Gordon Smart on how the strangest things will give you "festival flashbacks"

23 May 2020, 09:00 | Updated: 23 May 2020, 09:01

A typical festival toilet - who knows what lurks in there?
A typical festival toilet - who knows what lurks in there? Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Gordon Smart

By Gordon Smart

Gordon's latest communication from isolation sees him starting to... smell things. Is he losing the plot? Or just missing the festival season already?

Week 12 in Lockdown is on the horizon for this frustrated Scotsman - and strange things are happening.

Allow me to explain. 

Before all of this kicked off, we had started some building work at our house in rural Perthshire. Certain infrastructure has to be put in place for the workies. I’m talking toilets. 

Earlier this week it was scorchio up in the hills and the mercury was rising. Suddenly, I noticed a particular smell catching my nostrils.

It wasn't a nice odour, but it was something nostalgic that triggered a chemical reaction in my brain. I knew from my reaction that it was linked to live music.

Then I clocked it. The blue bog. 

I learned this week that the main provider, Scotloo, providing lavvies for outdoor events across the UK, has made millionaires of some shrewd Scottish gentlemen. Talk about falling in sh*t and coming out smelling of roses….

Any road up, I never thought I would see the day where one of those blue monstrosities would bring me happiness. The plastic poo parlour is instantly recognisable to any festival goer. A fearful sight more than 12 hours into any outdoor music event. Or, your saviour when the weekend’s exertions take their toll.

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I found myself hanging around this particular turd tardis longer than I should.  I closed my eyes, took a deep breath through the nostrils and I was immediately in the virtual queue, listening to the distant noise of the Slam Tent, the occasional shout of "Here we, here we, here we f*&$%*g go!" in the distance. That panic of someone trying the handle in desperation. The familiar bang on the door, saying “hurry-up” - even if you’d just walked in.

In my diary this weekend it said "This Is Tomorrow", a new festival curated by Sam Fender in Newcastle. Like everything else, we’ll have to keep our powder dry and pants clean for next year.

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But it got me thinking about other Festival Flashbacks.

It’s amazing how festival memories are being triggered by the most innocuous things. I found some paper pint pots in a cupboard. As I separated them I was working out if I should buy two at a time to make sure I didn’t run out watching the next act on the main stage. 

The smell of mud in the garden and my son having a hot dog at the same time. By the look on my (sunburnt) face he could tell I was miles away...

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I had wellies on the other day. At this time of the year that means nothing other than British festival to me.

We got an old tent out for the kids to play in and the musty smell sent me straight back to Glastonbury.  I could say the same about the smell of a wet wipe in the endless sanitisation of everything at the moment. Every single sheet takes me straight back to day four on Worthy Farm and another “Glasgow Shower”.

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We were out for a walk the other day and it started raining. We ran back to the house and I wanted to pay £15 for a poncho I’ll wear for nine minutes before it’s ripped and utterly obsolete.

I almost miss paying for expensive beer in a plastic cup. 


Share your #FestivalFlashbacks @radioX @gordonsmart on Twitter.