NYE and that is exciting just at it stands.
    cheers from 'would run and back and live there tomorrow' green eyed monster. Have fun.