Guest list is still open for my dream fes­ti­val

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - BONDINGS - JOHN MASTERSON

When Bob Dy­lan talks, I lis­ten. And when Bob sings about stay­ing For­ever Young I know he is onto some­thing that mat­ters to me. He has a few very good sug­ges­tions in­clud­ing hav­ing a ‘joy­ful heart’ and ‘songs to be sung’ to help you ‘build your lad­der to the stars’. But it still pains me at this time of year when I re­alise that I will never again be a twen­tysome­thing wak­ing up in a tent af­ter a great night of mu­sic, per­haps hav­ing con­sumed some mind-al­ter­ing sub­stances not all of which might be en­tirely le­gal, and maybe even af­ter a night of pas­sion with some­body I have just met and whose name I am in dan­ger of get­ting wrong.

No. My Elec­tric Pic­nic would be a ride on the Har­ley, en­joy some of the mu­sic, two 7 Ups, and back to the ho­tel be­fore a glass of wine and a sound night’s sleep.

Which is what got me to in­vent­ing the Wet Cell Bat­tery Pic­nic for those of us who want to turn back time.

I live in the coun­try and am for­tu­nate enough to have a good-sized field at my dis­posal.

It was while sit­ting by my shed hav­ing a Prosecco with a com­pan­ion who is as open to slightly off­beat ideas as I am, that the idea of our own mini fes­ti­val was hatched.

Food was no prob­lem. I would just move the bar­be­cue. Al­co­hol no prob­lem. Il­le­gal drugs a def­i­nite prob­lem but none of us smoke or would recog- nise a joint if it was handed to us. Next time we ex­pe­ri­ence ec­stasy will be when we get the free travel. We would have no dif­fi­culty con­tin­u­ing our drugfree life­style.

We drew up a list of likely com­pan­ions and a few ground rules. I would put out my Lidl so­lar lights in a line back to the house and we would al­low women use of the bath­room. Men, we as­sumed, would be happy with the hedge. I would put my Christ­mas fairy lights on the shed run by a car bat­tery for those who are not good in the dark. The wi-fi reaches the pro­posed camp­site. Mu­sic would be on Blue­tooth speak­ers and Bob would star.

Tents could be pitched af­ter 6pm. Peo­ple could bring mat­tresses, welling- tons, one­sies and du­vets. I would put up the gazebo. The ‘vil­lage’ was tak­ing shape in my mind. My only worry was how to con­trol the crowds when the idea got out. This could get as big as Wood­stock.

To my dis­may I dis­cov­ered that Bor­ing Old Farts de­scribes a lot of peo­ple. “I would rather sleep in the car” was one re­sponse from some­one more con­cerned with elec­tric blan­kets than pic­nics. A woman pointed out that no one would re­turn from the bath­room. They would just find a bed. One par­tic­u­larly cruel po­ten­tial guest just said “grow up”.

The guest list is still open. No tak­ers yet. Some great ideas take a year or so to catch on.

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