We went yesterday evening to fruitstock'06. That is a music, fruits and innocence festival, but they also sold beer. Quite a lot of beer indeed! It is held in Regent's Park in London, quite near Baker Street, literary home of Sherlock Holmes! I had underestimated the weather and arrived with my old sneakers, just in case the grass was wet or something like that but found that a) there was not such green wet grass, after the extremely long heatwave we've had/suffered b) it was extremely hot (even hotter because of the sneakers)
Luckily all my sufferings were payed when we went to the extremely long queue for buying drinks. There was a small counter for the thirsty people, and I'm going to do a little non-scientific estimation: the counter was about 6 metres long and there were like 4 people in a one-metre long row. 6x4 = 24 people in one row. There were approximately 6 row before reaching the counter, so that makes 144 people waiting to be served by just around 8 people (I can't tell that exactly since I never managed to see them all... but maybe they were less). That means that each barista had to serve 144/8 = 18 people.
And that explains the long time we spend there. It allowed us for missing almost all Nouvelle Vague live and the beginning of Norman Jay's one.
Once you got the drinks (at least they gave you like a carry-drinks thing) you had to find a way back to where your friends are, passing over hundreds of people sitting in the grass, picnic style. And I was feeling very sorry about having to spill beer over them, as we had to do all kinds of contortions, bends and twists for not stepping over the belongings (and feet) of the people, and obviously sometimes some beer went out of the glasses, and thus fell over the people. But I realised there was not any way of arriving without spilling beer over the people and sometimes stepping over their mats, so I had to do it. Next time maybe the organization could try to stablish some kind of paths so that everybody can walk over them without annoying anyone else, and without having to feel how people spills beer over your toes. That last reason was the one which relieved me of having arrived with sneakers and not with flipflops - I hate the feeling of cold drink slipping between my little toes X( Then the sound system was not as loud as it should have been, I think. It was complicated to listen to what they said from the stage - unless you're in the very first row but it was impossible to get there, and the artists weren't that interesting (although it was nice to listen to Gipsy Woman!).
I didn't enjoy the other activities which were proposed, mainly because I couldn't see/find them (so many people was there) but they looked interesting. Oh and another fact I liked was that when we left the place we noticed there were security men preventing people to enter until more people had left, for avoiding the crowd to grow too big. That is extremely good thinking!
On the other hand the ambient was quite relaxed, there was nice people as the organisation had described the festival, so it wasn't a bad evening. I like the idea of having festivals in parks in London (although I feel sorry for the grass as well), and to be able to just take a bus or a tube home when you feel tired - and be at home in 20 minutes.
Fruitstock is still on today so if you read this on Sunday the 6th you can still visit it! But bring your drinks from home and avoid long queues!