This weekend has been mental! Yes, the exclamation mark was necessary. It would be cheesy to say “there’s been highs and lows”, but I think sometimes it’s okay to be a little cheesy.
For those who don’t know – which is probably all of you – I’ve spent the weekend at Jimmy’s Harvest Festival with a bar staffing company. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, although I wouldn’t say I’ve had the best weekend ever. What I will say, though, is I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
So I mentioned recently that I was stuck: boring summer, boring life, no job, no friends present. Essentially, not having a fun time. I decided to apply to work for a bar staff company to try and get to some festivals, which seems like a brilliant idea… until you realise the company you want to work for don’t do interviews near you. Fuck. I’m stuffed. So I applied online and hoped for the best. A couple weeks later, after almost forgetting about it, I found on Indeed an advert for wrk at Jimmy’s Festival. So with “Quick Apply” enabled I clicked a few clicks and applied. The next day I get an email asking me to confirm my interest, which I do, and two days later I’m on the phone sitting an interview with fingers crossed. I got it, obviously.
This was cool. I would be going to a festival in a few days and I was excited and scared and nervous, so I packed too much stuff, waited around for hours before my train, lugged my stuff through the London Underground, and found the spot where I was to meet the coach. On that first day, I met Mika, then Fats, then Nickelle. We chatted and Fats and me spent the coach journey talking through things I don’t talk to some of my friends about, getting to know each other and considering the next two days.
When we got there, me and Fats decided to share a tent out of practicality – what’s the point of putting up two big tents for two people – and she’d already said I could stay at her’s when we got back to London as I couldn’t get home due to a lack of trains, and I was buzzing. We had a reasonably early night and prepared for our first day of working.
To describe Saturday, I only need one word: long. It felt like the longest day of my existence. For those of you who have worked on bards, you know that twelve, thirteen, fourteen hour shifts go by like street lamps on the motorway when it’s busy. It was not busy. It was slow, we were well overstaffed, and our subcontracting company was made up of mostly douchey, obnoxious slackers. This isn’t a single opinion, it was the consensus of all 40 odd added staff (us lot). When you’re working with another company, and they look down on you, and they have proper uniforms, and you’re treated like you’ve never worked a day in your life, and they’re hypocritical, there tends to be a teensy bit of tension. I must point out that not every member of their team was a douche. There were a couple of guys who were great and friendly and considerate and were a treat to work with. As with all things, however, the bad is always the bad, no matter how much good there is.
After a tiring day of serving a customer every half hour and almost begging for something productive to do, we had a few drinks and stayed up too late and got up to a bit of mischief (don’t worry, it was all totally harmless fun).
Sunday was better. Sunday was also worse. We were prepared, for one. We knew what was coming and we were ready for a day of doing nothing. But with closer friendships and banter under our belts, we were closer for it, and our tiny spurts of working were punctuated with comical jabs at the actions of our overlords. (Nothing personal, of course, but business is business.)
I certainly ate too much. Two breakfasts, lunch, snacks galore and sharing a-plenty made my calorie intake rival that of a large whale’s. But that’s festivals, isn’t it? You eat way too much crap, then spend three days punishing yourself by consuming nothing but lettuce and lemon water. Although, I must thank The Cauldren for their generous contributions to my plight.
But the day ended. We got ourselves a pint and cheersed to a day well done.
I must say, my impression of the festival in general (not that we got to see a lot of it after two twelve hour days) was extremely positive. A good, nice, gentle family festival, with decent music and a good amount of things to do. Animals, dogs EVERYWHERE (this fact sent me batty, to no surprise), a cute and quiet campsite with lights to keep you from falling onto someone’s rent when you venture for a piss at 3am. I could tell that I would enjoy the company at this festival than any other, as it’s more a place to chill out for a couple of days (albeit with camping involved) and go experience the festival life without getting murdered at one of the big festivals. The vendors were all lovely, the people were generally lovely. It was great fun and I’d recommend it.
I’m currently sat in the second row of the coach, Nickelle next to me, Adam and Mika in front. Daniel’s across from us, cracking jokes and teaching Mika Spanish. Apparently Jimmy of “Jimmy’s Farm” has a true passion for fudge, and is only on the telly and running a farm to find his fudge endeavours.
We’re nearly there now, and I’ve had an amazing time with some hilarious people, and I can’t wait for the next time we can work together and have a laugh.
Tired now, heading off.
Keep doing that awesome thing that you do, cause I love it, and I’ll see you later.