This festival season I was in the position to be able to work a few different events, I had to cancel T in the park because my tent had died at the isle of wight and I was in no position to purchase a new one in time to work at the event so the next event I was available for was V staffordshire at weston park.
Usually it would be full of familiar faces from previous years however this year it seemed most of the regular staff were nowhere to be found, of course I was placed on the Virgin “our house” and “hidden garden” bar so this was a little more closed off than the regular bars and not many staff were required on these however everyone would have still been on the staff campsite on the friday night none of us were working but I did not see anyone around. Add this to being taken advantage of by being placed on stock at regular barperson wages it made the event no fun especially as the A shift I would normally do was altered to be a longer shift rather than getting most of the event off. Talking to other staff members most people didnt find it very fun this year either so I’m not sure I will work further years unless there is more benefit or at least I wouldn’t be taken advantage of. Add to that the fact that the customer base is usually an older generation at V and this year it was full of 16-19 year olds it started to feel a little awkward and the staff base were mostly 18 this year also, I’ve never felt old or out of place but when everyones 18 and anyone over 20 is seen as old it gets a little wierd.
The next week however was leeds festival and only 9 of us were taken on for this because workers beer company did the actual alchohol serving and we were in charge of the pop tents, this event was a lot more fun and I got some time off to go see some bands, and was front row center dancing away in the dance tent during grimes’s set where she kept looking me in the eye throughout. I found her set really fun as rather than sing for most of it she did a setup where she used DJ decks to mix in the sounds and she looked like she was having a lot of fun dancing away up there. Having said that I got soaked in champagne being up front which was fun and cooling in the heat but going back to work on your non alchoholic bar at night stinking of champagne probably didnt give the best impression haha.
The first night was my one night off and I decided it was definately the night to go out and get drunk, we had the entire day off and although we were in at 10am the next morning I figured it was the best opportunity because other days I would be coming off shift as opposed to having the entire day to have fun. The alchohol I bought didnt last very long and the other flair staff decided to take an early night so I ended up staying up with the cantonese food truck people who were plying me with alchohol all night and we were all having a laugh, but when some dutch guys turned up and constantly were asking who I was things got a little wierd and I decided to turn in for the night, the 20th time you tell someone who you are does get a little awkward when we’re all staff from different places and these were the only people left awake and around the campfire.
Having said that I had a lot more fun working on these bars, though one of the guys I was working with was a bit of a dick and said “lets share tips” so I placed all of my tips in his cup throughout the day and at the end of it he just pocketed it all himself which was rather selfish considering he’d stated he was going to split them, but I couldn’t be bothered to get into an argument about it as he was being devious in his methods of serving anyway deliberately giving the drinks first then taking the cash and being slow in the hopes they would walk away before he returns with the change to go “oh you’re gone.. thanks for the tip” at least my tips were genuine tips not change that was mistakenly forgotten, I had customers even going “oh its £2.20.. not £2.50” from where he had short changed them all.
There were some highlights working where random girls were wanting thier pictures taken with me and one even gave me a cake and wanted me to meet her after my shift, this lead to the other guys on my bar going into overdrive being right chavvy guys like builders going “ey up love, nice arse” and crap like that which more than anything scared customers away from the bar especially considering we were getting a lot of underage girls as it was a pop bar.
At the end of the day a number of customers would return with major shakes and I began to wonder why so i looked at the ingredients in the relentless energy drinks we were serving, many customers would have 5-10 a day and looking at the ingredients per can it would contain 50-59% sugar depending on the variety and 10% salt per can, also 160mg of caffiene and 100% of a few different nutrients listed so many people were on extreme overdoses of these or possibly crashing or having diabetic reactions due to the high blood sugar levels (considering they were sustaining these levels the entire weekend of the festival as well as eating and possibly even taking alchohol on board)
The bands on offer here were also the best selection of any of the festivals I had seen advertised and definately the best way to end the festival season, it included an all night DJ which allowed for all night partying to anyone so inclined, however on the last night the distinct smell of human waste and tents and airbeds being passed overhead were a danger to anyone wearing glasses and rather offputting to staying out the entire night. Luckily I was on the staff section so avoided the sunday night riots which are commonplace every year and walking to the shuttlebusses after the event you could see the number of raided tents which had been cut apart and abandonned and also burnt remains of previousely inhabited tents. Apparrently reading festival was more considerate and left thier tents behind for charities as a friend of mine worked there collecting the tents and also found some spare cash lying around (lucky her)
The next day a number of the staff were off to work at dorset steam fair, including kate who was at leeds with workers beer even though she worked for flair, however having worked at leeds and not been able to check my email i was unable to go which seemed like i missed out from photo’s I saw after the event however I was happy with the plans I had made to visit a friend while I was up in the area so I took a coach to york, a nice little town but on a bank holiday and not knowing the area asking for directions was difficult due to the number of tourists.
I managed to get to my hotel in suitable time and then head straight out to see my friend where we spent most of the night in a pub chatting away before heading back to hers to watch some shows and chat whilst drinking/smoking. Time got away from us and it was soon 3am and with her having to work the next day I went back to my hotel, one piece of advice is when you’ve got to wake up at 7am to have a shower and make breakfast I would not reccommend that you stay up all night drinking and smoking certain substances because you wont really want to get up, saying that though it was worth it as it was a hell of a lot of fun, and I do wish sometimes I lived nearer some of my friends so I could spend proper time with them more. After a nice breakfast it was time to catch the coach away from the north and back here.