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Festival Season is approaching and I’m gearing up to see loads of pics on social media from friends who’ve come back from Green Man and Camp Bestival and all sorts of other outdoorsy musical events and I must say, I’m a little bit envious. That’ will NEVER be me and my kids.

As a teenager, I LOVED a festival. I can honestly say that bunking off school at 17 and going to Glastonbury in the back of a battered old van with the local crusties was one of the best times of my life. I didn’t think I could be any happier than when I was at that

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festival, surrounded by fellow “alternative types”. Of course, in 1993 it was actually still hot and sunny, this was long before the bog-fest of later years. It was all incense, tie dye, tassels, sun-scorched grass, stone circles, crazy dancing, jamming on guitars with strangers, delicious smelling food stalls and warm beer in plastic beakers. I’d see hippy mamas with babies strapped to their bodies with colourful scarves and dirty kids with beads in their matted hair and think “that’s going to be me!” I was ALWAYS going to be a festival
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mama.

But skip forward to actual parenthood 26 years later. That fantasy will never happen. Its one thing to fall unconscious, fully clothed into your tent every night, not wash for 5 days and drink your way through the hangovers when you’re young, free and single. As a mother of 2 young kids, it’s a hard pass from me. No.

Now my fantasy is very much….my sofa. At a push, with the patio doors open if the sun’s out. So, I thought I’d compile a list of pros and cons to make myself feel better about the fact that I will never see the Pyramid

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Stage in real life again….
MUSIC

Festival: Live – Brilliant, varied, loud.
Sofa: Spotify or 6 Music – Repetitive, dull, quiet.  Festival wins!

ATMOSPHERE

Festival: Amazing.
Sofa: Dependant of mood of children. On average, angry.  Festival wins!  

FOOD

Festival: Delicious, imaginative, SUPER overpriced.
Sofa: Cheap, convenient, and home-cooked.  Sofa Wins!                      

DANCING

Festival: Wild, crazy, lots of it.
Sofa: Little to none.  Festival wins!

SOCIALISING

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Festival: Either with friends or you make friends. Lots of IRL socialising.
Sofa:  Social Media aka on your own terms.  Tiebreak!

DRINKING

Festival: Overpriced lager or “craft beers”.
Sofa: Your fav drink, from the cheapest place you can find it.  Sofa wins!

SLEEP

Festival: Little to none. If you’re not staying up late ill-advisedly partying with other foolish parents, you’re trying to sleep thru the pounding music, other people’s drunkenness, your kids not  sleeping, other kids not sleeping and everyone waking at

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5am.
Sofa: As good as it will ever get  Sofa wins!

HANGOVER

Festival: Hell on earth. See previous lack of sleep, mix with noise, dirt, strong smells, nowhere to lie down and cry.
Sofa: Cushions, blankets, being able to parenting whilst lying flat on your back.  Sofa wins!     

COMFORT

Festival: However posh your festival is…you’re basically either on a plastic chair or a rug on the floor all day. If not on your feet for hours.
Sofa: This one is a no-brainer.  Sofa wins!

COST

Festival: Tickets, camping, petrol,

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food, drink, extra kids activities…it’s EXPENSIVE.
Sofa: Free.  Sofa wins!

CLEANLINESS

Festival: Porta-showers and trickles of water that you queue hours for whatever the set up….it’s not going to be great. I imagine mainly baby wipes and antibac gel.
Sofa: Bath or shower whenever I WANT!    Sofa wins! 

LOOS

Festival: I mean, I don’t even really need to say much do I? I’ve seen some very, very bad things in festival portaloos. Those images will never leave me. *shudders*
Sofa: MY OWN PERSONAL TOILET THAT I CAN

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CLEAN.  Sofa wins!

Sofa has categorically won the battle. Hippy Mama is not my destiny.

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Jess Helicopter

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Jess Helicopter

- 13 May 19

Festival Season is approaching and I’m gearing up to see loads of pics on social media from friends who’ve come back from Green Man and Camp Bestival and all sorts of other outdoorsy musical events and I must say, I’m a little bit envious. That’ will NEVER be me and my kids.

As a teenager, I LOVED a festival. I can honestly say that bunking off school at 17 and going to Glastonbury in the back of a battered old van with the local crusties was one of the best times of my life. I didn’t think I could be any happier than when I was at that festival, surrounded by fellow “alternative types”. Of course, in 1993 it was actually still hot and sunny, this was long before the bog-fest of later years. It was all incense, tie dye, tassels, sun-scorched grass, stone circles, crazy dancing, jamming on guitars with strangers, delicious smelling food stalls and warm beer in plastic beakers. I’d see hippy mamas with babies strapped to their bodies with colourful scarves and dirty kids with beads in their matted hair and think “that’s going to be me!” I was ALWAYS going to be a festival mama.

But skip forward to actual parenthood 26 years later. That fantasy will never happen. Its one thing to fall unconscious, fully clothed into your tent every night, not wash for 5 days and drink your way through the hangovers when you’re young, free and single. As a mother of 2 young kids, it’s a hard pass from me. No.

Now my fantasy is very much….my sofa. At a push, with the patio doors open if the sun’s out. So, I thought I’d compile a list of pros and cons to make myself feel better about the fact that I will never see the Pyramid Stage in real life again….

MUSIC

  • Festival: Live – Brilliant, varied, loud.
  • Sofa: Spotify or 6 Music – Repetitive, dull, quiet.  Festival wins!

ATMOSPHERE

  • Festival: Amazing.
  • Sofa: Dependant of mood of children. On average, angry.  Festival wins!  

FOOD

  • Festival: Delicious, imaginative, SUPER overpriced.
  • Sofa: Cheap, convenient, and home-cooked.  Sofa Wins!                      

DANCING

  • Festival: Wild, crazy, lots of it.
  • Sofa: Little to none.  Festival wins!

SOCIALISING

  • Festival: Either with friends or you make friends. Lots of IRL socialising.
  • Sofa:  Social Media aka on your own terms.  Tiebreak!

DRINKING

  • Festival: Overpriced lager or “craft beers”.
  • Sofa: Your fav drink, from the cheapest place you can find it.  Sofa wins!

SLEEP

  • Festival: Little to none. If you’re not staying up late ill-advisedly partying with other foolish parents, you’re trying to sleep thru the pounding music, other people’s drunkenness, your kids not  sleeping, other kids not sleeping and everyone waking at 5am.
  • Sofa: As good as it will ever get  Sofa wins!

HANGOVER

  • Festival: Hell on earth. See previous lack of sleep, mix with noise, dirt, strong smells, nowhere to lie down and cry.
  • Sofa: Cushions, blankets, being able to parenting whilst lying flat on your back.  Sofa wins!     

COMFORT

  • Festival: However posh your festival is…you’re basically either on a plastic chair or a rug on the floor all day. If not on your feet for hours.
  • Sofa: This one is a no-brainer.  Sofa wins!

COST

  • Festival: Tickets, camping, petrol, food, drink, extra kids activities…it’s EXPENSIVE.
  • Sofa: Free.  Sofa wins!

CLEANLINESS

  • Festival: Porta-showers and trickles of water that you queue hours for whatever the set up….it’s not going to be great. I imagine mainly baby wipes and antibac gel.
  • Sofa: Bath or shower whenever I WANT!    Sofa wins! 

LOOS

  • Festival: I mean, I don’t even really need to say much do I? I’ve seen some very, very bad things in festival portaloos. Those images will never leave me. *shudders*
  • Sofa: MY OWN PERSONAL TOILET THAT I CAN CLEAN.  Sofa wins!

Sofa has categorically won the battle. Hippy Mama is not my destiny.

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Jess Helicopter

Jess is a wine-addled, social media tart, Intersectional feminist and chronic over sharer. She lives in Cardiff with her husband, children (G-8/J-5) and some cats. Went to art school but after graduation got sucked into working for "the man". Now trying to claw her creative way out by fancying herself as a bit of writer.

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