I wake up and it’s 9am, the day of Dronfest 2016, a music festival in Dronfield next to the birthplace of football, the Sheffield FC ground behind the Coach and Horses pub. I don’t have a hangover because I haven’t drunk alcohol for nearly two weeks, I scratch my head and will myself to get up and shower.
I head to Dronfest to erect a banner to promote the official afterparty at 10A High Street, the home of live music in Dronfield. I climb the scaffolding and immediately regret it as I picture myself falling over and cracking my head on the way down. I lay on the floor with my skull leaking, my eyes are lifeless and my body twitches and spasms until I finally stop and the organisers of the event look at each other worried. This doesn’t happen. I put the banner in place with cable ties then drive to Meadowhall to buy a shirt before returning to take pictures.
I turn up at Dronfest with my new shirt on, pressed cream slacks and scuffed tan brogues. I walk around the crowd of slightly pissed people and occasionally have to say hello to people, hug them, kiss them on the cheek and ask them how they are keeping. They tell me they are doing well and I tell them I’m warm and that I have to go and take pictures of things.
An unnamed source – let’s call him Dan Aspinall for the sake of anonymity – informed me that the council had reservations about the event being held the previous location again. Apparently, if they continued to hold Dronfest at The Wreck next the Dronfield Sports and Social Club it would require them to comply with so much council red tape the event would become unfeasible.
When deciding to move the event elsewhere they were recommended to speak with Heron Publications who own the Dronfield Eye amongst other local advertising rags as they help market Party In The Park (organised by the Council) by advertising it.
Despite having a charity angle Party In the Park raised a paltry £250 for charity last year. You may think this is better than nothing but when you find out that the headline act was £10k to book, it’s quite embarrassing on their behalf.
I haven’t been to Dronfest in maybe 3 years, the last time I got quite drunk and said inappropriate things to the Mayor of Dronfield. She has since forgiven me, although I don’t think she is the Mayor anymore – instead it’s a geriatric old fool with the personality of a sand bag.
It’s afternoon and the event is reaching critical mass. Everyone is more than a few drinks in and Sheffield band Liberty Ship are playing. I decide to walk around the stalls to see if I can get any free things by telling people I am a professional photographer, it does not work.
My enthusiasm wanes, and I feel tired. It’s too busy and everyone seems to be enjoying the live music, but I am not. I have retreated into a depressive funk. My appetite for fun has departed. I leave and tell myself that I might come back later, knowing full well that I won’t.
I meet friends at the Green Dragon and we go to Samad on the High Street. I have a chicken dish without thick sauce because I’m scared it might stain my white shirt which I bought earlier. We go to town to play pool. Everyone else is drinking but I’m on coke, I buy some cigarettes and head home before midnight.