I went to Newquay last week to embrace five days camping by the coast, on a rather blustery yet wonderful hillside for Boardmasters surf and music festival.
Now, I’d heard rumours Newquay has become a bit of a ‘youth zone’, I’ve never been there so thought nothing of it; I’m still cool, I told myself. But I soon learnt one doesn’t realise how quite unyouthful one is until you are reunited with slightly more vulgar versions of your younger self. I say more vulgar because I was not a raging, cursing, racist youth, I was simply looking to fit in with, quite frankly, the uncool kids who I thought were the coolest; with our studded belts, extremely side-swept fringes and boxers on display. I mean, potato guns, too much eyeliner and muddying up your trainers so you didn’t look like a newbie was the worst of it – as far as I recall.
But honestly, to be reunited is one thing, to be stuck on a small, stifling, understatedly ancient coach with all but three, four if you count the driver, pubescent teens, is some kind of karma I never quite planned for when sneaking out to gigs in London at fourteen.
They do always say karma balances things out eventually and my mother’s trauma of twelve years ago sure did come back to bite me in the ass.
A seven hour journey with no toilet facilities. Which, as the belching and farting had begun was somewhat of a blessing – no further potential to expel any other things that teenage boys expel… Don’t think too hard one that one.
The funny thing is, as my mothering moan rose up inside me ready to put these boys in their place, morally I was right to tell them to, “have some damn consideration”, “pipe down” and “shut-it” with the racist and complete, utter shit coming out of their mouths – it is disgraceful and will never be acceptable. But, much to my own surprise, I didn’t.
A strange, nagging, tug inside of me begged, “remain tolerant, reclaim your cool, do not be the mum” – though I knew I’d be doing everyone a favour. I can’t figure out what possessed me to refrain, but alas several hours passed by as I listened to my iPod and carried on pretending I was excited enough about the festival not to care.
Anyway, the journey back was unbelievably a much bigger disaster. In short it included an 8am start in the wet, windy, muddy field to pack-up, a frustrated hike to the very distant coach area, a two hour wait for its late arrival, followed by a nine hour long journey with one brief pit-stop, inevitably involving a chocolate milkshake and some chicken selects from Mc D’s – I know, my inner green Goddess is crying – but damn it was good at the time. Final arrival time into victoria coach station? 9.30pm.
Oh well, there you have the shell of it! Now ignoring the sad organisation efforts of the coaches and festival team I’ll happily move on to the festival!
Few words required (I’ve said enough) here’s the photos! Not so many of the bands, I was having much too much fun to take any of them, silly! Seasick Steve, Nick Mulvey, Lower Than Atlantis and Faithless were incredible!
Campsite view, sunrise wake-up call by 8am..
A little oat, date and raisin bite for breakfast?
On day two the sea beckoned and we all know what that means, chip shop chips with far too much salt and vinegar..
Followed by a cider with a view
and a bit of a toe dip in the refreshing (read: absolutely freezing!) sea
though some didn’t seem to mind the temperature
If you look hard enough and you’ll see the surfer taking part in the competition.. No, I mean it, really stare hard.
We got the hair chalks out that I’d mentioned
It turned out a bit messier than expected
but the results?
We popped out with our fresh locks to see what was going on and quickly retreated from the Shaun of the Dead-esque scene in the (non-VIP, darling) camping grounds… Teenagers running-a-muck, high on dominoes and alco-pops… “Grab your Jerk chicken and run for it, girls!” So that was that, dinner and bed. Night two.
Feeling satisfactorily fresh the next morning (our tents hadn’t fallen in, weren’t peed on or blew away, so that was good) it was time for some yoga..
which I now know is significantly harder on uneven tufts of grass
(Note, this was the start and end of our practice, that hill paired with downward dog isn’t inviting to a hangover)
But still leaves one feeling completely virtuous and refreshed after; twisting, stretching and sleeping (drunken) pigeoning out all our aches from the coach and tent struggles
With a shower to follow – I told you we aren’t made for this festival lark anymore.
Hair wet and smelling good, I decided to rough it up with red (coral if I’m being pedantic, which I am).
Pink hair, don’t care!
Time for the VIP area – anything to save us from the terrors of the night before.
and day one of the festival starts – with ample bubbles to lift our spirits against the blustering winds!
the VIP stage offered shelter and an acoustic set.. Ahhh, sweet, blissful peace
(only a touch less windy)
Now, we all know I love cocktails and if there was one major perk of the VIP area it’s the Beetle Juice guys
Surfer’s Paradise – that my dear, is Pina Colada made with coconut infused rum.. and we had them making it all day long!! Yes, you know you’re on holiday when you’re drinking this soon after lunch.. so much love poured in and a little extra alcohol, cheeky.
All those bubbles and cocktails mixed with Lower Than Atlantis, Nick Mulvey and Faithless, you know the feeling…
Hay! Hay! It’s Saturday!
Out in the sunshine, sat by some shipwrecks and a good ol’ pub on the hillside, as you do
Us, as drunk as ever
Rudimental headlining – the crowd went mental!
Sunday – time to finish all the wine and coke and ration the final scraps of food. (No, we didn’t manage the latter)
Rations diminished we decided we must eat all the food we’d be staring lovingly at the last few days.. Cue, Dog Town London!
The Ultimate Chilli Dog…
mmmm.. freshly made cheese sauce and sweet fried onions on top of chilli and a dawg…
A most virtuous hot dog, organic and sustainably sourced meat with no additives and no extras.. Unfortunately their gluten free bun stock had been destroyed in a fire (typical) and my hopes were dashed!
But I’d set my heart on it and not one to be deterred, I proposed they kindly give me all the toppings, loads of chilli, with the hot dog and a side of seasoned chips!
Absolutely stuffed, we had to wait hours before anything else. (eat everything plan – not quite a success).
The night fell as we entered into a Bastille filled field of body parts all buzzing and jumping along …Completely hopeless at taking any photos but the atmosphere was electric (Read: hot, sweaty, squashed and too many hands in too many places)
Boardmasters, the bits in the middle were fun – but never again will I venture on a coach for that distance to anywhere. Ever.
Tell me someone else out there shared my experience?
Peace out people!
Words by Cat
Photos by Cat, Rachel and Lauren – Boardmasters true VIP veterans. x