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Blog: Open East Festival

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This weekend my household and assorted faaaamily headed off to the Open East Festival, part of the celebrations for the anniversary of the Olympics. It was on the other side of Westfield Shopping Centre, so like dutiful East Londoners we went and had some LUNCh there, then bought some STUFF - some BROLLIES in this case, which came in very handy later.

The weather was very nice to start with, and we spent that time mostly loafing around in the PARK (which had also just opened for the first time, and was ACE) or queuing for HALF AN HOUR to get a BEER at the Beer Festival Tent. Everything ELSE was really really well organised, but whoever was in charge of the 10 Mile Beer Festival Tent didn't seem to realise QUITE how many people might want some Real Ale i.e. approx 50 TIMES more than they expected!

We strolled along, looking at the various Attractions, PUZZLING at the fact that WIRE (Wire!!) were playing in a tiny tent the next day, and went to see the Bouncy Stonehenge. Around this time it started to TIP it down, so we huddled under the brollies drinking LAGER (which was a LOT easier to get hold of!) while being laden down with SAMPLES of Posh Instant Coffee by some Sample Givers who clearly wanted to get home!

It HEAVED it down, so we abandoned GRUB and instead went into the big tent to see The Waterboys. Even though we used GIG SKILLZ (we went round to the FAR side of the tent, where it was peasy to get in and get near the front) we still met some Annoying Gits At Gigs e.g. The Girls Who Want To Sit On The Floor And Are Surprised When People Stand On Them. We also met a NEW Annoying Git At Gigs: CAMERA GUY! I've HEARD about these sort of people, but never met them in the flesh before - halfway through the gig he BARGED in front of us, stood right in the MIDDLE of a family, and spent 20 minutes leaning over people, taking pictures, looking at his (rubbish) pictures, and then doing it again. After 20 minutes The Band At My Gig BRILLIANTLY leant over and suggested to him that he might want to WATCH the gig like other people were trying to do, instead of being REALLY ANNOYING. It was my favourite part of the whole day - he left, TOLD!

The gig itself was dead good - I prefer it when The Waterboys do their 80s Rock Band stuff to their Fiddly Diddly songs, and there was lots of both. It was VERY noticeable that their core audience these days are NOT grumbly old folkies like you might expect, but WOMEN in their early 40s, who THRONGED around and DANCED A LOT, while associated boyfriends/husbands and children patiently bopped nearby. Thinking back, it WAS women who used to like The Waterboys when I was at Poly - does this make Mike Scott the Alternative Michael Buble?

They did a GRATE encore, when half the band played a song while the rest TITTED ABOUT dancing around the stage, before we all headed off en masse for the "Spectacular Finale". Huge crowds gathered along the River to watch... er... two boats float around tipping DYE into it while a couple of lights flashed and somebody played a xylophone. It was all Mildly Confusing, as if the organisers had thought that the BEST way to end the day was to Mildly Confuse everyone. It certainly made for a trouble free exit, as everyone TROOPED back along the 20 minute walk to the station, all saying "what was THAT all about?" It was an ODD, indeed Mildly Confusing, end to a lovely day, in a GRATE new park. When can we go back?

posted 29/7/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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