When we wake up the next morning we can feel the pain from the night before, legs are aching, back is aching, neck is aching from the head banging and both in need for an urgent piss. So we get dressed and we crawl out of the tent like cavemen gone through a hurricane and making noises like old men just getting up after a long night of snooker and talks about the war and we hobble over to the wired fence and see the line of men pissing up against it and you can smell breakfast being cooked in the air.
We open a can of beer and chill outside the tent and think about the gig last night and what we have planned for later in the day and everyone around us are doing the same thing, we listen to the lads in the tent next to us have a conversation over burgers and bacon about how they are waking up at Download for the first time and how they can’t believe they got to witness System of A Down the night before.
We decide we need food so we open another can and walk towards the village in search of our traditional first morning Chinese breakfast. I cant help but think with my aching legs how am I going to make it over the mountain. Looking around at all the festival goers walking around, all of them nursing a sore head and sore legs and everyone that I notice is carrying an energy drink and that’s new, last year everyone at this time of the morning was carrying cans of booze and walking around still pissed from the night before, has it changed this much in a year since we last been and when we get to the village are we going to see people walking around with small cups of coffee and hot chocolate and eating cornflakes, a combination of food and drink like that could kill you at a festival like this, you need hair of the dog and starchy burgers.
We make it to the foot of the mountain and watch everyone struggle to get over it and we know it’s our turn now but somehow we manage it, our manage not to give way as we pull ourselves over the top and someone behind us shouts “HAS ANYONE GOT A FLAG WE’VE REACHED THE SUMMIT”.
We walk through the village and make it to our destination, the Chinese stall and I order myself a Chicken Chow Mein and Sam gets himself Sweet and Sour chicken either one is the perfect breakfast to start the day, a can of cider and a Chinese it’s what you need to store up enough energy for the rest of the day, you might find yourself blacking out and waking up surrounded by guys dressed as giant dicks and with the lack of energy in your body you could start hallucinating about being carried through a crowd of life sized ants on the backs of men dressed in dick costumes, that’s why you need a breakfast like this to survive the day.
Looking at the line for today neither has interest in seeing a lot of the bands playing, only Biffy, so we decide that when we do we will go see NXT Wrestling something that’s been passing us by every year we’ve been and now we have the perfect opportunity to see the show before we get down and watch Biffy.
After knocking down 7 cans of cider between us we make it to the main arena and start looking for the NXT show but first we head towards the dog bar and wait in line for 30 minutes to be served, everyone around us are complaining about how they’ve been waiting for 40 minutes or 50 minutes for a drink and people who have only been waiting for 10 minutes have been served quicker than they have, the lines for beer at an event can turn people into savages and maniacs and if you were looking from the outside in you would think everyone in line was a crazed alcoholic willing to turn to cannibalism so long as they can get a damn drink. After waiting for 30 minutes finally get served I tell Sam to order 4 pints of cider so I don’t have to wait for another 30 minutes for a fucking drink, so he does and the woman serving asks him for ID and Sam with a face of confusion willingly hands over his ID while shaking his head.
Finally we have cider and we walk towards the NXT tent “Fuck” says Sam “I need to get a shitting shirt this year, every year we come and I’ve still not got a bloody shirt, not even a hoodie”
“Mate I know, we can get one tomorrow, we need to hurry before the bloody shows over”.
We see the big NXT sign over the stalls and rush with two pints of cider and then we see it, the shows over, we missed it by 15 minutes “Oh my god” I say “if it wasn’t for that fucking line full of drunkards we would have got to see the show”
“We can go tomorrow mate, there’s always tomorrow”.
In disappointment we leave the NXT tent and walk towards to the main stage and by chance we find some seats that we can rest and wait for Biffy to hit the stage.
We sit on the seats and wait for Biffy to come on, we take in turns going to the dog bar while we wait.
A Day To Remember finish up their set so me and Sam hand over the chairs to a couple sitting near by and we go for a piss and go grab ourselves a beer before we make our move towards the stage.
We’ve now lost count with the beers, it could be our 8th beer or could be our 11th beer, none of us have a clue what number is but neither of us care we just walk towards the stage and join the crowd of Biffy Clyro fans. I can’t see behind me, I don’t know how big the crowd are for them, the reception for their announcement was mixed but I have a feeling they will smash it tonight.
The sun is setting right behind the stage and i down my beer as the band walks on stage kicking in with Wolves of Winter and my eyes are glued to the stage for the rest of the performance, I don’t even notice if there’s any mosh pits forming or how people are feeling about them playing, not once do I turn my head to see what’s going on around me.
I was right, they smashed it, I didn’t think anything could beat last night with atmosphere from the crowd and the energy but I think Biffy proved themselves worthy headliners, I forgot how many great songs they have and I got chills at times when they brought our some of their best know tracks.
Taking the long walk back me and Sam don’t say a word to each other, both of us are surprised of how good the good gig was and how much it’s sobered us up, It’s one of those gigs that I won’t forget and we still have one more day left.