Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Has the internet replaced drugs?

I watched part of Festivals Britannia last night. Having been to a fair range myself from small folk festivals, middle sized & middle class festivals on a race course sponsored by Waitrose, Glastonbury, Donnington, Knebworth and a fair range between over the last 20 years, I guess I am an interested party. My 1st festival had Metallica as 3rd on the bill, probably about 1988. 3 years later I found I still enjoyed the music and the event, but disliked a subset of the people and took a long break to about 1999 and Glastonbury. Now we might do 2 small (10,000-ish) festivals with Beautiful Days being the main stay. We like the whole feel of how its run, the atmosphere and that it really works for small children, even if it tips down with rain.

One aspect of Festivals Britannia was how festivals nurtured the seeds of change among the young and disaffected. Being 42 and growing more disaffected by the day, I also have 2 small people to fund sufficiently so that they avoid a life of debt, I won't be going out and protesting on the streets. I currently also feeling quite apathetic about trying to engage with local political actors about simple improvements included Broadband, a reasonable level of clearing snow from road and getting bins emptied when they say they will. I know if I try to engage constructively I will either be ignored silently or with political sleaze. (note here I feel that my elected AM and MP do actually engage with me, no slight on Elin or Mark). I feel complete distrust of the police, a change in the last 6 months. I feel let down by the elected and the unelected of at all levels from Community Council to Westminister. For someone 20 years younger, I can see why they protest and why they are angry. The Internet is now the catalyst for sowing the seeds of change rather than music (I may just be out of touch on this, but other than the King Blues and Mr Bragg, I don't see any other musical involvement in the student debt protests).

This change is probably a good thing as festivals should just be about having fun.

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