So, five years ago, when I was invited on a friend's hen do - at Wilderness Festival - it was with some trepidation that I agreed to go. And you know what, I discovered that posh festivals are completely tolerable. I can rough it with the rest of the middle classes, while munching on my avocado on toast, waiting in a queue for a hot shower. I returned the following year, and the year after too - enjoying long sunny days of yoga, swimming, amazing food and a bit of music too.
I was aware of Festival No6, another big player on the posh festival scene, and had always been keen to give it a go. So when my old studio-mate and good friend VIP Puppets offered me a ticket, in exchange for helping out with some artwork, I jumped at the chance. What a lovely end to the summer, I thought; envisaging morning yoga, swimming in the estuary, sipping craft beer in the sunshine, eating amazing veggie food, and getting to listen to some good music too.
We arrived on Friday evening, after battling our way through torrential rain across the top of Wales - not a pleasant drive at all. A gap in the downpour enabled us to get our tents up, and then it pretty much continued raining on and off all weekend!
There were some really fun parts - swimming in a heated outdoor pool during a heavy rainstorm and seeing my beloved Jarvis Cocker DJ; some really interesting parts - listening to Irvine Welsh reading from Porno, looking round the amazing village of Portmeirion, and (literally) bumping into Maxine Peake; and of course some delicious food - I was delighted to discover my favourite ever, Anna Mae, was there with her legendary Mac'n'Cheese. But mostly we had a muddy, wet old time! For me, no amount of glitter, gin and good company can make up for having to wear Gore-Tex and wellies all day long!
The act that we were there with was a set of 12-foot tall Beatles puppets - the Be-Talls - and it was becoming increasingly unlikely they'd be able to take them out due to the weather. However, a break in the rain at 2pm meant the puppets could take part in the Sgt Peppers Parade, and this was definitely the big highlight of the weekend! The puppets looked great and the performers were truly amazing.
But by this point we'd made the decision to go home - our dry warm beds were luring us back, and we packed up and left a day early. I was really sad to miss Public Service Broadcasting and Flaming Lips - who I'd really wanted to see - but the prospect of warm feet and dry knickers was simply too great. And, well, I can listen to them both on Spotify anyway.
I had a great time in Portmeirion, it's am amazing little village, and somewhere I'd love to return to explore again in the future - and I would definitely go back to Festival No6... I'd just check the weather first. Turns out that - for me - posh festivals are only tolerable if it's sunny.