‘Uchaperoned, Unexpected and Unknown to My Parents’: Guardian Readers Share Teenage Festival Stories | Guardian readers

This week-long teenagers in Australia learned they would need a chaperone to attend one of the country’s biggest music festivals, Splendor in the Grass, after the festival changed its terms and conditions of admission less than two weeks after the event.

Guardian Australia staff shared their own stories of being watched (or not) at music festivals, and we asked readers to share with us their own moments of teen festival frivolity.

Ben_Mc said he hadbest weekend of my life “at Glastonbury 2005, completely unsupervised, shortly after completing his GCSEs.

Never before or since have I had such a mixture of euphoria and a sense of the whole world in front of me. The highlight was dancing in the moshpit to Primal Scream and tossing around with all the hay that had been laid down to soak up the mud. We all behaved much better as a 16-year-old than later in our 20s. Said no to drugs and it was not until two years later that I tried my first cigarette. It really makes me sad that this experience is being denied to teenagers today.

S_Bee_ not only attended a festival alone as a teenager, she went backstage on her own!

Baby Animals were on tour with their debut album and I was desperate to go! A friend from school felt the same, and the best part was that her mother worked for Ticketek and usually at the box office at Thebarton Theater. [in South Australia], so not only did we get left unattended (for the most part), but we were locked in before the doors opened, so we were front and center for the entire show. This is where my love for moshpits began!

WordChazerThe second concert (to see Jean-Michel Jarre in London in 1988) was his most memorable. It’s something of a tale:

My dad and I were going to the original date (September 24th), so it was canceled and moved to October 7th and 8th. I had just finished fresher week at a northern uni, but my new boyfriend and I played hooky and traveled down to the coach for Saturday night. We stayed in a YHA Friday night and then planned to travel back on the overnight bus the Saturday after the concert. During the day it was cold, wet and windy. I had £ 10 in my wallet and had left my credit card in my room back at uni. But we were there. And it was just as mind-boggling as I thought it would be. After the concert, thousands of people crowded together on the tube, and police instructed people to board the next train, no matter where it was going. So we ended up going the wrong way around the Circle line, which cost us time we didn’t have.

When we arrived at Victoria station (days before Coach Station) we found out that we had missed our coach due to the delays in getting out of the event. We sat down with several others who had suffered the same fate and slept in shifts on the floor of Victoria Station, and were awakened by the transport police at. 06.00. At the time, I had a raging cold and earache, no pain medication and very little money left. We eventually managed to get booked on a return carriage so we could sleep all the way north.

I’ve been to many concerts since, and some of them have been epic, but one tops it all for the adventure. Uchaperoned, unexpected and unknown to my parents until afterwards.

Pilipilihoho describes himself as a “rebellious and difficult eldest child” who grew up in a household where adults behaved like children and thought he was an “adult” before his teens.

I was often left in charge of my younger siblings, and also often had the last word when I had to divorce and soothe the same struggling parents. I also got used to demanding my own way – after all, the parents were distracted by the struggles, and I also assume that they may have felt some guilt over the childish behavior and emotional harm they inflicted on me. But both parents, and especially my father, lost authority with me, and as a 15-year-old I lobbied hard to be allowed to go to the Reading rock festival alone. In the end, they agreed.

I was dropped off outside the festival and went in all alone. It was a hot sunny day in 1979, I walked in behind a woman with the longest, most beautiful blonde hair I had ever seen. As I walked past her and looked back, I realized it was a motorcyclist with a beard to his knees to match. I almost missed seeing Dammed as my first band, but they were ‘bottled’, and instead I saw a band called Purple Hearts. I was unlucky with Damned, I did not get to see them for another 20 years. The first festival I stood at the front barrier all day every day and saw almost all the bands. I remember seeing Patti Smith and thinking she seemed pretty small, shockingly enough I can not remember the other main names.

Although he was without a chaperone, pillipilihoho do not know if he could do the same to his own children.

Every night at midnight, my visibly anxious parents met me at Caversham Bridge and drove me over an hour home and then back the next day. My ears still have not stopped ringing. And with each of my kids when they were 15, I could not imagine letting them come in alone at a festival. Who would ever let their 15-year-old daughter go to the Reading Rock Festival alone?

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