#30before30 item 24: go to a festival

My original plan for this one was a lot more glamorous. I booked tickets to see my favourite band, Muse at BBK Live festival in Bilbao, got plane tickets and a hotel either side so I could explore the city. This was much earlier in the year, and the festival was booked for July. I planned to go alone so I could also cross off number 4, go on holiday on my own.

Well, as often happens, life doesn’t go the way you think it’s going to, so by the time the festival rolled around I’d left my job at ShinyShiny (sadly no writers work there anymore) and – very excitingly – started my own technology and lifestyle site for women with Creative Agenda (it’s called Gadgette, you should read it).

Taking a week off when my site was just a few weeks old was completely out of the question, so sadly the Bilbao plan had to be shelved (and apparently I can’t get refunds on any of the stuff I booked, sigh). Instead, I bought a ticket to Download festival in Donington, where Muse were headlining, and went to that on the 13th of June with my awesome rainbow-haired friend Lindsay.

Holly Brockwell & Lindsay Allan at Download Festival

It rained all day. Despite it being mid-June, we apparently got two weeks’ worth of water bucketed at us. This led to people calling the festival either Downpour 2015 or Drownload.

Holly Brockwell at Download Festival

I was determined to pretend the rain wasn’t happening:

The ground turned to swampy mud, there was literally nowhere in the entire festival to sit down (even the food stands don’t have seating, I guess they assume you can sit on the grass when the grass is not made of liquid mud) and it was so cold I could see my breath.

But Muse were so worth it! Just listen to that solo:

I think it’s the 8th time I’ve seen them (I’ve lost count) and aside from some gross teenage twerps snogging through the entire set, it was amazing. If you’re a Muse fan, check out the setlist – Dead Star! Agitated! Citizen! And The Handler live for the first time! Yessss.


Even better, they didn’t play Starlight!


Since the festival was up in the Midlands, Lindsay and I stayed at my sister’s house in Nottingham (thanks for the last-minute rescue of a pair of wet, muddy ravers, Kathryn!) and I got to spend Sunday with my twin baby nieces, who make me so happy, it’s ridiculous (contrary to popular belief, I do actually like children). Plus, no one can say I didn’t get the true festival experience – my boots were so mud-crusted, I had to throw them out. Yay for British weather!

On the whole, then, Download was awesome and I’m very glad I saw Muse, but festivals are definitely not for me. Which is what I suspected, and why I’d never been to one before. I’ll stick to nice arenas with seats and roofs, thanks.

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