The Most I’ve Wanted To Go Home Yet!

by Poi on August 17, 2011

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As we come up to our one year anniversary of leaving home, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to be back there more. Not because it’s been so long but, because of what I will be missing this weekend.

I’m not talking about the riots. August bank holiday weekend means time to head off to Reading/Leeds Festival.

The camping area at leeds festival

60,000 people and their tents

Each year thousands of people descend on a field in either Reading or Leeds for 3 days to watch loads of bands, which switch between the two. After Glastonbury, Leeds/Reading Festival is the biggest festival in the UK with arguably better music.

My first time was back in 2007 and it could not have been better. The weather was perfect, a huge group of people from my hometown went and the band line up was great.

Thankfully the four of us sitting in a room together simultaneously trying to book tickets online and via phone paid off and we were able to get tickets before they sold out, just hours after going on sale.

As much as the festival is about music it’s the whole occasion I miss the most.

Waking up Thursday morning (okay lunch time) after arriving a day earlier than most to find all the space around my tent has vanished. The masses have arrived and as far as the eye can see is a zero privacy jungle of tent ropes and camping chairs.

Hanging at the campsite

At the beginning of my day I look around to see what everyone else is drinking, it’s beer…  so I might as well have one for breakfast too. After a couple of days, we’re all in the ‘festival daze’ and regular top ups ensure we won’t sober up until Monday.

For the next few nights I learn to navigate the non-existing pathways and master roughly how far my tent is from that big tree and dirty burger van. If I end up with the lads in fancy dress offering everyone beer I’ve gone too far, but I’ll stop for a quick one anyway.

Each night when I return to the campsite from the main stage with a couple of others of our 20 something group have already set up the fire. Someone else has undoubtedly gone missing but no one is too bothered, they’ll show up at some point with some new friends and a fresh crate of beer, if we are lucky it might even be cold.

partying hard….

The group stays up all night around a fire made of anything that can be spared. Everyone has a different story of where they’ve been all day and who they’ve seen. A rough plan is made to stick together the following day but nobody will stick to it, my phone battery died two days ago and something better will come up anyway.

Not until Monday morning does the euphoria end when the seemingly never-ending walk back to the car begins. The journey sobers me up and I’m happy in my decision to leave my chair and tent behind, the walk back is painful enough.

However, It’s not too far to carry the left over beer, including those sacrificed along the way left by equally lazy festivalgoers making the same journey.

These memories are the times I miss the most, having so many of my friends together for a completely care free weekend, everyone is out to have the best time possible and nothing from back home matters, there’s no early morning start tomorrow.

The end of Leed Festival

The Aftermath…

So as many of my friends at home prepare for Leeds festival this weekend all I can hold onto are the only negatives. Like last minute tent shopping or the smell of the long drop toilets as I wait for one of ‘the holes’ behind the swinging doors to become free.

Have fun guys, I won’t be too upset if it rains on you all weekend though….


{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Mack Reynolds August 18, 2011 at 3:14 am

sounds like an incredibly fun event. i love that there is a sea of tents filled with people just looking for a good time. and i love how that tent in the picture says “hotdogs inside” hahaha.


Poi August 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm

haha yeah it’s a great weekend of fun, I wanna go home!


Total Travel Bug August 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Yey, I have VIP tickets for Leeds this year! SO excited. Muse headlining. Woop woop. I’ll try and get some decent video clips to fill you in!


Poi August 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Ahh very jealous, I really wanna go.

I’ve looked at the line up once and won’t be doing so again, makes me sad haha.


Si August 18, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Having done 7 Glasto’s, 4 Readings and 10 V Festivals I think I have now retired! Love the music but now a nice hotel sounds appealing!

Love the blog, regards



Poi August 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Wow, thats a lot of festivals to your name, you might retire for a while but you’ll be back!



Andi of My Beautiful Adventures August 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I don’t think I could handle something like this, but I totally understand how it feels to miss certain events when you’re on the road!


Poi August 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Course you could Andi, you travel the world so you’d be able to handle a little festival!

I sense a challenge coming on!


Anthony August 19, 2011 at 12:16 am

I thought it was going to be the footy! I had my savings on it, so I did!


Poi August 19, 2011 at 8:06 am

There’s more to life than football Anthony, at least that’s what I repeat to myself over and over again when we are losing….


Scott - Quirky Travel Guy August 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Bonnaroo has put me off camping festivals for good, because the music goes until 4 am, and there’s always some inconsiderate guy who wakes up and blasts music at 7 am. So you literally get no sleep. I love music festivals but I need my rest to enjoy them! Hopefully Leeds is better in this regard.


Poi August 19, 2011 at 10:52 pm

It’s not haha, music non stop from every direction. I go not really expecting any rest though and I’m too excited to care.


Audrey August 19, 2011 at 11:52 pm

But where do you shower??? The aftermath photo looks insane!!


Poi August 20, 2011 at 6:38 am

It is pretty mad afterwards, a lot of people get free tickets each year providing they work during and after. It’s not a bad deal if you can’t get hold of a ticket.


Kirsty August 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm

As for showering…. there are a couple dotted about but the queues are massive so it’s dry shampoo and baby wipes for most!!!


Satu August 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I’m in the UK now and it looks like it’s going to rain. Does that make you miss it more or less?


Kirsty August 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Less so thank you. Too many memories of falling over face first into wet mud, certainly don’t miss that part of it.


Robyn August 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Seeing the aftermath makes me kind of sad. People are such pigs…


Poi August 24, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Yeah it doesn’t look great afterwards, I’ve seen pictures of the after-aftermath and all the staff/free ticket holders do a good job tiding up afterwards.


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