Saturday, 4 July 2009

Download Festival. Donnington. U.K. 2009.Sanitary towels, Blagging and Just a tad more drinking. Part 2

Ahhh Saturday morning. If only I wasn’t waking up in a heat box with a squat rave in my mouth and an African rain dance going on in my head I would be so happy right now. Got my two partners in crime in the beds next to me, Lady Starlight and Talita Twoshoes and today we are live on air at Download festival with our weekend features, mine being ‘Lucy’s swap shop’.

Last night was the fucking shit and today can only be a repeat. So many of my friends were hanging out and getting absolutely trashed, there was dancing and downing shots and bands to watch and all sorts of fun that can only happen at a festival when you can feel free of your normal life and act like a carefree teenager again. I even bumped straight in to my flatmates who had just turned up in some random field area at around 2 in the morning and had a little dance to Notorious BIG’s ‘nasty girl’, sweet!

Of course once we get to the site that morning, everyone is hung over. Also, everyone is super stressed on account of the appalling organisation of the radio station, to the point that I don’t realise till I’m out and about that I don’t actually have an object to swap for my feature. The bar has always been the best solution for any quandary I’ve found and sure enough having hit it with Lady Starlight for a beer, the barman gives me a black marker pen having heard my quest for an object to start my actual quest. Phew! See, drinking in the morning is a great way to start your working day.

So off I trot, soon to realise that when everyone is sober in the early afternoon or indeed hung over, they are not going to swap anything of any interest, once again alcohol will be my saviour since once drunk, most people will swap their own mothers for a blow up air guitar even if they are already holding one.

First thing is first however. I am definitely feeling some hate vibes coming my way. It is at this point that Talita, who has given me a feature on her show gets told by the station boss that he got an angry email from the station manager with regards to my drunken foul-mouthed outburst live on air the night before. She asks me about it and I, having no memory what so ever of said incident, deny the whole thing. Of course it did happen, its on tape. Which is good because still.. ….nothing.

Back out on the field, I am accompanied by the one and only Lady Starlight who is out looking for people to interview for her feature ‘what fashion are you crashing?’ She is having roaring success since there is an abundance of fancy dress and people willing to talk about themselves running amok. I on the other hand have managed to swap a marker pen for a bigger marker pen. The bigger marker pen for a sanitary towel. Back to the bar, this is not going well, how the fuck am I gonna hit my goal by the end of my weekend feature? Guess what? The bar proves winner again!

Lo and behold if I don’t bump in to my mate Martyn from U.K metal band Trigger the bloodshed. Can you guess where I took this? Yep. That sanitary towel got itself a little make over. The boys signed it and added the time, date and stage they could be found performing at that weekend and to top it all off Lady Starlight lent us her scarlet red lipstick to write Trigger the bloodshed with. Win.

I swapped that with some rowdy bunch of over excitable emo kids for a cigarette tin, swapped that for a blow up air guitar backstage with some Norwegian fella who looked like a rabbit in headlights throughout the whole meeting. Got that signed by Lips from Anvil in the artist area and proceeded to get very drunk carrying it around for the next couple of hours wondering to myself “how the fuck am I going to reach my goal”? Again. This time however, I had a stroke of genius. With a little helpful advice from Lady Starlight. The answer? Cheat.

See, at the risk of sounding like an arsehole, I’m pretty lucky to know some people who aren’t quite so much of a loser as me. And they happen to for the most part all be here this weekend. Within a matter of hours I have a massive Download poster promised to me for Sunday signed by as many bands as there are playing. I also have a possible source for the end target. Jager have a tent. A friend of mine used to work with the guy who is running the Jager tent. He reckons that I could get a bottle out of them since it will be recorded and played around the whole festival site. Good advertising and all. Fuck yeah things are looking up.

I can now happily swap pretty gnarly items with the general public in return for funny items without having to worry about the end product. This is going to make much better radio as now I can just pick people who look like they will be great fun on air rather than people with funny accessories that might not mind losing them and are piss dull on air.

And so back to the matter at hand, drinking! Saturday for the most part so far has been utter shit. I’ve been working all day, people have been snapping and shouting, everyone is stressed. My task has been bullshit till I figured out I could just cheat and work on making good snippets of air time instead of worrying about the bloody end item. I haven’t been able to hang out with any of my mates, who I have been bumping in to repeatedly throughout the day, which sucks balls.

Bands. To be fair the line up wasn’t for me on Saturday. All I wanted to see was Marilyn Manson and Slipknot since I had heard they put on a pretty impressive stage show. Oh and I have only recently realised I do actually like Slipknot. There. I’ve said it. I wanted to catch Hatebreed and Down too but knew I would probably get to see a couple of songs from each as I was walking around doing my feature. Which I did, they rocked. Of course. We all got to go and watch Lawnmower deth, which was mega awesome.

One of the unfortunate side affects to being a guest D.J like Talita is that you get given the bum shift of when all the headline acts are on. Even though you have more radio experience and have done Download festival radio for the two previous years in a row. Nice. Professional. So I was proper bummed out, as I knew I would realistically only be able to see a bit of each show.

Turns out I needn’t have worried about this when it comes to Marilyn Manson. He was total gash. I watched all of two songs and happily skipped on back to the radio safe in knowledge I was missing jack shit. Apparently him doing a shit show and making minimal effort is him having a tantrum cause he wasn’t headlining. Allegedly.

Slipknot on the other hand pulled out all the stops. They fucking rocked that festival for all it was worth. My first time seeing them so I have nothing to measure them against but they blew me away as a show. I managed to catch half an hour of the set and shot back to the radio to continue with the show.

Once the show was done and dusted guess what we did? Drank. Shocker. Not much else to tell. We drank, went back to the hotel and crashed.

Wait. Missed a crucial part of Saturday night. I wandered on in to the artist area, completely by accident. Kind of. Was snooping a bit. Pushing my luck if you like. Worked a treat too cause there I am suddenly hanging out with Lips from Anvil, Volbeat , God Forbid, Slipknot ( they walked past me so not really ) Dimebag Darrell’s missus, Rita and a whole bunch of industry peeps. Check me and my bad self out. I was all schmoozing the shizzle out of it.

Bonus of being so tall, people remember you. That includes security, who let me in all over the gaff all weekend cause I managed to blag entrance somewhere important once and industry folk who have no idea who you are but don’t want to admit that since your pretending you have met them a bunch of times. Quite funny, amuses me greatly the fools!

The night ended once again with Talita, Lady Starlight and myself dancing off the site and in to a taxi for our 5 minute walk home. And why not eh, we deserved it.

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