It isn’t just the onset of wrinkles, grey hair and middle-age spread that marks a movement into old age, there’s a whole, non-physical, psychological aspect that goes with it, the grumpiness and especially the increasing lack of patience and tolerance for idiots. This reaches its natural end point, some would say nadir, when you start to hear echoes of your grandparents’ generation in your thoughts: “what this generation needs is a bloody good war, that would sort them out”.
Whatever anyone says about any festival audience, and usually the Big Day Out crowd get the worst rap, the Future Music 2012 crowd is by far and away the worst I’ve ever experienced in more than 20 years of going to festivals. Self-obsessed, self-absorbed, vain, vulgar, rude, uncivilised, classless, over-privileged, disrespectful, ungracious, lacking much in the way of any moral fibre [use of the phrase “moral fibre” is also a definite sign of getting old].
From start to finish, it’s relentless. It’s there on the train, with guys yelling out to no one in particular but at a volume that everyone has to endure, that the journey is taking too long, that the doors need to shut and the train needs to get going. It’s there as the train pulls into Doomben station alongside paramedics treating an unconscious girl slumped on one of the platform’s seat. It’s there in the scores jumping the train station’s fence, who either haven’t paid for a ticket or just can’t be bothered to wait in the queue for the exit, despite the heavy Queensland Rail staff and police presence. After the short walk from the train station to the Racecourse, it’s there again with another group of paramedics attending to an unconscious guy passed out on the grass in front of some one’s house. It’s there in another guy vomiting in the gutter just a few metres away from the main entrance to the festival. It’s there in the drunk guy who can barely talk but who’s arguing with security that he’s not too drunk to be allowed into the festival. It’s there in an overheard conversation with some guy bragging about having already drunk a bottle of vodka. It’s there in the shocking pink, stretch limo Hummer that pulls up just as I’m walking by and the group of braying girls in short shorts and far too much fake tan that pile out and start screeching at me to take their photo. How can I refuse?
It’s barely midday and it’s going to be a long, long day.
And in the midst of all the eye-opening carnage there’s police warning people for jaywalking after the light had changed to tell them not to cross.
Future is also the festival that is most defined my its demographic. The en masse black-cladded Soundwave punters have nothing on the dance music tribe. You might as well specify it in the admission Terms and Conditions: Two tattoo minimum; at least one chest piece and one whole arm. Thigh tattoo is acceptable for females. Your pecs must be this size. Leave all shirts in the bins provided. There’s a universal “fashion” going on that laughs at the sign fixed to grandstand entrance that lays out the minimum dress standard: “Covered footwear, shorts and shirt. Singlets and thongs not permitted”. Part of me is amazed that anyone has the time or money to come to Future; they should all either be at the gym or getting tattoos.
Throughout the day you can barely move 50 yards without someone demanding you take their photos. If you say no, even if you’re in an obvious hurry because you’re on your way to the photo pit and the band has already started, you don’t exactly get much in the way of understanding. And once you start, you attract them like moths to a flame. Suddenly everyone is running over to you to want their photo taken. It’s no better in the sanctuary of the photo pit. You expect people to be there to get the best view of an act they love and really want to be up lose for. You expect that but you don’t always get it, with people tapping you on your shoulder, only for you to turn around and find that rather than watch the band, someone wants you to take their photo. It even happens within the first three seconds of headliner’s Swedish House Mafia starting their set to possibly the biggest crowd of the day. People had to work hard to get to the barrier for the festival’s main event but would rather pose for a photo than enjoy the band. Tap, tap, tap. “Take my photo”.
If the photo pit provides no relief, a brief sit down in the early evening isn’t going to stop anything. I make it from about 11am to 7:15pm with only a free Cornetto for sustenance and decide to have a ten minute breather and a langos. I’ve barely sat down and taken a mouthful when this girl want me to take her photo.
– Sorry I’m having some food at the moment.
– Take my photo. It’s my birthday.
– Sorry, I can’t at the moment.
– Because I’m trying to have a quick sit down and eat some food.
– I don’t think you’re a very nice person. You should take my photo.
In the end anything for some peace so I put down my food, get my camera out of my bag and take her photo.
– Is it going up on the site now?
– What do you mean?
– Who are you photographing for?
– The Vine
– So you mean it’s not even for the festival?
And with that she storms off in a huff. The sheer vanity of some people is just galling. I delete the photo but have barely retaken my seat and started to resume eating when another girl comes over and wants to use my laptop as she needs to check her bank balance. Where do you even begin to go with that?
Eventually the day draws to an end but there’s still the trip back home to contend with. Walking back to the station there’s some random guy hurling random abuse at a security guard who’s doing nothing other than being stood on the street corner. “Fuck you you stupid old cunt. You’re just an stupid old cunt, piece of shit. Fuck off” and on the train back to the city yet another gang of shirtless, tattoo, muscle junkie, knuckleheads boast and brag about the fight they had during the day.
I don’t know why but it’s just a far nastier crowd than at Parklife. Maybe it’s just the weather putting a dampener on everyone’s mood. Either way the happy pills don’t seem to be having much affect. Maybe it’s all those steroids.
Other than all that, this is how my day looked.
View 3/03/2012 12:56 in a larger map
Total distance: 9.44 km
Total time: 8:04:04
Moving time: 4:20:54
Max speed: 11.28 km/hour
Average speed: 1.17 km/hour
Average moving speed: 2.17 km/hour
Min elevation: 27 m
Max elevation: 76 m
Elevation gain: 178 m
Min grade: -9.7%
Max grade: 11.7%
More photos and blogs to come, even though you’ve pretty much got the gist of my day in this post. In the meantime, there’s some photos of the day over on The Vine.