It was a hot and humid Queensland summer day and the date had finally ticked over far enough. It was the day where I’d get to use the ticket that I’d been holding for three months: Big Day Out. Spirits were high… well, as high as they get. I was looking forward to the line-up as it was probably the most solid in several years. As such, I was looking forward to getting there at a brisk pace.
This is where my first, and arguably most critical mistake was made – the decision to drive to the Gold Coast Parklands for yet another year. Now, when idiots aren’t all over the roads, I generally enjoy driving. But I swore after the events of the previous year that I would never drive to a festival ever again (that’s a story in and of itself).
This time though, I was going to the event with a different crowd and why the hell not. We all kind of wanted to see the same acts so it all worked out pretty well. Now let’s talk the car journey some more. One of the two people with me, let’s call her “Krystal” for all intents and purposes, was pretty much an anchor right from the start. Being the nice person I consider myself to be occasionally, I was not only going with these two people, but offering them a lift as well. And I was alright with that.
What a mistake that ended up being. From the second I rolled up to Krystal’s house, the nightmare began. Here I am in Brisbane, at 10.30am (which was the scheduled departure time – I actually arrived at 10am) with my shit together because I’m always organised – money, water, clothing for the day – waiting. Waiting for her to pack a bag full of shit. Waiting for her to put her face on or whatever.
11am finally rolls around and I’m getting antsy. I knew the traffic would be awful at least in the immediate vicinity of the event so I wanted to get a move on so I wouldn’t miss too many acts.
So we finally get in my car around 11.05am; festival well and truly underway already, and we’re still in Brisbane. And there she is. Running back to the house for more shit, over and over again. I was getting extremely impatient. I’d paid $150 for a ticket, of course I wanted to go! So 11.15am rolls around and we set off. “Finally!”, I think to myself.
Stop time total: 5 minutes.
Stop time total: 10 minutes (I don’t know what they were doing in there, needless to say the tension between my shoulders was growing exponentially by this point).
(Rolling) Stop Three
Traffic – Yes that’s right, some inconsiderate asshole had managed to crash not even half way out of Brisbane, with the requisite 5km traffic jam. By this time it’s midday and I’m watching the seconds race forward on my watch.
Time added to trip: 15 minutes.
Money – Krystal decides that, even though there were several other obvious and easier opportunities to get money out, and even previous days where she could have gotten money out prior to the event, that she needed to stop right at the Parklands service station and get money out.
Stop time total – 10 minutes. With the tension in my back area growing by the second, Krystal and Sally decided to piss fart around the service station for what felt like ten years, stuffing around getting a permanent marker to draw on each others clothing.
The Hotel – Just so that everyone knows, The Vibes is an awful hotel with no parking and tiny rooms. Never stay there. Given that, here’s another small story – the room that was meant to fit six of us, contained two single beds joined together. Yes you read that correctly. So here I am, having driven to the Gold Coast, expecting it to be a one way trip for at least the night, turned into small problem of its own. Do I sleep, waking up every five minutes on the floor of this shitty hotel room, worrying about my car being sideswiped in the double parked car park, or do I just drive back to Brisbane having not slept and being on my feet all day? This decision I made later.
Stop time total: 20 minutes.
(Rolling) Stop Six
Couldn’t find a park/Wrong turn – Yes that’s right, while the two lovely women that I’d chosen to spend my $150 ticket day with were busy drunk and writing on each others shit in the back of the car, I was lost. There I am asking for directions to get back to the Parklands, getting mixed up lefts and rights from dickhead in the back, my stress level was reaching critical mass.
I wasn’t even there yet, it was past 1pm and I was already ready to headbutt the two people I had the unfortunate pleasure of being with that day.
I don’t know about you guys, but if you’ve ever been stuck in a car with two people that are drunk and stuffing around, laughing at each others assholery, you’d be able to envision how white my knuckles were, grasping the steering wheel of my car.
Time added to trip: 15 minutes. Years removed from life: 5.
The parking spot, almost the same as last year – Awesome, I had to park an entire kilometre away again. But that’s okay, I’m a young person in relatively okay shape to walk long distances. Then there were the girls. It was 1.30pm by this stage. My hand was shaking, I was so stressed by being constantly revved up by dickheads in the back of my very own vehicle, driving to an event I’d been looking forward to for some time.
The girls, still stuffing around, even on the walk to the festival added yet more time to the arrival.
Time added to trip: 15 minutes.
I was ready. Ready not only to maim and kill the people that were with me and find a discrete burial spot, but also ready to relax and take in the events of the day. And that I did.
Thankfully, all the acts were top notch and awesome. Fully worth the price of admission. After catching up with some more mates along the way, and having generally just had a pretty good day (after I got there). It was time to go back to the hotel room. As soon as I saw the room I’d made my decision to go later that night/morning. The god damn balcony was bigger than the room, and we were expecting to fit six people? Give me a break. After putting up with the girls I was out of there.
Fortunately the drive home was smooth at 2am and at 140km/hr. Except for the raging electrical storm over Logan where, as it turns out, there’s no reflectors on the highway so you can’t see what lane you’re in when it’s raining (that’s what our registration fees pay for ladies and gentlemen).
I’d had an amazing day of ups and downs, ready to do it all again next year. But fuck all of you, I’m never driving again.