Let us go back. I have long been saying that I would love to go to another Spring All Tomorrow's Parties. The Christmas ones are great and I always like going away then, but that time is often a bit busy for work and I am always afraid that I will be told at the last minute that I cannot take time off. Spring is much better work-wise, and the stories I have been hearing of the fun people have had at the Matt Groening and Pavement ATPs have reminded me of how nice it could be to travel to a festival then. And then they stopped doing Spring ATPs, so it looked like I would never get the chance to go to one again. So, when the Jeff Mangum curated ATP was suddenly postponed from December to March I decided that this was a once-off opportunity that had to be grabbed, particularly given how much fun we had at the recent December ATP. Also, I found myself with the creeping sense that the whole ATP thing might just be coming to an end, making it important to grab any last of their festivals that look interesting.
I was fortunate in that in this matter my beloved's thoughts were similar to my own, so I did not have to try and bunk in with strangers or put together a full chalet at short notice. And we did leave it pretty late to commit to going, so we had no time to look for chalet-mates and instead booked one of the two-berth non-self-catering chalets. The festival mocks you as you approach these, as the way to them brings you past the really swish elite chalets the bands are in. "Maybe we have been upgraded and put into one of those", we wondered, before turning a corner and finding ourselves in the part of the campsite dubbed "Auschwitz" by one of my friends (It is important that I attribute this quip and make clear that it is not my own, because obviously it is very offensive to the many victims of the Nazis, who would probably have quite liked to stay in one of the non-self-catering chalets at Butlins Minehead).
We were slightly lucky in that we were given a four bed instead of a two bed, which meant more room, and I would have to say that the chalet did the job of providing a comfy place to sleep and so on, but it was not the kind of place you would hang out in, which meant that we spent little time lounging around watching ATP TV and lots of time out seeing bands – ROCK. Oh yeah, one final thing about the chalet – if there are four of you, do not under any circumstances ever get a four berth non-self-catering chalet at ATP, unless you like only being able to access the bathroom by walking through one of the bedrooms.
An inuit panda production