Festival No.6: the good, the bad, the ugly. #3


So I'm recapping our time at Festival No.6 at the beginning of September. This final post doesn't include seeing Bastille live as we did on Day One (here) or halloumi fries like we had on Day Two (here) or gorgeous estuary views like we saw on Day Three (also here).

Yup, it's finally time to tell you about Day Four and how we got stranded in a flooded field.


Day Four

The good: 

• Unopened tube of Pringles still in the car. Win.

• Er, that’s it.

The bad:

Someone (looking at you FN6 organisers, looking at you) thought it would be a good idea to have the park and ride site on a KNOWN FLOOD PLAIN.

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF ANYTHING MORE RIDICULOUS?

Nah. Didn’t think so.

For the record, we were not aware of this when we parked our lil (note: white) Fiat Panda in the field when we arrived. If we had, we may have considered parking elsewhere. If we’d know it was going to rain two inches in 12 hours and the river would burst its banks... we’d have got the train.

Before leaving the site on Monday morning, event organisers were walking around asking us what time we arrived. The deal was; if you arrived before 2pm on Friday, your car probably wasn’t underwater. If you arrived after 2pm on Friday, stay on site cos you were fucked.

We arrived at 10:30am on the Friday so we took our chances. We pressed our mud-stained faces against the window of the shuttle bus as we drove into the park and ride site. G saw our lil car and, from a distance, she looked like she was still standing so we felt hopeful.

LOL.

They told us that those in the furthest field shouldn’t even attempt to get out but the rest of us should try and, if we got stuck, to put our hazards on and a tractor would come save us.

Um, come again?

Yeah, 20 tractors and a JCB digger driving round rescuing smelly festival goers and their cars from the mud.



The ugly:

Our car was right at the end of the field before the end field. I.E. we were a mini swamp and traffic cone away from being in the field that was totally buggered. But, hey, we could still see a great big patch of green grass near our car. We had hope.

We were idiots.

We got approximately five foot from our original parking space before we were in the middle of what can only be described as a well disguised swamp. That patch of green grass wasn’t such a good thing after all.

After several unsuccessful, mud-spattering attempts to move, we accepted we were well and truly stuck, flicked the hazards on and sat politely in the car waiting for a tractor to come and save us.
Just in case I had to get back out in the rain again, I kept my waterproof on but pulled a bin bag over myself in an attempt to keep the car seat dry. Just call me Kate Moss.

What soon became obvious, however, was that this was not a time to be ultimately British. There was no order, no system, no ‘who was here first’. The JCB digger came past us several times without registering our existence (but then he also got stuck in the mud which was equally satisfying [karma] and worrying...) and the tractors weren’t coming anywhere near our direction. More and more people were arriving back to their cars, flicking on their hazards without even attempting to move and being rescued before us simply because they were in close proximity to the tractors.

This was less than ideal.

Eventually, I got out and waded/slipped my way over to another car who had been there a while and the woman inside told me that a blue tractor was making the rounds in that area but it might be best to wave when he’s nearby so he’s aware we were there.

Which is how I ended up jumping up and down in the mud wearing a bin bag every time I saw a tractor nearby. What is life.

 FINALLY, after what felt like hours, the JCB digger returned after freeing itself from the mud. The driver stopped by us and shouted down at me.

“Have you got your tow-eye in?”

My what?!

He raised his eyebrows at me.

“That would be advisable” he said with a look of disdain and DROVE OFF.

This from the man who had managed to get a JCB digger stuck earlier.

Prick.

After literally ripping off the cover in the boot (turns out G can snap a hefty chunk of plastic in half when he’s annoyed enough), dropping the tent into the swamp (where it fully submerged itself in swampy water) and scrambling through the car manual (So. Many. Paper. Cuts.), we found the tow-eye buried under the spare wheel and screwed it into the front of the car.

We then both did some more jumping up and down like lunatics as tractors kept driving to save other people and finally, with epic music playing in the background*, a tractor drove towards us.

The driver gave us a polite nod, hopped down, tied the car and tractor together and off we went.

Now, if you have ever had you car pulled over what can only be described as actual MOUNTAINS of mud by a cheery welsh tractor driver, then you will probably understand how surreal and ridiculous those few minutes felt. If you haven’t, I can’t help you I’m afraid.

The car was covered in mud; most worryingly, it was stuck on the underside and in the wheels, and we lost the cap that covered the area where the tow-eye screwed in but it still worked and we managed to make the four hour trip back. Other people weren’t so lucky and the mud caused irreversible damage to their cars. May those four-wheeled heroes rest in peace.

The rest of the day included a desperate attempt to find a public toilet in the middle of Snowdonia National Park, a filthy Burger King, horrendous traffic around Birmingham and the discovery that my thumb had gone grey (literally) after wearing a plaster for four days.

Needless to say, we were both exceptionally happy to get home, shower and sleep.


*alright, the epic music may have just been in my head.




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