The Victorious Festival

 The Victorious Festival 2016 is what I believe to be, the trigger to my Mid Life crisis. It may not have been the only trigger but it played a part.

 In 2016 I attended a music festival in Southsea, Portsmouth called Victorious. I have attended a lot of music festivals over the years but this was the first one I had attended with any of our children. This was a father and son weekend and I was keen to show C the delights of festival life. The Victorious Festival was being headlined by Noel Gallagher and the Manic Street Preachers and there were various other acts playing. We had booked to stay at an Airbnb owned by a slightly older gentlemen called Stewart. Stewart was in his early 60’s lived alone and, from what I could gather, made most of his money, and friends, from Airbnb bookings. When we arrived he couldn’t wait to show us his record collection, naming all the bands he had seen and the ones he had met back stage. He took a lot of pleasure in playing obscure vinyl from bands he had “almost” managed back in the day. We found it hard to get away from the guy but he was harmless.

The Victorious Festival, what a location!
 The festival is on Southsea common and we had brought our bikes to cycle there from Stewarts flat each day. Once we had had enough of his name checking we made our excuses and headed to the site. For anyone who hasn’t been to the Victorious Festival let me describe it; The festival is spread across a large area that encompasses the common and seafront, inside is the The D Day Story, Southsea Skate Park and Southsea Castle, as well as the usual festival goodies. What made the festival feel special to me was its proximity to the beach.

 We spent the day exploring the area, checking out some unknown bands, eating ice creams and playing on the bouncy castles. There were only a few bands I wanted to see on this first day and they didn’t  start until early evening. Travis were playing on the main stage and I hadn’t seen them play live since they headlined the Reading festival in 2001, a mere 15 years earlier. As we squeezed through to get a good position at the side of the stage it was apparent they would be drawing a big crowd. We have been brainwashing our children since an early age so C was as excited as I was to see them. The first song started and we sang along where we could and enjoyed the atmosphere. The highlight of their set is always the anthemic “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” and when this began the crowd erupted. As we sang along I took a minute to look around me, to stare at the other revellers and to wonder. ‘What were all these old people doing watching this band?’ Surely they have always attracted a much younger audience in the past… 

 Then it hit me. …When I had last seen Travis in 2001 I was 26, I had no commitments as such, no pets and no children. I would have been dressed in similar clothing, drinking the same beer, dancing to the same tunes but 15 years had passed since then and I was now one of THEM. A middle aged man doing a Dad Dance to some out of date tunes from over a decade ago. Surely not. I didn’t feel any different, okay my legs were aching a bit and I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay up until the very end of the gig but was I really MIDDLE AGED 😲. I needed to sit down, I wasn’t ready for this, there was so much I hadn’t done. I was not ready to turn into Stewart just yet.

How old am I?

 I spent the next few days observing these middle aged ravers, they (we) behaved the same as we always had, we drank, we sang, we danced in the same way, just… a little slower and a little sadder. The festival was over but before we headed home Stewart wanted to show us some sights. So by 11am we were cruising around Southsea seafront in this man’s convertible BMW 3 series. Music blaring away, enjoying a tour of the historical sights.

 Maybe middle age isn’t so bad after all, I just needed to embrace it. Would Emily mind if I traded in the C-Max for a BMW Convertible or, maybe, I need to trade her in too! 😲

Emily! We need a new car!


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