On week before: Panic buying/loaning of hoodies, rain macs, tops and the elusive "perfect bag" (doesn't exist).
Two days before: weather reports look grim for Sunday, thank god I bought those pac a macs and wellies
The night before: more ill-advised manic packing - packing for all weathers bar a snow blizzard.
And so the day arrived.....
Drove down with fellow festival buddy, listening to the sounds our homemade CD of V performers, so full of excitement that the motorway sign for junction 12 had us squealing...and even drove us so far as to take a photo of it *ahem* We laughed in the faces of people who had told us about huge queues. "What queues?!" we laughed, as we sailed down the country road, little did we know the weekend would not go queue-less.
We parked up and debated whether it was sandals or wellies? The weather said sandals but this is England, which means give the weather half an hour and it could so easily say snow boots. I kept the faith with my sandals while my friend wrestled her (not optimistic-at-all) bright red Hunter's on. We walked down to the grounds, marvelling at how huge it was, and nosing at the campsites safe in the knowledge we would be sleeping in a hotel that night (YES I KNOW! SCANDALOUS! NOT REAL A REAL FESTIVAL UNLESS YOU SLEEP IN SOMEONES SHIT! Lemme just throw up a big "whatevs" hand gesture).
After looking at the stalls and attempting to get in to a wristband only entrance (YES I KNOW! WE DIDN'T HAVE A WRISTBAND! WE COULDN'T WEAR IT WHEN WE GOT HOME TO SHOW EVERYONE WE'D BEEN TO A FESTIVAL) we entered the grounds to be met head on with the huge main stage, a carnival to our left and stalls for every food imaginable - literally all I need in life right there.
We sat on the boundary line for the main stage and enjoyed the sunshine. When the barrier was finally moved we walked down to the front while everyone else legged it. Do you know who they were running for? Abba tribute act Bjorn Again. Some brummies behind me decided they needed to put toilet paper around their heads (coz that's just what the kids do these days - recession meant no money for umbrellas) while another group of guys insisted they would be really annoyed if Will Young came on stage (who, until I actually saw him live would have thought the same).
And so the first act appeared - all knee high boots and beards - in the form of Bjorn Again. They got the crowd warmed up at least - like a calf stretch before a good run - no one wants to endure it but it's kinda necessary. After they had finished their set we trundled off for some lunch and like the bargain hunters we are we found the baked potato stand, with a drink thrown in (£3 if I remember rightly, check them out. Right in the corner on the left with the fit young guy serving with a smile). We devoured our lunch listening to Ocean Colour Scene and commenting on the songs we actually knew (reckon there was two at least..)
From there we made our way back to the main stage, and back to the front, to watch James Morrison. We managed to hear "Broken strings" before walking over to the 4music stage. Navigating our way to the front we danced and sang along to The Proclaimers final song (have a guess what that was....) We marvelled at Alesha Dixon and her dance moves but an important moment was to occur that would dominate the weekend...the meeting of 2938. Ah yes, the fit looking Glaswegian security guard that worked like a Trojan passing out water to us all. He took some flack of the guys behind us but it was all friendly. They even made up a song about him entitled "The pencil song" which after it being insulting, ended with the plea to "...get me on the stage..." This genius song writer then had a water fight with 2938, peed into a cup and then left the festival feeling like a man.
The pink flamingos and blow up strawberry's marked the entrance of a very kitsch Katy Perry performance.
We watched the beginning of Paolo Nutini before hobbling off for a sit down - but not before we got some free sweets, one of us sneaking back for a second packet, shock horror! We chilled out on the grass listening to the end of Paolo's set I was asked by a Welsh guy whether he had a mark on his eye - it took a few times to persuade him before he finally shook our hands and bogged off. He didn't have a mark but a few more times asking and he'd would have had a shiner. Ooh I'm well 'ard me!
It was then over to the Arena for The Gaga herself. I had a mild panic attack while we weaved through the scallies listening to the end of the The Streets set - smashed up against people we finally found a spot near to the stage. As time ticked on and she hadn't appeared the crowd started to boo. She finally came on but with the smoke, lights and the annoying tall men in cowboy hats in front of us we didn't manage to see very much. Gaga was in loopy, annoying form, making up a song about "bloody bloody England" and talking about eating pies. Get on with the songs we shouted! Finally we had enough and decamped to watch Oasis, from far far away! This turned out to be there last gig EVER so I now like to band that around as my "I was there" moment. It's not quite the Sex Pistols first gig or even Billie Pipers first TOTP appearance, but it is something.
After a few potato wedges we couldn't hold on for a wee anymore (urine talk alert) so made our way back to the car. 45 minutes later we finally found the car. After asking three security guards and going the wrong way twice we managed to navigate through the pitch black field to find the C3. Note for next time, take a torch.
We managed checked into our luxurious hotel (and by luxurious I mean more than bog standard - there was no duvet, that's all I'm saying) rested our feet and recharged for the next day...
The second day arrived (far too early). I grappled to find my watch on the bedside table but before I could reach it my friend informed me we had five lousy minutes before we had to get up. Groan! We stumbled out of our beds and put our carefully planned "Day 2" outfits on. We re-packed our bags with the essentials again (bacteria killing bottles, wipes...anything) and after nearly leaving my ticket behind, set off for another day in the field.
We parked up in a nearer car park - wellies were the footwear of choice for both of us today which was the sensible option as the fields were covered in a whole host of shit. We walked down to the main stage arena and sought out some freshly made pancakes and fended off an attack of wasps while eating them in the field.
First act of the day were Mcfly who were very entertaining - although the stupid girls at the front with their Tu-Tu's did get slightly annoying. We trudged over to the big tent to see Pixie Lott - but who did we see the end of? NDubz, wohooo! We danced our way to the front singing No. 1 while all the scallies filed out of the tent. I'm being a tad judgmental here but seriously, half these kids were tagged (JOKE) They were deffo ASBO cases though (TRUFAX).
Pixie entertained while Will Young had us in stitches with his chatter. Helpfully informing us what a "riser" was and pondering what his fan-made sash said. It didn't say "wanker" as he first thought. All good in the
After some lunch we were back over to the main stage to catch the end of the now infamous (thanks to Kanye West) Taylor Swift. Feet report at this point: sore. The Script blasted on stage and all the girls went starry-eyed for Danny (well he is fit like!)
The Saturdays lit up the tent with their multi-coloured outfits and we learnt a new dance routine for "Last Chance" an embarrassingly easy arm movement. Seriously girls, show your fans some respect, at least throw in a two-step next time.
After a short sit down, some food, and a couple of ice creams (in the presence of people peeing behind a shack we were sat next to) we readied ourselves for the last few hour hours standing up. Feet report: Throbbing intensely.
We made our way to near the front of the main stage - which now smelt like strong wee (none of the weak stuff now) - and positioned ourselves for Razorlight. Johnny Borell came on with his rock star shades and swaggered around the stage. He is a total cliche but it kinda works live. Agreed? Good. Our feet got increasingly more painful and I was shamefully wishing time away whilst waiting for The Killers came on stage.
The hour in between the acts seemed to last an absolute age. The shifting of weight from foot to foot no longer kept the pain away. Finnnnnnnnnnally The Killers took to the stage and all pain was forgotten. We sang along to "I got soul....." while jumping up and down to "Somebody told me" Brandon's voice soared across the park, completing the night with "When we were young." Then they were gone. The perfect end to our festival.
We trudged back round the field - well up, down and round as we seemed to go the wrong way. We made the slow way back to the car - at this point our feet were in so much pain we became hysterical, laughing our way through the pitch black forest desperate to sit down. After a few false alarms, and the road seeming to be longer than the longest road in eternity, there it was, the light blue Citroen C3, THERE! We walked over, slowly (obviously) and ceremoniously removed our wellies in favour of more comfortable footwear. We sat down on the car seats, dumped our bags and....our feet felt just a fecking painful as when we were stood up, if anything they actually hurt worse when we sat down.
The queue to get off the car park was monumentally horrendous. We sat in the car for an hour waiting for the queue to die down and not one car had moved! Eventually we made a move to join the queue and sat there - singing along to The Script "we're not movvvvvvvvvvvvvvving, ohhhh" and coming up with made up terms - such as moveage - which we shouted very loudly every time we moved an inch. We watched the car in front intently - "MOVEAGE!" we yelled as we moved that important few centimetres. Finally, after around two and a half hours we waved goodbye to Weston Park...our adventure was over....or so we thought.
Back to the hotel we thought, wohoo. Only, the satnav decided she was going to be an awkward biatch and sacked us off for most of the journey, refusing to switch on. After a bit of guess work we made it back to the glorious hotel and stumbled our way into the lobby, and finally our room, ahhhh peace at last....or, again, so we thought....
We sat and enjoyed the rest when my friend suddenly noticed the biggest, ugliest looking spider on the wall of our room. For Fucks Sake!! Wasn't the weekend a test enough without creatures adding to it? After some feeble attempts to squash the git I made my way down to the lobby to ask for someone to remove it. On my way I encountered a smashed-off-his-tits bloke who happily peed into a beer glass on the stairs, nice. After a nice man came and got rid of the spider my friend had an ingenious idea of what could relieve our tired feet - a Sprite bottle. Ridiculous! I thought but then the knobbly bottom of the bottle started to relieve the tension and I thought it was the most brilliant invention in the history of the world, EVER!
Finally we thought, 3am and peace at last. We started to faff around getting ready for bed when we heard a knock at the door - after ignoring the first tap I answered the door only to be met by the smacked-off-his-tits man who asked me to keep the noise down. After agreeing and asking him to go back to his room I quickly bolted the door and wondering what the frig would be thrown at us next - the earth had just decided we were not going to get any rest tonight.
Finally, finally, finally, we were allowed to sleep.....zzzzzzzz.
The next morning we awoke and slowly got ready and packed up our things for the journey home. We waved goodbye to Staffordshire while the satnav decided to take us the scenic, and long, way home. I recuperated for work the next day while planning for V Festival 2010. Rock. On!