Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Festival Season

To many, the festival season reaches a crescendo at Cheltenham in March, and ends at Punchestown in April.

My own (music) festival season is a six-part summer adventure starting tomorrow evening on the Isle of Wight, finishing in a park in Moseley, Birmingham in September, and taking in stops in Kinross (Scotland), Cambridge, Weston Park (Staffordshire) and Leeds.

Festival weekends and Christmas Day are the only times in the year when I’m guaranteed not to be checking out Betfair for opportunities. The laptop will be firmly locked away this evening and stay asleep until next Tuesday. I often don’t even check the sports news throughout the weekend. It’s a nice chance to clear my head of sport for a few days – it’s surprising how often I’m thinking about sport and betting, even when I’m away from the laptop.

I’ve been back on the festival scene for the last 5 or so years. I was a regular at the Reading Festival and a few other events during the eighties, but became a little tired of the crap facilities and being a human target for, er, fluid-filled plastic cider bottles throughout the weekend. I finally gave up after the infamously abysmal 1988 Reading Festival, headlined by Starship and Bonnie Tyler! I was enticed back by a top quality line-up put together for the 2004 V Festival, and found the 21st century festival to be a much nicer experience than I remembered from my teens and twenties.

The Isle of Wight festival is an enjoyable start to the summer. After a ferry from Southampton to East Cowes, we’ll be staying in the same Shanklin apartment as in previous years, and using the IOW’s excellent bus service to travel to the site in Newport. I’ve seen most of this year’s major acts before, but will be looking forward to hearing The Pixies and Stereophonics again, plus a music legend I’ve never seen before – Neil Young.

I’ll be back on Betfair next Tuesday, attempting to make something from June, which is currently hovering around the zero mark, mainly due to my opinions on tennis players getting in the way of a consistent staking plan.

If there are any believers out there, please pray for good weather in the coming days.

Oh, and I’ve stuck a good festival memory on my music player.

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