Monday, August 3, 2009
All Points West: Half-Empty
We're standing near the front of the line to get into the last day of the All Points West Festival. We were on the first boat, and it's almost an hour after the gates were supposed to open, but for the minute we're happy to be under canvas and out of the rain. Not everyone is so lucky, and already the back of the line is starting to look like a wet t-shirt competition.
One of the security guards whistles. He has a great whistle. His voice is harder to make out.
"Listen up people. We've got some really bad stuff coming in."
Security is pretty tight. I shift uncomfortably, a bottle of vodka hidden in my cleavage.
"So we're asking you to all head back to the ferry terminal..."
"...no need to make a lot of noise. It's not safe to stay here. Now head back to the terminal..."
Thunder and lightening punctuate his sentences, and it's a measure of how amenable the festival goers are that after some grumbling they obediently head back out into the storm and the pouring rain, and trudge the mile through the mud back to the dock. Already people have started to abandon their flip-flops, and are squelching their way barefoot amongst the crowds.
We spend four hours in the terminal building, continually being nudged around the concrete floor by police packing machine guns. Woodstock, it ain't.
People continue to flood off the ferry until there's several thousand of us in there, killing time by queuing for the toilets or the one overwhelmed snack stand. I become personally responsible for introducing the alphabet game to a new generation of New Jersey youth. No-one can think of a country beginning with O.
After a lot of false rumours we're finally allowed out the door, only to be held for another hour, like pigs in a pen, a half mile from the gates. After a day of torrential rain the sun is out, and I'm frying. The vodka has now spent five hours down my bra. While we wait, we drink the whiskey which was down Chris' pants. It's pleasantly warm. People tut jealously.
To Be Continued...