We finally reached September, and after a morning hospital appointment with Mum headed down (only 3 hours, record) to Cranborne Chase, where Mrs RM deposited me at a field, near Wiltshire, like in the Pulp song (no drugs).
Yes, End of the Road on my own, with only Baa Baa Toure for company. I’d booked my ticket in 2019, confident that Mrs RM would be on her world tour of Asian micropubs in September 2020, and hadn’t bothered getting a second ticket for a human. Or the campervan.
Good job Baa Baa is an expert at pop-up tents.
The weather wasn’t just perfect, it was the best of the summer. You take your chances on Cranborne Chase in September; I reckon the temperature was 10 degrees hotter than in 2015, and without a hint of rain.
Some notable differences in a post-Covid world. No Americans or Antipodeans; no Julia, no Julian, no Lucy, or their 2021 equivalent.
Poignantly, some of the art work in the garden was made out of Snail Mail, the star of 2018. Come back, Lindsey !
Still, more British acts, and that proved to be a triumph.
With Glasto cancelled, this was a last chance of summer to dress up like you’re at Woodstock. More 20-somethings, and more 60-somethings, mostly in campervans which freed up space for my tent.
With Covid certification at the gate, and a request not to leave the site, I couldn’t make my annual pilgrimage to the gastro Museum at Farnham 20 minutes walk away to complain about the Sixpenny.
2 years since the last EOTR, food prices caused a few grumbles; notably from the Sleaford Mods. And you’ve had my thoughts on beer, which I largely skipped.
Larmer Gardens looked greater than ever.
Quite a few of the famed food traders, including the Tibetan momos, were AWOL. But the liquorice, particularly the red and blue fizzy ones, never disappoints.
A GREAT year for music. I managed to see 41 artists, plus 4 comedians and a film, and this lot stood out. The photographers were weirder than Dry Cleaning.
But, to prove 2021 doesn’t have all the best tunes, here’s the one playing in the Garden on Sunday morning as the peacocks swarmed around.
It is one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard, 50 years after release, and I’ve retrospectively added it to Martin’s Marvellous Melancholy Melodies.
But really, End of the Road 2021 wasn’t melancholy, it was euphoric.