Literary Festivals: Is everyone here a writer?

Literary Festivals by Tom NashThe end of my MA is now drawing close, so for the last couple of weeks I have been holed away working on my project; a novel for a Young Adult audience.

I took a break from writing this weekend, as I had the privilege of hosting a session of readings at the Port Eliot Festival. I was also lucky enough to perform some of my own work as well. There should be some photos on my website in the near future.

Anyways, enough excuse making.

This was my first experience of a ‘literary’ festival. If you don’t know what one of those is, think of a music festival but with less music, more poetry and people like:

The rah-rah
All right, at a festival that celebrates various literary forms, you’re not going to find those geezers that sell  pills that are really just Plaster-of-Paris painted with nail varnish remover (bought pills at a festival before? Yeah, that’s what it probably was). What you will find though is a fuck-ton of extremely posh people.

These are the people that offer to pay poorer looking festival-goers to put up their tent. If they rented one, they can often be found complaining to the organisers after they suffer the trauma of discovering a spider on the groundsheet. If you spot someone in a ‘wacky’ costume, chances are they are one of this lot. If they also appear to be drunk and refer to their state of being as ‘sloshed’, they definitely are.

No doubt they brought a few of these with them too…

The little shit
Never have I been in the same place as so many Rafes, Henrys, Virginias and Charlottes. And what a horrible bunch of tiny humans they are. They run around as if feral, which I guess is understandable- the au pair isn’t around and mummy doesn’t give a shit; she’s too busy getting shit-faced on Pimms in the Flower Show to administer discipline… At night, rather than being put to bed, the parents tie glowsticks to them so at least you can see what just charged into your leg.

The money-waster
Tickets to these things ain’t cheap. With travel costs, you’re two-hundred notes worse off before you even arrive. So it makes sense to just sit in your tent and read a book for the majority of the weekend, right? That’s what I thought…

The snorer
I counted eight people in the tents near mine on my last night. It was like trying to sleep during a Wookie impression contest. Best thing to do is get as munted as possible so you can join in.

The open-mic whore
They float from venue to venue looking for opportunities to read bits of the novel they are working on. When they find one, the audience is subjected to dull stories that often feature horses. The reading will be over-zealous and the accents cringe inducing, plus it will seem to last longer than a Lord of the Rings extended editions film marathon.

I was good though…