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Perhaps I am not best placed to offer a review of the Meadowlands Festival in 2011, having only turned up on the Sunday morning. As we arrived, lots of people were leaving. The Festival organisers can hardly be blamed for the havoc strong winds wreaked on poorly equipped campers though. We pressed on, found a depopulated site and prepared for the worst.
In fact, we had a great time. The music was excellent, by and large, with the only tired set coming from Sunday’s big name, the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Whoever booked the bands knew what they were doing. Here’s the music I enjoyed the best:
Overall, the festival looked like a work in progress. There were no recycling facilities on site at all. That’s a highly unusual decision for event organisers these days. There needs to be separate bins for different types of waste. Without that, serving drinks in recyclable plastic cups is counterproductive because they will do more harm than good in landfill. Even with the few people still camping on Sunday night, six was an inadequate number of toilets for them; I couldn’t understand why the punters were prevented from going back onto the main field, where there were plenty more toilets. There were other tell tale signs, like the security removing the roof from the entrance tent to stop it being blown away. Charging £25 for car parking, running the whole event on recycled oil and solar power were brave moves. I hope the organisers continue to work on this project and hope to go next year.
The second best way to win at roulette is not to play. That way, you stand no risk of losing money, which is a pretty good result against the house. I never gamble. Okay, okay, very occasionally, for social reasons. I’ve played poker twice; one time winning everybody’s money, which felt awful, and another time when I ended up 50 pence up on the night. That was a night when some people lost £40.
Last night, I found myself in Apokerlypse Now, a casino at the Meadowlands Festival. Apokerlypse Now were raising money for Magpie, an excellent cause. I put £1 on the roulette table and with the notion that Magpie would get £1 or I might win enough to buy a beer. Unfortunately, I hadn’t understood the house rules. No money was going to leave the house. The night before they had been awarding drinks as prizes at declared winning thresholds but by last night they had run out of drinks and were awarding Hawaiian shirts instead. Winnings of £5 qualified for a Hawaiian shirt.
Here’s how I won my Hawaiian shirt. I only ever bet on evens. Mostly I put down only 20 pence. When there had been several odd numbers in a row, I put down a bigger bet, still on evens. It was painful being by far the most boring player in the house. At the point when I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to cash in my chips for a beer, I played for the shirt. The call of nature began to press on me most urgently so I played some larger bets. Oscillating between 20 pence left and £4.40 for about 45 minutes, I grew bored but couldn’t see the point of abandoning the exercise, especially after telling my wife that I would get the shirt. Just after an hour at the table, I crossed the £5 threshold and claimed the shirt. I was the only shirt winner on the night. That’s the third best way to win at roulette: walk away when you have winnings.
The best way of all to win at roulette is to play at a charity event. If you win, you win but when you lose, your conscience wins.
I didn’t want to hear Hegley again,
But I went along with three girls and no men,
To listen. I thought it would be
More children’s poetry.
Not the serious spiritual bit he had
Prepared about life, death and his Dad.
Surprisingly good this Meadowlands festival.
The free for all of my youth has gone away, for me at least. Gone are the days of bunking over or under a fence, slumming my way through a weekend of famous acts and struggling with the post festival guilt afterwards. These days, I can’t being myself to carry on like that but the prices are higher than ever so I’m restricted to one day tickets. Here I am at the Meadowlands festival in Glynde. There’s been other changes too. I can get my head around the lack of drug taking, the smoking ban, the family atmosphere but was flummoxed to be accosted by a woman pushing her forthcoming set by ordering a business card. The strategy worked. Check out Apples And Eve at myspace… Great stuff…