liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
Which is the kind of thing I not only don't do, but never have done. Only [livejournal.com profile] ghoti wanted me to go to a Blue Öyster Cult gig with her and although they claim they're always on tour they are not so very young any more and their only UK gig was Ramblin' Man Fair. So we decided to attend the fair, and in fact had a great time.

We decided to stay in a "glamping" section of the festival. Which is a horrible portmanteau and in some ways an awkward compromise; it's really not substantially cheaper than staying in a hotel, and doesn't give you a whole lot more freedom, but only removes some of the downsides of camping. Well, downsides for people like me who like their creature comforts; I know some people positively like sleeping in tents. It certainly was nice to have the tent ready when we arrived, and erected by competent people so we could be pretty confident it would withstand wind and rain – we had plenty of both. And it was nice to have classy temporary toilets and washing facilities, and nice to be only a five minute walk from the festival itself. But it was also too cold to sleep well, especially Saturday night after a surprisingly clear day, and generally I'm probably not going to make camping my priority for time or holiday money in future.

I was somewhat trepidatious about the festival, based on what I'd read about music festivals, which I'm sure is partly exaggerated. Actually the whole thing was extremely well organized; they had effective but not intrusive security at the festival site, and I didn't see any kind of scary crowd behaviours. I don't know if people were taking drugs but if they were they were doing so unobtrusively, and the people who were drinking were doing so in a pleasant, sociable way and not being obnoxious. There were plenty of food options, including veggie food, not unreasonably priced and not with huge queues (I'd been a bit afraid we'd have to live on chips all weekend). There were plenty of staff clearing up litter and keeping the toilets pleasant. Even the geology was decent; although it rained heavily all day Friday and lightly for most of Sunday, the festival arena never turned into a quagmire, and seemed to drain pretty rapidly as soon as the rain stopped.

Not surprisingly considering the line-up contained a lot of 50-year-old bands, the age range of the attendees was pretty broad, not just teenagers and students; there were quite a lot of parents with young children as well as ageing rockers. It was one of the whitest gatherings I've ever been to, and had longer queues for the male toilets than the ladies', but you know. I don't know, I feel a bit silly reporting that I went to a festival and it was clean and pleasant and well-organized, but I have to admit I'm quite a boring middle-class person in general and I would have enjoyed it less if it had been wilder.

I really enjoyed hearing Blue Öyster Cult live, as well as Dream Theater. And made the opportunity to discover some new bands, partly by listening to the acts who were going to be present beforehand, and partly by just wandering up when someone I hadn't heard of happened to be onstage. The stand-out new discovery was a contemporary Swedish group called Blues Pills. But I enjoyed Haken and Anna Phoebe who are doing musically interesting things (the latter had a tabla player and a violinist alongside the more traditional electric guitars and drums), and No Hot Ashes and FM just doing middle-of-the-road classic rock well. Plus a couple of slightly quirky metal bands I'd come across and probably wouldn't have deliberately made plans to hear live, but was glad to catch as part of the festival: Alcest, Solstafir (who people were into at WGT but we didn't get to due to scheduling clashes) and Anathema. The two headline bands on the Prog Rock stage were Camel, who are in fact great, and Marillion, whom I missed because I was just wiped out by the end of Sunday evening. I probably should have heard of Camel before but you know, I'm out of touch, so the festival bringing them to my attention was a bonus.

So yes, I'm really too boring for rock festivals, but it was fun to pretend for a few days that I'm the kind of person who travels across country and sleeps in a tent (albeit a posh tent) and stands around in muddy fields in the rain to hear bands I like.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-28 02:49 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
I very much enjoyed going to a folk festival last month, but I would not have enjoyed camping or even glamping :-) I stayed in a travelodge about 20 minutes drive away; if I'd been going for the weekend I'd have found a B&B or similar in walking distance instead.

My experience of folk festivals is generally "clean and pleasant and well-organised" and the music is generally to my taste, and having reminded myself how much I like live music, I am going to try for some more (probably next summer though, considering how much this summer is already booked up). So if you want to try that instead, let me know and I'll let you know when I'm planning it.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-29 09:31 am (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
I am also hoping for Eastercon 2016, but need to have multiple conversations with [personal profile] fanf and with extended family about whether we bring both children, one or none, and who might be willing to look after them for us, and whether we take an extended break in Manchester afterward etc etc

(music events and political conferences are both simpler as [personal profile] fanf isn't very into either; the childcare question simplifies to "who comes with me and who stays with him")

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-28 06:03 pm (UTC)
karen2205: Me with proper sized mug of coffee (Default)
From: [personal profile] karen2205
Sleeping in a tent shouldn't be cold at this point in the year, even if it's rather wet and a bit windy, but it's a knowledge/equipment thing. Warm air rises (you probably know the science better than me), so to stay warm you need adequate insulating stuff underneath you - either a camp bed/an inflatable mattress/a roll up mat. Then your sleeping bag (unless it's designed for winter use) needs more insulating material around it - either really big blankets wrapped around it or another sleeping bag opened up and wrapped around it, because the principle is layering to trap warm air between the layers. Humans in sleeping bags need long pyjama trousers/tracksuit bottoms, possibly socks, possibly long sleeved tops, possibly a hat. (I've in some places seen it said that sleeping bags work better if you're naked inside them, because your body heat better warms the inside of the sleeping bag: I disagree - layers trap warm air and washing sleeping bags isn't necessarily straightforward, so better to wear clothes and that can be changed and wash the sleeping bag less often) If still cold you can add another layer over the top.

With this lot, during a British summer, I would expect most people to be able to get themselves warm enough to sleep well. But this is knowledge gained over the 15 ish years I was a Guide/Guide leader which is a bit specialist/outdoorsy and not perhaps understood/communicated very well by festival organisers to those new to camping. I would have thought the glamping organisers might manage to pass this information on, given they're catering to those seeking more comfortable accomodation and being warm enough is a big part of that.

Can quite see why you wouldn't choose to spend more time camping/prefer to do other things, but being cold overnight is entirely avoidable (in British summers - wouldn't like to comment about winter) with the knowledge you need layers to trap warm air near you and the importance of insulation beneath you as well as blankets on top of you.

Was about to say I'm also too boring for rock festivals, which is a bit true, but mainly I don't like music enough to want to go to a music based/orientated festival.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-28 08:34 pm (UTC)
naath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naath
I would be surprised to need an extra layer around a sleeping bag, but I find it important to remember that the manufacturer tested it with a typical-man and I'm a lizard (the typical woman feels the cold more than the typical man and I'm at the extreme end of the curve)... so I always go with one comfort-rated at least 10 degrees colder than I expect it to actually *be* (why, yes, I take a winter-in-the-alps rated bag camping in June... and half the time have to open it up to cool off; but since I do this at least annually I didn't feel so bad about the price of the bag (not small)).

I thought "glamping" often came with "a real bed" and thus "regular bedding" rather than "a sleeping bag" though? Or is it only re-enactors with huge budget/car-space who like to camp on nice campaign beds?

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-28 09:42 pm (UTC)
karen2205: Me with proper sized mug of coffee (Default)
From: [personal profile] karen2205
I think it depends on the age of your sleeping bag. Certainly when I was camping in the nineties with a sleeping bag made in 1980 ish, it needed two blankets wrapped around it and me to be wearing pyjamas to be warm enough in a British summer. Modern sleeping bags are probably better at retaining warmth, but then you get the problem you describe of potentially being too hot and opening it up a bit (and then potentially waking some hours later with the exposed bits of body being cold). If you've got blankets as well you can have some covers over you that aren't as tight to the body as the sleeping bag/can stick a leg out of the bag and have it still covered with something.

I'm not convinced about a "real bed" in a tent - think you'd need a duvet under you and possibly an extra large one/double one for a single person over you to stay warm enough under canvas.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-28 09:57 pm (UTC)
naath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naath
Well, you need *something* under - AIUI the preferred option is usually an inflatable mattress and then a layer of sheepskins (you can buy them made up like sheets) under a sheet; I guess a real mattress would be vastly better thermal insulation but also vastly harder to fit in a car. And then you have a winter duvet, or a big pile of blankets, which should be wider than the bed so they can be tucked in. Or a giant pile of furs, if you feel like blowing the cost of a car on your bedding. I only know a few people who have the money (and car space) to do it, but they never seem to be complaining of the cold. Then again I know some people who cheerfully sleep outdoors without bothering with the tent, maybe they are just warmer people than me.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-29 04:36 am (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
How was Dream Theater live? I've thought about wanting to see them that way if I had money. Obviously, there's some differences between studio and live, so I was wondering how it went.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-30 01:13 pm (UTC)
ceb: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ceb
OOI how much did it cost to do the posh tent thing?

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Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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