Twelve hour shifts. Twelve long hours. Twelve solitary hours. Night shift.
It’s an easy job; tough part is making those hours go by.
Oxegen music festival; a bubble of madness and escapism, away from the uncertainty and despair that is prevailing in our society at the moment.
Buy a newspaper. There is six hours of solid reading in your average newspaper, depending on your reading speed. That’s half my shift gone, provided I’m lucky enough to be able to get away with reading a paper.
Guarding goods and vehicles at night, or maybe guarding the “toilets”, portaloos set up to last the punters the weekend but cease to flush after night one. An interesting sign in each portaloo reads “This toilet is to be used by ten people every forty eight hours.” Ten people every forty eight hours? Sympathy goes to the punters.
For a young student, night shift is physically upsetting. Finishing your shift while the sun is rising, coming back to sleep in a tent that is slowly filling with rainwater. Sleeping in hot brightness; impossible.
It’s an achievement in itself to go the twelve hours of darkness without falling asleep at least once. The lunch you are given by your supervisor to last you the twelve consists of packed sandwiches, a bar, crisps and a drink; the best part of the shift.
I try to spread the eating. Impossible, too hungry, eat them all in one go.
I try to find ways to occupy the spaces. Small laps around my area, calculations, thoughts, plans.
Is it a good experience? Good in the sense that after this job, no job will seem boring, difficult, enduring.
Bad experience, in the sense that it was a bad experience.
Being a static steward, listening to the rants of punters was one of my more interesting hobbies.
Punters entering Oxegen: “Oxegennnnn.... WOO Come On!’
Punters leaving Oxegen: “I hate Oxegen.”
“You know, I’m actually glad to be leaving.”
The dirt and the drink are the primary causes of the homesickness. God knows you’ve missed over half the bands you came to see, due to drunkenness, being lost and drunk, and being back at the campsite getting ossified instead.
Horrific stories emanate from both Red and Blue campsites, each story more exaggerated than the last, and most probably not even true to start.
Having said that, stewards were asked to keep an eye out for a man carrying a knife wearing nothing but a smurf mask.