It really is the most wonderful time of the year.
I thrive at festivals, and the reason is I believe I am my ‘best self’ at them. There’s ‘Work Brittney’, ‘Home with no bra Brittney’, ‘Responsible Brittney’, etc, and then there’s ‘Festival Brittney’ (where I also may not wear a bra).
My boyfriend Andy has always said I remind him of Stevie Nicks. I guess I give off a free spirited, ‘zero fucks given’, airy-fairy kind of attitude. He sees my gypsy. I take this as a compliment, and ‘Festival Brittney’ really embraces the Stevie Nicks persona; the fashion, the music, the whole shebang.
So last weekend myself, along with the rest of Dublin, were in our element when Forbidden Fruit Festival kicked off at the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. This three-dayer over the June bank holiday weekend has been growing legs year after year, and in addition to the stellar acts they had booked, the Irish weather really put on a show this time around. Not a cloud in the sky, all weekend.
For those who have gone to Coachella, or EDC, or Primavera, or Big Day Out (RIP), or Ultra, etc, you are probably thinking ‘yeah, and your point?’. My point is that shit does not happen at Irish festivals. No wellies, no rain jackets, and no post-festival refusal into clubs because you are wearing mud-covered Hunters (yes, this happened last year). It was glorious.
I love festival fashion. I’m the type of person who does not spend a lot of money on clothes in my daily life, I save my coin for travels, but I will splurge on festival goodies. I buy stuff I typically would never wear anywhere else, and particularly appreciate a statement pair of sunnies, necklace or hair accessory. Although I have been tempted, I’ve never gone down the route of the old Native American headdress though and don’t plan on it…clearly a majority of the human race never got the memo that wearing those to festivals, etc isn’t super kosher…it’s actually a bit offensive. I am definitely not the most PC person, but I did grow up next to a Native Reserve, so respect their traditions. They do look fucking deadly in photos though, that much I’ll admit.
Canada doesn’t have festivals on the same scale as Europe – they exist, but not in the same frequency or size. If you wanted to go to a festival every weekend over here, you could. A quick browse on Festicket will confirm that. But the thing about festivals is, if done right, they are taxing on the temple. You almost have to prepare for a festival as you would for a marathon. Ok, not really, not even close…but you do need to make sure you are healthy and ready to push limits.
Traveling abroad for festivals is always exciting but also presents its own challenges; what do you do about a tent, camping supplies, transportation, etc? Most festivals now have ‘glamping’ options which allow you to book a pre-erected tent that typically has beds/duvets/pillows/lights, for you, so that removes any gear transportation headaches, but those options do come at a price.
Then there’s the unavoidable flight home. There is nothing worse than a flight after a multi day bender. Nothing. Last year a group of us were flying from Munich to Dublin after a week long music and ski festival in the Austrian Alps (Snowbombing), and that flight had the worst turbulence I have ever experienced. Ever. People were screaming, all services were stopped, and my friend Gina, Andy and I clung onto each other in attempts to not start crying. We were in such a fragile state, and could have really done without that drama.
I’ve done a few festivals abroad, but there is something so special about Irish ones. Irish people are incredibly sound, always up for a laugh, and don’t take anything too seriously. So when you get a couple thousand of them together with great music, the atmosphere is a treat.
Last weekend at Forbidden Fruit, ‘Underworld’ were closing off the main stage on the last night. Being from Canada, I have to admit I am not overly familiar with them, but I do know and love the ‘Born Slippy’ song from the movie Trainspotting. What a tune. When that song was played on Sunday night, it was a moment. A fucking moment. All too often at festivals or gigs now all you see are phones out. It’s relentless. But during that song, they were few and far between. I did pull mine out to take a few cheeky snaps, but otherwise just got totally immersed in the crowd. Those were easily the best vibes I’ve experienced at any gig.
I was at home sick on a Friday night sometime last year, and to keep myself entertained, I watched the Queen at Wembley Stadium concert. I have a very special place in my heart for Queen, as my Uncle Paul had a multiple-night-stand with Freddie Mercury when the band was playing Montreal in the 80’s. As we know, Freddie Mercury was taken too soon because of that shitty disease, and so too was my uncle. My mom assures this is not where my Uncle got AIDS from, or vise versa, and as much as both of them are missed, it’s an incredible claim to fame nonetheless.
I’m sure you could apply this statement to any rock concert from back in the day, but the noticeable lack of mobile phones made the crowd electric. It looked wild. And for a few quick minutes at Forbidden Fruit last weekend, we gave off those vibes too.
Next weekend I am off to what is meant to be the best Irish festival of the year, ‘Body and Soul‘, and am looking forward to getting my Stevie Nicks on once again. I’m currently nursing a flu/cold, which I suspect is a result of last weekend’s activities, so will spend the next few days detoxing, popping multi-vits, and polishing off my Hunters for what will no doubt be another story topper.
See you on the other side.