Madness

With the benefit of hindsight I can now see that camping in Ullapool in September wasn’t the most sensible idea in the world.

There were some good points. The bands were mostly good, the beer was reasonably priced, and the food was a good notch above the usual festival crap. The campsite is in a lovely spot, sandwiched between Ullapool itself and the sea and it has proper facilities. Ullapool is small enough that everything is in easy strolling distance, so you can always head to the shops or the pub.

There were some bad points. We arrived really late (because Ullapool is miles away) and started off the weekend well by having two of our bags nicked as we were trying to set up the tents. The staff seemed shocked (shocked!) by this so it looks like this year has brought a lot more wankers out of the woodwork to travel up here. The atmosphere on the campsite wasn’t what I expected, I’d been looking forward to something more relaxed and ned-free but it didn’t really happen. Although people were pitching in to help each other put up tents it did seem that over the weekend another group of people were doing their best to unpeg them again.

Apparently there were more thefts over the weekend and there were warning signs posted on the Saturday night. I wonder if the fact that Franz Ferdinand were headlining had any effect on the dynamics of the whole thing. Security seemed pretty poor overall, particular campsite security, it’s a shame that even such a small event should need serious security coverage but it seems to be the case.

I can’t really complain about the weather, it was the windiest campsite I’ve ever stayed at but I should have expected that. It did manage to utterly destroy my tent, but the old thing had had a good life and it was probably time for it to be taken out back and shot anyway.

Am I glad I went? Well, it was an experience and you have to try these things.

Would I do it again? Well certainly not the camping, but I think it might be worth going if you can get room in a hotel or a B&B or can rent a cottage nearby. The problem is by the time you know what the lineup will be all the rooms will already be nabbed.

No pictures as I opted not to take my camera, but if you’re on Facebook you’ll be able to find some tagged to my profile.

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