It was around 8 years ago. It was Friday. Me and my Band Fight The Bear were heading to perform at a festival in the north of England. It promised thousands of attendees and the pictures from previous years looked great. We had been jumping from festival to festival all season. We were excited to be able to stay at one for the whole weekend, as we were programmed to play on the Sunday. After a three or four hour drive we stopped at a super market near the festival. Loaded up on beer and sandwich making materials. It was dark by this point. We found a nice spot by the hedge, opened the window and could here some music. It was already night time at this point. We decided to have some drinks in the van then head into the main tent which we were parked behind.

We hammered some drinks, filled out pockets with cans and swaggered into the festival ready for a party. We entered the main tent. And that’s where it got weird. The house lights were all on. The music was really quiet and there were about 5 or 6 people just stood about. The tent looked like it could hold 500 – 1000 people from the outside. We quickly realised that the main system had broken down and the only music was coming through the stage monitors, which were point towards the back of the stage, in the direction of our van.

After asking a steward “Where the devil is the party?” he explained that there weren’t enough ambulances and festival never opened and the sound system had blown. It was a this point we really regretted being drunk because we couldn’t drive home. It was cold and windy and there was nowhere to go. The festival was out of town. We just went a slept in the van. If only this was the worst part of this story.

We awoke the next morning the wind was howling and whether or not the festival was officially open was hard to determine. It didn’t look open. We thought we’d better see it through, it was only one more day. Some friends of ours who were also playing Sunday turned up that evening. At the time they were a band called Kid Id. Today that band has become To Kill A King and Childcare. Some of them were hanging out with us in our van when a group of escaped young offenders decided to attack our van and smash some windows. This is why were driving around with a wooden board instead of a window for so long. We moved the van to avoid a repeat attack. We thought it might be wise to drive home but it had cost us £80 in fuel and a broken window so far. We wanted to play so we could get paid.

Finally Sunday arrived it seemed like forever until our set, there was still no one there. We played to no one through a shitty broken PA. Went to find the organisers to be paid only to find that they had no money and were not going to pay us. We fought for a while but we really just wanted to go home so we carried on fighting it out online to no avail.

Moral of the story. When you get to a festival you know nothing about make sure it’s actually happening and not a load of shit before you get too drunk to drive home.

8 Years ago I made a video. Here it is.

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Jonny is a Shropshire Councillor, musician and film maker. I also work as a web designer and graphic design and consult with business regarding their presence online.

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