Festivals and kids: proving you’ve still got it this summer?
Recently browsing a bookshop (note: this is so you think it’s something I do daily, as opposed to it being the gift shop of the RAF museum), I saw a greetings card which said ‘Just because you have children doesn’t mean the party stops. It just goes on without you’. How true, I thought.
Then suddenly, this year, otherwise sane friends began ‘fessing up about their child-enhanced festival plans. Of recent years, there seems to have been a huge upswing in the 'kid goes with' approach. You can't move these days for Anglo-Saxon encampments and feather-strewn theatre workshops.
In fairness, the best our two-week family holidays could hope for in my childhood was the excitement of Dad locking us all out of the caravan in Scarborough’s rain, weighing up which child was the most agile window-climber. Then, which child would be most trustworthy holding the fish and chips (I received neither accolade).
But really, did they not get the memo? The party is OVER, people. For us, at least For a while. Try to cling on and it will end in (multiple, contagious) tears. And that's just the adults with a hangover. Surely going to festivals is up there with all those other things you wave goodbye to when you have kids; sleep, the Sunday supplements and pedicures?
Now, I must confess I get limited pleasure out of any social occasion which requires an extreme relaxation of hygiene norms. Perhaps - you might round on me with an accusatory finger – as I was the only twenty-something at a Big Chill festival staying in a nearby B&B with a pool, I’m hardly impartial.
But I’m blown away by the conviction with which parents I know are dedicating themselves to taking their kids to the festivals - for the babes to wet themselves and be sick in a tent - whereas previously it had been them doing the very same thing, but at least with all the time in the world and only themselves to care about.
After all, what better way of introducing little Orlando to the wonders of world music than by having some clubber on his third day of a bender, pawing at your offspring’s tiny innocent face, leaving traces of urine and amphetamine on his Joules rainjacket? This child, my friend, will not magically heal your ennui.
I am minded of a headline in satirical online paper thedailymash –'"We had a really great time, except for losing little Joshua in the dubstep tent then finding him eight hours later covered head-to-toe in ketamine”.’
So you crazy kids, you have fun out there. I'll be watching Glasto in the front room, when the kids are in bed. ROCK AND ROLL.