All The Seasons in One Weekend in Wales – Wakestock 2009

Our first weekend back from Tignes in May and we went to a charity dinner at Anfield raising money for the Marina Dalglish Appeal and supporting Tim & Ollie who cycled 1000 miles from Barcelona to Liverpool. At this dinner we won four tickets in the Auction for the Wakestock Festival in Abersoch.

This weekend was that weekend. We drove down on Friday morning in convoy with Clarkey & Kim, the drive through North Wales is stunning, it reminded me of the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler with the hills of Snowdonia National Park and the Irish Sea (Ok, the Rocky Mountains & Pacific Ocean win). We arrived and quickly pitched our tents. Without wanting to sound ‘wanky’, I am a seasoned Festival goer with 7 Leeds Festivals, 4 Glastonburys, a V Festival & an OzzFest under my belt. Wakestock was a bit of a departure from these as the desire to go was nothing to do with the music, the ‘festival vibe’ or a general escape – it was just so me & Pezza could get drunk in a field for a few days with our old mates Clarkey & Kim.

Our next task was to get a beer and explore the festival site. This didn’t take long – despite having three stages the site was tiny but we did make our way to the VIP area which was part of the package included in our auction victory – essentially another (undercover) bar and some space with wooden benches etc; this area became a bit of a lifeline when the weather decided to think it was November.

We had a top weekend away – festivals for me are all about the people you are with and on Saturday night when the wind and rain REALLY came in, the four of us were sat in our little tent playing drinking games, generally talking rubbish and doing a lot of laughing. The Irish call it the ‘Craic’, and that is what it’s all about. The weather started to get worse and worse and it was getting to the point where due to the positioning of our tent and folk tripping over guy ropes and the worsening weather Pezza & I made the decision to sleep in the car. It was 1.00am by this point and due to the amount of red wine and gin we’d had, packing a bag and wrapping up to relocate to the car was like a chapter from an Andy McNab novel.

We had a great night’s sleep in the Hotel Astra and upon returning to the campsite we were felt justified in relocating; even though our tent was still standing there were some that were flooded, some that had lost their topsheet and about four that had completley collapsed – and that was just in our small campsite.

Sunday proved to be a great day. Once the sun came out it was a beautiful day and we took a drive to the town for a trip to the beach and then found a table outside a pub for one of those great impromptu drinking sessions where we got chatting to other festival goers – this was the highlight of the weekend and Clarkey & I discussed that this could be the future of festival going: nipping to the pub in the nearest town on a sunny day. It was a wise decision because the actual site was still very muddy and there was generally nothing going on so we hopped in the car and Pezza (who hadn’t been drinking) took us home.

A great weekend for what was a very unusual festival for me and it has opened my eyes up even more to how wonderful British coastal towns can be; great scenery, great pubs and when the sun shines you can’t help but feel good. The festival was a bit of a side issue really, it was just brilliant to have a weekend away with one of my best mates and our missuses!

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For all my pictures, click here.

Andy

(STOP PRESS: Ian, I haven’t forgotten about Roxettival – my 15th Festival! (Click here for review and pictures) x)

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