Three days later and I still can't get Abba out of my head.
For some time we have had an invitation to drop in and parade about at the Marvelous festival, a celebration of (hopefully) top quality tribute bands, whom I shall refer to by their proper names. Last year the invitation got a bit more formal, a group, with actual things to do, and this year even more so. Arriving on the friday evening there was a couple of drinks in the small stage tent, just out of the rain, and the treat of an Elvis impersonator.
One of our main duties was keeping certain areas free of tents/chairs/people as everyone poured in looking for an advantageous place to sit/set up camp.. mine was the walk way that split the main viewing area in half and by the disabled seating area. When the gates were flung open it was quite daunting to see this human wave armed with deck chairs, pic nic baskets and crates of cider coming towards me like a horde of refugees from Tunbridge Wells. After only a few quiet words the lines of demarkation for the walk way were set and it became evident that it was a no go area.
This was a large chunk of Saturday afternoon, everyone sat under the rainy awning.
At five o'clock we did a musketry display, announced from the stage more people wandered over than expected and so a firing competition was quickly improvised into the bargain, this would be repeated on the Sunday. People mingled asking questions afterwards including some very tipsy women who wouldn't believe they were real guns despite one of them having watched the end of the display.
A free staff dinner later we returned to the camp, where I managed to fall off my chair carrying a glass of wine, before disappearing to go and see the (UK) Foo Fighters.
Our musketry display was received with rapturous applause, and this was just my bit.
'So do you normally dress like this at the weekend?'
Sunday morning, the joys of litter picking. The punters had all been given a bin bag on entry which was a good idea but still there was rogue rubbish, including a sadly deflated parrot and random olives... and then, after it had rained all night, we were given pitchforks for spreading hay into the worst of the mud and big puddles.
Down on le farm.
No one wanted to be near the crowds when 'Waterloo' came on.
Some of the bands completely passed me by although I did catch some of Bryan Adams, not deliberately, which is basically the soundtrack to midlife crisis. I was glad we left before Madness were on as it is my experience that hearing Madness instantly changes grown men into those weetabix characters from the 1980s.
I would have liked to have stayed for the grand finale of Queen though but it would quite simply have meant staying over another night with no money left and in whatever ditch I could find.
It was literally a marvelous weekend, despite the rain, and something a bit different. Another experience reenactment has brought to me that I would otherwise have missed. Maybe next year I shall try to make it to a battle prom, which is basically a classical concert with a few musket vollies thrown in. If only Rammstein would give us a gig.
until then 'We are the champions!'