Sunday 17 November 2019

Guest list is still open for my dream festival

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan

When Bob Dylan talks, I listen. And when Bob sings about staying Forever Young I know he is onto something that matters to me. He has a few very good suggestions including having a 'joyful heart' and 'songs to be sung' to help you 'build your ladder to the stars'. But it still pains me at this time of year when I realise that I will never again be a twentysomething waking up in a tent after a great night of music, perhaps having consumed some mind-altering substances not all of which might be entirely legal, and maybe even after a night of passion with somebody I have just met and whose name I am in danger of getting wrong.

No. My Electric Picnic would be a ride on the Harley, enjoy some of the music, two 7 Ups, and back to the hotel before a glass of wine and a sound night's sleep.

Which is what got me to inventing the Wet Cell Battery Picnic for those of us who want to turn back time.

I live in the country and am fortunate enough to have a good-sized field at my disposal.

It was while sitting by my shed having a Prosecco with a companion who is as open to slightly offbeat ideas as I am, that the idea of our own mini festival was hatched.

Food was no problem. I would just move the barbecue. Alcohol no problem. Illegal drugs a definite problem but none of us smoke or would recognise a joint if it was handed to us. Next time we experience ecstasy will be when we get the free travel. We would have no difficulty continuing our drug-free lifestyle.

We drew up a list of likely companions and a few ground rules. I would put out my Lidl solar lights in a line back to the house and we would allow women use of the bathroom. Men, we assumed, would be happy with the hedge. I would put my Christmas fairy lights on the shed run by a car battery for those who are not good in the dark. The wi-fi reaches the proposed campsite. Music would be on Bluetooth speakers and Bob would star.

Tents could be pitched after 6pm. People could bring mattresses, wellingtons, onesies and duvets. I would put up the gazebo. The 'village' was taking shape in my mind. My only worry was how to control the crowds when the idea got out. This could get as big as Woodstock.

To my dismay I discovered that Boring Old Farts describes a lot of people. "I would rather sleep in the car" was one response from someone more concerned with electric blankets than picnics. A woman pointed out that no one would return from the bathroom. They would just find a bed. One particularly cruel potential guest just said "grow up".

The guest list is still open. No takers yet. Some great ideas take a year or so to catch on.

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