I wake up at 7 am to prepare. In actual fact I had been preparing all week. I’ve spent the week applying face masks, hair braids, fake tan and false nails-all to try look good in a field in Stradbally.
Mother announces that she’s bringing us in at 8 to avoid the traffic, giving me just enough time to lash myself with glitter and sparkly makeup.
We end up leaving at half 8 and take about 3 hours to complete the normal 35 minute journey from my house to Stradbally. Tensions are high to say the least as mammy debates what way to go as we are going mad in the back of the car, giddy with excitement.
When we finally get there we set off with our bags and camping gear, looking like we’re going do a year in Antarctica.
The trek into the picnic itself is a long and tortuous one. Many fall along the way and some are left behind. Here is where the strong are separated from the weak. I struggle under the weight of my 100 pound bags. The only thing keeping me going is the music blaring from the campsite and the cans in my hand.
As we get in I suddenly feel like the oldest person there. Seeing teenage girls in hot pants and the shortest of crop tops makes me question what way were they reared at all, and do they not feel the cold? As an EP veteran, (well I’ve been going for three years), I like to think I know all the ins and outs of surviving a festival and know that comfort is always number one above anything else. I smile smugly to myself as I think of them freezing for the sake of trying to look good while I’m nice and warm in my thermals and woolly jumper. Suddenly I feel like an 80 year old grandmother and tell myself to cop on and get more cans.
My routine ends up being the same as it is every year. I promise myself I will go see everything and experience all of the cultural antiquities on offer. Instead I end up sipping on my cans all day and taking a heap of selfies.
I realise I’m not much of a camper as I question why am I trying to sleep here while hearing someone urinate outside of my tent when I could be at home snug in my bed with a cup of tea.
The acts keep me going. The likes of Bell X1, Chemical Brothers, Jenny Greene and the RTÉ 2 Concert Orchestra and King Kong Company get me up out of the campsite and screaming along to the songs I know. On Sunday I eventually get around to the other sites. I feel proud going to the likes of Body and Soul and Other Voices, reassuring myself that yes, I am very cultured. By 12pm I’m cold, wet and reckon I’ve walked about 10 miles that day alone. I decide to go home and get some much needed rest.
Overall, the Picnic was definitely an experience. I drank enough to last me three weekends, went and screamed on arcade rides, took in most of the brilliant music offer and I’m still wondering if those poor girls have felt the cold on their legs yet.