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Fresher's First Week: Day 5January 26th 2000.
After managing to make breakfast with mere seconds to spare, I decided to try another circuit of the fresher's fair. This time knew the rules - It was a swift get in and out job. Most of the best things had gone the day before, but I still managed to scab a party bag from BT. I even managed to come away with a few posters after dodging an application to the Law society...
Being a conscientious soul, I decided to go to one of the lectures which had been provided in the first week. Now I happened to think that the title Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll would have enticed anyone to a lecture. The fact that I was the only one to turn up, has since played on my mind. Did everyone else see through the deception or are students more moderate than I first suspected? The answer turned out to be far simpler - students are just lazy.
The fun didn't really start until the evening though. The student union had arranged an event called "fresh in the field". The big news was that both the band Cast and the DJ Judge Jules would be playing at this event.
My friend and I turned up early to the event and after stumbling across a field we spied an entrance. Oddly enough, this entrance had no queue outside of it but before I could wander in, a bouncer asked for some sort of ID. Cottoning on that this was the backstage entrance I briefly flashed my NUS card up in the hopes he would let me in. He was not fooled.
Since the main events wouldn't be starting for about another hour, my friend and I decided to kill some time. Someone had thoughtfully provided an inflatable quasar centre. Four other people joined us and once we were geared up the battle commenced.
The inflatable was sealed and filled with smoke. Because it was made out of rubber, people were literally bouncing off the walls. The low ceiling and the onset of darkness made it impossible to see a thing, and I ended up firing at anything with flashing lights regardless of whose side they were on. By the end of I was confused and exhausted. No one even knew who won.
All the excitement had weakened my bladder and I made my way to a portaloo to relieve myself. Unfortunately, I did not know the answer to the age old question of how do you aim at something when you can't actually see it?
After hanging around the dance tent for a bit it looked like Cast would be coming on before Jules so I waited my way through two lacklustre warm up acts only to be crushed into the railing once Cast did come on.
I never fully appreciated how difficult life at the front of gigs really is. Not only are you trying to concentrate on seeing the main band, you must fight off those who would like your place. Not that it is much of a place - you are crushed on both sides by other revellers and being ground into the railings by the heaving throng from behind. To add injury to insult, you can be kicked in the head by crowd surfers as they are pulled out of the crowd by security.
Reckoning that I'd been battered enough (and that Cast weren't turning out to be as good as hoped) I made my way to the dance tent.
The tent was small but everyone was jumping and the sweat was, quite literally, flying. Getting to the front was not easy though. Thankfully the pace in the mosh pit (the place at the very front where people are bouncing like pogo sticks) is so frantic after a few minutes people needed a breather and made their way to some refreshment.
Having seen this, I hit on a plan to pogo like mad to make yet more people give up. This was going well but my efforts to get Jules' autograph were eventually hampered when two "idiots" decided it would be great idea to say that they were collecting signatures and handing back to the rest of the crowd. I was repeatedly told by this duo that he would not be giving out any more signatures (and to be fair he must have signed a few dozen).
Thankfully, the frantic bouncing became too much for one of them I claimed my place at the front. I managed to convince Jules to do one more and thus collected his signature on my ticket (cheers mate or should that be big up massive respect?). Shortly after, Jules span his last record and made a quick exit.
Things couldn't really get much better - so they didn't. Instead, when I left the tent the rain was absolutely pouring leaving me thoroughly soaked by the time I reached my room. A miserable end to a potentially perfect day - no change there then...