A lot of my mates have just got back from Glasto, which sounded quite fun but also awful at the same time bc mud and traffic and hangovers. A lot of those pals also managed to wangle freebie tickets because they were either working there or because they're off the telly and such.
If you don't wangle a freebie though, and you're not there for work, then bloody hell that Glastonbury peace and love and togetherness vibe is gonna cost you. And I'm not anti- Glasto or big festivals, I get that for a lot of people it is a pilgrimage, a rite of passage, a holy musical mecca with profound life-changing effects that are worth every penny. However, for others, the money spent on booze, outfits, drugs, tickets, a new tent, wellies and a bit of falafel, all so you can Instagram the shit out of some flags and your ootd and your mates dancing with Cara Delevigne, seems to miss the point a bit.
Back in the day, festivals were built on a simple premise of good times with friends, being utterly disconnected with the mundanity that is daily life and maybe getting a bit high in a circle while a band played. Nowadays, we need this break from our hectic, stressful and screen-heavy day to day existence more than ever, but I'm not sure it needs to come at such a huge price, or come with its own set of social and technological pressures (pictures or it didn't happen).
I feel much the same about the concept of digital detox camps, where adults are spending thousands of pounds (*currently equivalent to about 5 euros) to do yoga in a villa in Italy for a week while their phone is in some big glass bowl and everyone is bonding over quinoa and how funny it is that they can't Google stuff.
It's all just missing the point. What we're really, really missing, is real connectedness, with our real friends, in the real outdoors. To that end, what could be better than pitching a tent in the garden with some mates and a bottle of wine, and not having your phones with you for the evening, or even filling the car with snacks and supplies and heading out into the wilderness with your besties to camp in the wild and get a bit grubby for a week, figuring out which is of you is best at building a fire, having genuine conversations with the people you love the most, making space and time for each other, and complaining about the state of the loos while playing tinny music through the portable iPhone speaker you got at the service station, trying to guess at what year that Backstreet Boys album came out anyway.
We've made the idea of getting down and dirty with each other for the weekend (NOT LIKE THAT) such an extremely elusive possibility, when the reality is that screen free quality time with the people we love the most is always right there.
Let's make time for the outdoors and time for each other. Those new spiritual soulmates we find at festivals and detox camp are great and all, but they can't give a detailed rundown of everything that was wrong with all of your exes whilst burning a sweet potato on an open fire, can they?