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This is a question Festivals

Mud, rubbish sex, food poisoning and the Quo replacing the headline act you've mortgaged your house to see. Tell us your experiences

Question from Chart Cat

(, Thu 4 Jun 2009, 12:33)
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Antifestival
I attended an event in July of 2006 that would make most b3tan's blood turn to powder in horror.

It should have been ace. All the right boxes were ticked: Knebworth. The Who. Hottest day of the year. Best of all, it was not only free but I was being paid to go.

It was not ace.

This was no festival. It was a corporate trade show for the hedge fund industry, organised as a chance for everyone involved to come together, sell eachother their services and forge high-value-add synergistic relationships in a relaxed atmosphere of friendly co-opetition. The twist was the festival theme, the highlight being The Who playing later in the evening.

The day started well enough. Hundreds of monumentally overpaid hedge fund managers parked their Aston Martins on the lawn. Bankers and brokers left their Ferraris alongside. I, mere pond scum of a junior software vendor monkey, carefully attached crook-lock on my girlfriend's 15 year old Fiesta. We set up our company tent as the sun started to get hot and amused ourselves trying to flirt with the models in sundresses that the bigger companies had hired.

As the day wore on a growing sense of just what we were involved in was nagging at me. My inner 18 year old was in tears. Everything about the event makes me cringe. The refreshment stand in the field called the "Nine Bar". The Bentley dealer who'd turned up to raffle off a couple of cars for £1,000 a ticket. The old VW campers painted up in what appeared to be psychadelic patterns but on closer inspection turned out to be highly stylised logos of major banks. I was in danger of drowning in pure wank. I was getting sunburned at an event called, I can barely write this now, HedgeStock.

I did my job manning our stand. When 5pm rolled on I broke out the beers and got ready to watch The Who with my fortunately very cool colleagues. They played a brilliant, brilliant set that lasted well over two hours. It was loud, tight, we were pissed and right at the front, really getting into it and just loving watching an incredible band at a beautiful venue outside on a summer's evening. You can't beat it. Yet, when I turned around to take in the atmosphere, I was bought thudding back to earth. Here was a crowd of about a thousand people, with maybe twenty of us singing along and dancing like loons at the front. Everyone else, to a man, was either on the phone or emailing on their Blackberries. I saw one chap in a polo shirt and pressed chinos with a sunhat (bank logo'ed, of course) with his arms folded and a severe expression on his face, just standing there - during Baba O'Reilly!

Roger Daltrey summed it up perfectly about three songs in. Clearly underwhelmed by what must have been the worst crowd he has ever played in front of in his entire career - a crowd so bad it made the Jazz Oddessey audience look like whizzed up moshpit nutters - he shook his head sadly and said into the microphone in a bemused voice, "Who the fuck are you?"
(, Fri 5 Jun 2009, 14:57, 6 replies)
.
Another answer where clicking 'I like this' seems a little inappropriate. Click anyway.
(, Fri 5 Jun 2009, 14:59, closed)
oh god
i was there too. utterly horrific. lasted about 2 hours before i fucked off home. thought it would be a decent skive off work, but nooooo.
(, Fri 5 Jun 2009, 15:30, closed)
I feel shit
just reading about this.

Did any amount of scrubbing get rid of that horrible feeling?
(, Fri 5 Jun 2009, 15:34, closed)
Not the only weird thing Daltrey did in 2006
He's an Arsenal fan and sang "My Generation" during the post-match ceremonies at the last-ever match at Highbury.

I was there, and as someone who's always liked the Who (I remember seeing them at Wembley Arena in the 80s) it did seem a bit unreal and I remember thinking, WTF?
(, Fri 5 Jun 2009, 16:23, closed)
At least it wasn't raining
or you'd have had Cliff Richard instead...
(, Fri 5 Jun 2009, 22:41, closed)
Jesus
that get's my click... Reminds me of an Eagles gig at the Indigo my girlfriend and I won tickets for. Apparently tickets for this gig were changing hands for a couple of grand. It was, to put it bluntly, a corporate wankathon. But it was fucking ace watching the Eagles in a tiny venue - the competition winners are going apeshit climbing the walls and singing along, we turn and-

-exactly as you discribed it. The industry deadheads were just sitting there looking at the clock on the wall and filing their proverbial nails.
(, Mon 8 Jun 2009, 16:31, closed)

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