Maybe I'm just better off not being cool
I went to the Electric Picnic for the first time on Sunday. Now, don't get me wrong. I didn't slum it. A bunch of us chipped in for a driver to bring us down and collect us and I was home tucked up in bed by 1am. Indeed, to add to the bourgeois nature of my festival experience, before I headed down, I supervised a child's birthday party in a soft play centre that was hell on earth. The Electric Picnic was actually an oasis of calm after the kids' party.
The reason I went this year, having managed to miss it for so many years, was mainly because I have this sentimental connection to the melancholy disco music of a band called New Order. I will always make an effort to see them when they are around and I'll even travel to England to see them the odd time. New Order attract a diehard type of fan and it is nice to be among other fans. Even if, in England, my fellow devotees can tend to be ageing football hooligans. But still, we have a tacit understanding of each other, a shared history with this band. In a sense, I am among my own at a New Order concert. I won't bore you with my thoughts on the gig. I have many and they are deeply involved. It rained heavily, but I enjoyed it.
More importantly, I realised something about myself down there. I wouldn't say I stuck out like a sore thumb. There were many like me: grown wet adults who'd had a few pints, wandering around amiably, seeing what the kids are up to. And the kids were generally very nice. But as I walked around, I realise something. I am not cool. And I've never been cool.
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