Parents: Never take your teenagers to a music festival

A story about going to a music festival and realising your kids have grown older (and you have grown old)IMG_3015

With my hubby stationed in London and myself and our two teenage children in Denmark, I am often on the lookout for events to attend together around London. In June, I received a news feed about the V-festival in Hylands Park, Chelmsford, England. With performing artists like Rihanna, Lukas Graham, Craig David, Rick Ashley and many more, I thought it might be fun. My husband was also keen on going. Then I asked the kids. They turned out to know more artists on the list than me, and they approved the idea.

v-festival-list

The festival started on a Friday in late August and lasted till Monday. We had tickets for Sunday only and enjoyed a peaceful Saturday in central London. Sunday around noon we took the “festival express” train  to Chelmsford. Our fellow passengers were obviously heading for the same destination: Mostly girls wearing rubber boots, ultra-short shorts, tank tops, glitter paint and stars around their eyes, head flower wreaths, and hair set up in two high buns like horns. When arriving in Hylands Park, we discovered this was THE English female festival uniform.

Collage2

The V-Festival offered plenty of things to watch and do: In addition to music, standup and dance scenes, there were huge bungee jump swings and insanely-fast-moving carousels. Bit by bit, concerts started on the five stages. One of our teenagers commented that she wished she had been here with her friends instead of her parents. The sun-scorched lawns were surprisingly clean, and we sat down to enjoy Travis performing on the main stage. The other teenager asked how long we would be there? It was around 1:30 pm, and Rihanna were expected to go on stage 8-9 hours later!

IMG_3011

One band replaced the other, and we walked back and forth between stages to watch. All of a sudden, Lukas Graham went full blast and lightened up the mood: We enjoyed Lukas’ vocal, the soul-funk-pop-big band sound, and of course the sight of tiny Danish flags popping up in the audience. And while clapping, singing, and moving my hips, I tried to ignore my teenagers’ raised eyebrows. The question “when do we leave?” came up several times that afternoon, with variations like “do we eat dinner here as well?”, “I have to get home and write to my teacher”, “I look forward to talking to someone my own age”, and “I thought it was a concert, not a full day festival!”

IMG_3019

Around 7:30 pm Little Mix rocked out on the main stage. One teenager was thrilled (despite the presence of her family), the other one looked tired. We decided to call it a day and left the glittering and happy-looking festival participants who were dancing on the now pizza-box-and-beer-cup-decorated lawn to trudge towards Chelmsford train station. Apart from sore feet everyone was happy and cheerful on the way home. But we agreed this was our last family trip to a music festival: Going together was stretching things a little too far. It all started with Rihanna catching my attention in a news feed. We had to save her for a later event. One without our teenagers.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

About .

I am a Danish writer, journalist, and communications specialist. After several years in The Netherlands, I am back in my home country, with one foot in London. I hold a M.Sc. in International Business Administration and Modern Languages, and I have brushed up my skills through studies at Webster University and London School of Journalism. I have worked with communications and business development most of my life. I do freelance work (English and Danish), and I write for pleasure. Most of my stories are about places and people I encounter on journeys around the world. I have an eye for cultural and social subtleties, and I am especially interested in travel, the environment, and the arts. Drop me a line if you want to hire me, or if you have a question or comment. And feel free to follow me on Twitter, Bloglovin' and Instagram.
This entry was posted in Art, Culture, Denmark, Great Britain and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.