Indiependence… and more thoughts on books

Last night I went to my first music festival.

I’m going to Boston Calling in the fall, so I wasn’t feeling the dire need to go to another festival. How wrong I was. We got tickets to Indiepenence, Mitchelstown’s independent music festival, from a friend of Mary’s who works in the music industry, and it was very exciting. I didn’t get any good photos, because it was so dark, but here’s a promotional image:

indiependence

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was how big the space was. Indiepedence is held on a deer farm, so in addition to tents set up especially for the festival, there are also sheds and barns that are converted to musical stages or beer halls. There were four stages and I think about three tents or sheds acting as bars, as well as a tent for ‘silent disco,’ where people would sing themselves and dance to it. The whole festival was not just in one area… there were about three large clearings with tents, stages, and food trucks in them.

One unique thing about Mitchelstown festival is that most people wear wellington boots. It makes for an interesting contrast with the other sartorial choices on display… there were plenty of girls in shorts and low cut tops. To be clear, I’m no prude. People can wear whatever they like. But I had to wonder if those girls weren’t a bit cold! It couldn’t have been more than fifty degrees fahrenheit and it was raining. That, by the way, is why people wear wellies. Because of the mud.

I didn’t know any of the bands that were playing because I’m not too familiar with Ireland’s independent music scene, but according to Ciara Indiependence often hosts bands right before they get big. For example, Hoosier and Bastille both played at the festival before they became well known. Who knows, I could have been listening to the next big thing! Actually, the band I liked most was called All Tvvins, and the song I really liked is going to be a single off of their next album. Maybe if it’s a hit, they’ll be at a bigger festival, like Boston Calling, next year!

The only problem for me with concerts and festivals is that I can’t stand loud noises. When I go to Boston Calling, I’ll wear earplugs. God, I sound like an old coot, but when the music’s that loud, it’s almost as if you can’t hear it properly! It’s just a mess of reverberating sound.

In other news, I’ve been enjoying some trashy fiction. I used to be such a vociferous reader as a kid, but with the late nights and  massive workloads of school, I’ve mostly given it up except when I’m on holiday. I’m almost entirely for formal schooling, but the fact that I lacked time to read in high school makes me doubt the value of it just a little. Sometimes, I think I would have learned as much on my own, fulfilling my own curiosity. I must admit that my education would have been less well-rounded as a result, however. It also makes me think the college admissions game is screwing up education. (I have a lot of thoughts on college admissions, having just been through the process. If I get the MIT admissions blogger position, I’ll have to choose my words more carefully.) I did not really like participating in non-academic extracurricular activities. To be honest, they felt like a waste of time. But I knew that if I wanted to get into a good college, not only did I have to be very involved with extracurriculars, but also “show commitment” to my extracurriculars by staying in them for four years and getting leadership roles. I’m sorry, but if your interests don’t change between the ages of 14 and 18, that’s not a good sign. It’s a bad one. Anyway, I played the game by doing things that could go on a resume as opposed to just things I really wanted to do, and by staying in the same extracurriculars I chose as a freshman, and my reading payed the price. In retrospect, I probably would have been fine just finding my own way, but I made so many decisions based on bad information.

Anyway.

So I’m reading trashy fiction right now. Happy Families, by Janey Fraser. As Mary put it, it’s good escapism. It follows three different English parents as they struggle with problems with kids and marriages. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns, and each of the story lines is equally interesting. I don’t think eighteen year old girls are exactly the intended audience, but I’m enjoying it a lot. The only minor issue with the book is that the author uses the same techniques to build suspense over and over, so the book is easy to see through. However, I wasn’t looking for good literature when I bought it. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m an anglophile, but I think English trashy fiction is superior to American trashy fiction.

I might move on to something of literary value after I’m done. I’ve read 501 pages out of 531… so I think I’ll post this and finish it!

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