Saturday, 27 April 2013

Lessons of Latitude 2012

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WORDS: YVONNE MCKEOWN

My first music fesitval was Reading 2004, a teenage right of passage, an eye-opener, a hell hole. Between the cheap White Lightning, my misguided introduction to (what I thought was) Helium gas and eye-watering festival toilets, I saw someone masterfully hurl a camping stool at 50 Cent and his G-G-G-Unit. It was sublime.

My second festival was a different breed, the first epic seaside pub crawl, plagues by blazers and polka dots, one fuelled by a whole new kettle of fish. I was a wide-eyed eighteen year-old who was too naive to realise sleeping on a sofa where a rat had been found the previous week definitely wasn't cool. However, I did discover the seductive and mind-bending sounds of The Third Bardo, thus beginning my journey into the lysergic and the wonderful - it was the Brighton Great Escape 2006, and one of the best weekends of one's life.

Now, I have a vinyl collection, a healthy level of cycnicism, a disdain for most modern music and abhor anyone resembling myself a decade ago, which, I believe, makes me the ideal festival goer and advice-giver. So here I present to you my lessons of Latitude 2012! Take heed.

#1 - Take excellent company, preferably ones with hipflasks and plenty of laughter.
This time my festival fellows braving the British elements are the babelicious blogger that is Lauren Park, James and Tom, (pre-Temples) when the acidic haze and far-Eastern mysticism were mere twinkles in their kaleidoscopic eyes, and lastly, the quiff, Dick Philips.

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#2 - Don’t die before the band gets famous
This road trip is significant, somewhat, historically for Temples because of two reasons. Firstly, we almost died – this is true - if it not for Tom’s quick reflexes and stunt driver skills, we, and the beautiful gold Beetle would have been strewn across the A141 along with the bottle of Southern Belle and vanilla tobacco. Which, I’m sure we all agree, would have been a most disagreeable situation before the first LP. Secondly, we jovially prophesised that the boys will be playing the festival the following year, and, guess what, they indeed are!

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#3 – You can take half decent pictures through the windscreen of a 1973 Beetle.
Ignore the cynical cries of ‘don’t waste the film’ and ‘stop being drunk’, what do they know? I’m from the David Hockney School of Photography and I will not be restricted by borders! I’m Eugene Atget reincarnate! I can take pictures that Henri Cartier-Bresson would be proud of... Behold this masterpiece!

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#4 – In Vino Veritas
In wine there is truth... and beer, and rum, and whisky. Drink and the world is your oyster. Every festival day is a party day, this muddy field is your theatrical stage and this hipflask will expand your mind wide enough (almost) to stand through tedious bands and comedians that will not be heard of again. Amen.

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#5 - You can never be overdressed or overeducated.
Oscar Wilde is right, you know. It’s all about the festival wear. It might be so that the first step to a serious life is a well-tied cravat, but, honestly, if you really want to be taken seriously at a festival buy a moose hat and wear it like a boss (preferably in front of a Biffa bin).

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#6 – Do take pictures of you and your friends pretending to be at Monterey Pop Festival.
Okay, so we don’t have The Byrds, no. Otis Redding is dead, sadly. Ravi Shankar can’t be seen on his magic pillow anymore, but that’s no reason to pretend you’re not Patti Boyd and George Harrison walking between stages. Note: You will probably just look cold and miserable walking through a muddy field, but, hey, this is your field of dreams and in your head the sun is always shining.

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#7 – Photobomb!!
Check your snaps for unsuspecting photobombers... I promise you will find many... The lurkier the better.

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Lastly, and most importantly, be a babe...

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