ufoThere’s a book waiting to be written telling us how to enjoy the perfect stadium gig.
I’m not volunteering to write it but I’ve got the perfect working title: `The Dark Art of Stadium Gigging.’
For let’s face it, to do everything you want to do, see everything you want to see and drink everything you want to drink, you’ve got to bend the rules a little bit.
I could never be one of those hardy rock fans who manage to find a spot right in front of stage, having stood there, defiantly refusing to budge, for hours on end.
It begs so many questions, not least of which is ‘was it worthwhile?’.
For much as I respect their durability, I’m less impressed by their sobriety and totally mystifed how they can go so long without nature calling. Personally, being a quite demanding sort of guy, I want it all. And that means when I head off to Hampden Park next month to watch AC/DC, I want to drink copious amounts of beer, relieve myself whenever I get the urge and have a great view, ideally centre stage, no more than 20 yards away.
Impossible? Quite possibly – unless, like me, you’re prepared to indulge in a spot of skulduggery. The last time I was in a 50,000 plus crowd for a gig was at Hyde Park Calling two years ago when Aerosmith were the headline act.
I’d managed to get quite close to the stage for The Answer mid-afternoon but not been a big fan of either Jet or Chris Cornell I decided to do some wandering for the next couple of hours. That meant forfeiting my coveted spot.
Skip forward to eight at night and I was on a mission to find a decent viewing spot – not a particularly easy task considering around 49,000 fans stood between me and where I wanted to stand.
A few polite ‘excuse me’s’ proved utterly useless as I barged my way through. In fact, I decided to scupper the good manners approach when one guy replied (quite accurately in fact) ‘why the hell should we let you through when you’ve spent the last few hours at the bar?’.
Time for Plan B to spring into action – and yes, I am ashamed of myself, if you’re asking. “Could you let me past, I’ve got to find my 14-year-old son, who’s on his own up there?”, I said pointing to some imaginary spot near the stage.
Like the Red Sea parting, I was on my way, making at least 50 yards until common decency took over and I decided I couldn’t chance my luck any more. And now for the dastardly art of relieving yourself without losing your precious spot.
For this you need a rainy day and one of those disposable long macs they sell for a couple of quid on such occasions. Without going into any great detail (in case any females are reading this and, if they are, I wouldn’t think this particular information is of any use to you), it’s perfectly possible to do the necessary without anyone noticing or being disturbed.
And the moral of this sordid story is……..
A: If you’re at any festival this summer and some strange guy tells you he’s lost a child and could you please let him through, tell him where to go.
B: Beware of the dirty mac brigade!!

Ian Murtagh