Last weekend I took off to the Beautiful Days festival with the eldest Tin. I’m not a natural festival person despite my love of tents, mud and music but we had a fantastic time. The music was good, the atmosphere was great and even the weather was mostly fine. Perhaps the difference this time around was being able to enjoy a festival as an adult (as opposed to as a parent) for the first time in living memory – the freedom to think ‘I fancy a pizza and a Jack Daniels’ at 1am and to be able to just wander over and get one without having to justify it or attend to the needs of three other Tins who want food from stalls at diametrically opposed ends of the site.
Maybe it was that – but I think it had more to do with the fact that I was working there. Yes, you heard me right – I liked it because I was working there !
Both eldest Tin and her boyfriend had worked the bars there the year before and they got me the same gig this year. I was apprehensive. I’m too old for that surely ? What if I miss my favourite bands ? What if it’s a real grind ? What if I don’t know what I’m doing ? What if people don’t like me ? Aaaaargh !
But it was truly wonderful, not least because of the enlightened and rather unusual approach taken by the brewery we worked for. First off it meant free tickets, which I always enjoy. Secondly the style they adopted was one of the most enlightened that I can remember having worked under – basically they came at it from the angle that we were all there to have fun and they trusted us ! Yep, trust. You turned up for your shift, got stuck in and took a break when you needed one, at the end of your shift you said goodbye and wandered back out to do whatever you needed to do. No-one that I saw took the piss – it’s a lesson that so many employers (including my current ‘real’ one) could learn from. No-one slacked and we worked hard through three five-hour shifts.
It made the festival seem like something we’d earned and as a result it heightened the whole experience. Someone clever seemed to have weighed things in the balance and found that fifteen hours work equaled a fair effort for free tickets. I couldn’t disagree.
OK, so I missed Toots and the Maytals, but since I was by the main stage anyway I could hear and dance along to them, plus when a pump ran dry I got to use the line ‘sorry, it seems like there’s a pressure drop….’.
As a bonus we got a very nice t-shirt that everyone tried to buy off us, met some wildly interesting people who bought us drinks, mixed with a random assortment of other bar staff who I’d never have met otherwise, had our own ‘private’ toilet (which as any festival goer knows is like your own VIP lounge) and finally did I mention the free drinks ? Lots of free drinks, a staff bar with lots of free drinks….lots and lots of free drinks.
So thanks eldest Tin – thanks for the best weekend in a very long while. I’ll be back again next year. See you all there ?
This lot were excellent – enjoy !