I've concluded that going to a festival is like having a baby. You have no real idea what it's like until you experience it for yourself.
So, at the tender age of 35, I set out last weekend for my first ever festival: Latitude in Suffolk with some friends.
I'd always been put off by the cost, the hassle, the mud, and most importantly, festival wankers. The sort of people you see walking around sporting a litany of coloured wristbands (even though it's fucking November) like trophies of smugness.
But any reservations I had evaporated the instant I stepped onto the site. There was the buzz of people, the thrum of music from distant stages and the tempting smell of the burgers.
It's safe to say I loved it.
Yes, the weather was rubbish at times, and yes the beer was expensive, but in the end it didn't matter because the 'fuck it' mentality takes over and it's addictive.
Until this weekend, I have never had a conversation in the *middle* of a dancefloor with a part-time beekeeper about Mark 1 Ford Escorts.
The music wasn't bad either.
After this weekend, I can thoroughly recommend Sharon van Etten, Lianne La Havas and Bon Iver, artists who had previously passed me by.
The wonderful M83 were... wonderful. I love how slick, produced artists translate their sets into guitar-heavy, mosh-athons.
Comedy-wise, Josie Long was engagingly ranty about the shits in government, but the highlight for me was Pappy's who performed their new show, Last Show Ever! I laughed like a loon, although admittedly under the influence of Tuborg. If you get a chance, see it. And meeting them afterwards was a bonus!
But what really made it perfect was laughing with my friends at the various stupid things we did and said, none of which I could commit to this blog in a way that conveys how funny they were. Even the Princess Diana stuff. You really had to be there. And be us.
As I write this, the day after, I'm dehydrated, tired and ill. But grinning like an idiot.
So that's festivals then.
I even had to think twice about cutting my wristband off.