The Charco Blog

Dave’s blog: What a weekend that was!

In his second blog, Dave Little tells us about his experience as a festival goer, and gives us his tips for having the best time possible.

Well, I survived!  Four nights in a tent at a music festival in the Lake District- what could be difficult? When you are a person with Parkinson’s, there are some unique challenges that can present themselves… Shall I tell you about them?

Air beds are the standard piece of camping equipment everyone seems to use. You pump them full of air, and they are fairly comfortable for a period of time… then they leak! The only way I can describe it is that it is like being eaten by a caterpillar. Every morning is the same: it goes really soft, and you end up being drawn into the middle of the bed. Not comfortable. It also makes it ‘interesting’ if, like me, you wake up in the middle of the night and need the toilet…

Toilets? Now there’s something you should never have to experience. ‘Festival toilets’ are probably the most toxic environment known to man. Perhaps luckily, my Parkinson’s symptoms include a poor sense of smell, which can be a blessing! Everything else can cause discomfort and minor niggles, but all in all we had a great experience. The CUE1 I was wearing lasted a whopping 3 days before it needed a charge; luckily I was able to charge it up in the access camping tent, which saved my portable battery packs for use by everyone else. I used it when I felt I needed it to keep me moving, among the masses of people present at the festival. 

Just a quick tip… whenever you book tickets for anything, don’t forget to look if there are any concessions for ‘ambulant disabled’ people, as well as ‘disabled’. It can save you a fair bit of cash. My wife always gets a FREE PA ticket for the festival and we get the Access Camping area to use (you can park your car in the same place as your tent)! You also get access to the cleanest toilets on the site and a seat for you and your PA on the viewing platform at the back, with what are probably the best views.

The moral of this story, I suppose, is ‘don’t believe you can’t still do things you enjoy’ . Parkinsons doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying the things you love doing . Do them anyway, even if you find you need to adjust things slightly. Nothing needs to be undoable.

Tickets for next year’s festival go on sale tomorrow… are we going?

What do you think?

P.S. – We managed to see Stereophonics, Bastille, Supergrass, Hacienda Classical, The Kooks, The Wombats, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Heather Small (lead singer from M-People), Gabrielle, Tom Grennan, Scouting for Girls, Bill Bailey…and Craig David, and The Vaccines… can’t wait until next year! Are you coming?