Festival Review: Indiependence
It’s never a good idea to go to a music festival hungover. Having been at Blur at Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Thursday night, we woke up hungover with a trip to Mitchelstown ahead of us.
We inserted breakfast rolls into our faces and made our way to Heuston to get the bus. The bus was full. Why did we assume it would be easy? We got the Luas to the bus station where there was already a queue for the next bus. We finally got some seats, slept a little and eventually hopped off in Mitchelstown a few hours later.
Next step, try buy food for the festival. Into Supervalu we went in an attempt to stock up and avoid being robbed at festival food prices. It was very hard to tell what the locals thought of the goings on. Some stared with cold eyes from behind their trollies, while others chatted about how great it was to have such a buzz around the town. Doritos, cupcakes, bread and Nutella later we realised that panic shopping is a terrible idea.
Then, the biggest question of the weekend, what do you get to drink? Cans are difficult in terms of volume, meaning you piss like a racehorse and it’s not easy at a festival when it leaves you the options of either queueing for the manky portaloos or finding a suitable ditch. I settled for gin and tonic. I thought it would be nice and civilised. Oh, I was so wrong. But I didn’t know this yet.
We made our way to the festival car park, dragged all our luggage over and got in the queue for ticket checks and searching. It was already packed when we arrived around 7pm, so we found any available space to pitch the tent. Then we made shapes for the arena. There was no one there. Everyone was boozing it up in their tents. I’m sure that’s what a majority of the festival goers were there to do. As it was quiet, we carried ourselves over to the beer shed. The Craft Collection were hosting a little VIP tasting lounge where we quickly booked in for a go.
I’ll admit straight up, I am not the biggest beer drinker in the world. But this tasting session would actually make you appreciate it. Like, this was a million miles from Dutch Gold. A group of six of us sat down at the most decadent table. We were given a taste of the first beer; Chalky’s Bark 4.5% with a ginger flavour, but not a ginger beer. We were told to put on our fancy black blindfolds and take little ‘rabbit sniffs’ of the beer. Then the procedure was to taste the beer, then the accompanying food, spicy noodles for this one, then taste the beer again. I was amazed that they actually complemented each other. I’ve never thought of beer in the romantic way that wine is portrayed. Then we were given Worthington White Shield 5.6% Indian Pale Ale, with roast pork and apple sauce topped with pancetta. It was stunning. The last one, Quadrupel Ale 10% was served with 100% dark chocolate. It was intense. We took our blindfolds off and discussed our favourites. It was all very posh until you stand up from the table and realise you are wearing Wellington boots. We were then taken over to the bar where we watched beer cocktails being made. We tasted a ‘Rum & Raisini’. I’d recommend it. If you want to try making it, all you need is dessert wine, dark rum, Sharp’s Quadrupel Ale and some orange. The trick they did with the orange blew my mind. He sliced off a small bit of peel, took a lighter, and burned the oil out of the skin, straight in to the glass. There was no actual orange in the glass, but the smell of the oil was so strong that you could taste it. The entire thing tasted very similar to a proper Christmas pudding. It really was a VIP experience.
Later, we made our way back to the tent where I drank a, not insignificant, amount of gin. We went back to the arena in time to see De La Soul on the main stage. That was a crowd pleasing gig to say the least. Back to the tent, bring on the next day.
What do you do at a festival in the morning? Get a juice, look at all the rubbish from the night before, and check out the latest wellie fashion trends? Fashion wellies, in my opinion, are horse shit. Why would you put a design on something that is designed to get dirty?
We spent a lot of the day just messing around, being nosy and playing giant Jenga. To be fair, we caught a few bands too, The Vincents being one that stood out. We also checked out the film tent, the Hotpress tent, and the crashed cars. If any of ye heard a rumour that there was a threesome in a toilet; I can confirm it’s true. I was there. One topless angry man that came out to shout at the queue when interrupted, and two pissed girls. The door did not close properly and a bare arse was visable. Undoubtedly, there were shannanigans.
Later that night, we got to know the neighbours. I finished off my gin and learned a very valuable life lesson. Never accept Buckfast from a Limerick girl called Mags. I’m sure it’s the drink of the devil. This resulted in not remembering a lot of Beardyman and having a shocking hangover the following morning. To the point where I thought I was done for. No joking. I didn’t think I was going to make it. But the doom hangover wasn’t even the worst thing about the festival. It was the wasps. Hands down. Flying sweet-toothed arseholes haunting the place. It was a savage festival all the same though. It’s a lot nicer when it’s a smaller scale because you can get around easily. If you meet someone sound; you’re more than likely to bump in to them again. If you forget something in the tent, you’re not walking for half an hour to get back there. Mitchelstown, it was great knowing you, Indiependence, thanks for the laughs, I’m going home to bed for at least a week.