Camping chairs, hummus, Prosecco: The middle-aged concert-goer's packing checklist

YOU used to go to raves with just a can of Red Stripe and a pocketful of drugs. Now you go to open-air concerts with half the contents of your house and kitchen. Here’s your packing checklist:

Camping chairs

Every member of your party needs an expensive folding chair with cup holder and padded seat, as you’re over 40 now and your back hurts if you stand up for longer than nine minutes.


Dogs mark their territory with piss; middle-aged open-air concert-goers use gazebos. Step inside the boundary of someone else’s gazebo at your peril.


If for some bizarre reason you don’t own a gazebo, you can guard your space with a blanket instead. Must roll up and be secured with Velcro straps. Will be mouldy because you forgot to dry it out after it rained when you saw ‘Lesley Garrett Sings Rave Hits of the Nineties’ last year.


Because it’s guaranteed to rain. Must be huge.


Prosecco. And cocktails in cans. And Sauvignon Blanc. And bottles of Peroni. And a can of Coke for Jeremy, who’s driving. All packed in a cool box the size of a fridge.


Had Scott of the Antarctic taken as much food on his South Pole expedition as you’re taking to see Paul Weller at Westonbirt Arboretum, he’d have easily survived. The local area will experience a serious hummus drought.


You once took so much acid at a Chemical Brothers gig that you heard colours and tasted time. Now you drop heartburn tablets, because the M&S brie on rosemary crackers was just too moreish.


Filled with tea. Because you can’t drink alcohol after 10.30pm or you’ll be hungover for the next three days.

Hand gel and toilet roll

Because even at a concert filled with people in their 40s and 50s the portaloos will be disgusting and you’re too sophisticated to piss in a hedge nowadays.

Sensible shoes

For driving home in. And dancing in. High heels and the manicured lawns of the National Heritage properties where you exclusively attend gigs nowadays don’t mix.

First aid kit

Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it, you say to yourself. By this reasoning, you also bring sunscreen, wet wipes, a cushion, your favourite wine glass and a book to read while you wait for the concert to start.

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Nan wants postcard from stag weekend

A NAN has told her grandson that she expects a nice postcard from his stag weekend in Amsterdam.

After telling his grandma that he was going to the vice capital, Stephen Gerving found himself committed to posting her an account of his pleasant activities.

Gerving said: “She wants a picture of tulips and a windmill-themed magnet to stick it to the fridge. How am I going to manage that? I’ll be off my tits for four days. Are postcards still even a thing?

“And how am I going to tell the lads mid-spliff that I need to nip off to locate a souvenir shop, find a post office and figure out how to ask for a stamp in a language I don’t speak?

“And anyway, what would I write? ‘Hi Nan, having such a good time I don’t know what day it is. Weather is lovely though have caught a chill falling in the canal. Food great, but mainly hash cakes so I’m about to throw a monumental whitey. Love, Steve x’.

“My nan’s lovely, but I don’t think she knows what goes on here, especially on stag dos.”

Margaret Gerving said: “He thinks he’s the first person to discover Amsterdam. Let’s see him try and find a postcard without a picture of a prozzie or a bifter on it. That’ll teach him to miss a weekend visit.”