I was 15 when I attended my first festival â€“ U2 at Milton Keynes Bowl, with support from The Ramones, REM, Spear of Destiny and Billy Bragg (who performed at pretty much every festival in the mid to late 1980s). Bono was less pompous then, I was in love with Larry Mullen Jnr, and Iâ€™d never seen 50,000 people in one space before – it was quite a big deal for little teenage me. I also got hideously sun-burned and learned my first festival lesson â€“ sun-block.
I havenâ€™t been to that many festivals since, as I decided I actually donâ€™t enjoy them that much. Iâ€™ll get excited by a line-up, pay a huge sum of money for maybe three or four bands, then feel disappointed because I canâ€™t see a thing, the sound quality is rubbish, and there are too many drunk people invading my personal space. Iâ€™ve often come away from a festival saying â€œ(insert band) were great, but Iâ€™d love to see them properlyâ€¦â€
Then I had my first All Tomorrowâ€™s Parties experience. No tents. No portaloos. No sun-block. Amazing bands, decent stages and sound quality â€“ a festival that gives you a proper, intimate gig experience for each band you choose to see. And do you know what else I like? Seats. Standing around all day takes itâ€™s toll, and I am officially middle aged, you know.