This week’s column was supposed to be about our daughters’ experience at last weekend’s Leeds Festival.
But after four nights with a grand total of around nine hours sleep, as soon as they got home, they went straight to bed and didn’t get up until this newspaper’s deadline had been and gone.
If I’ve learned one thing about raising kids, it’s this, waking your teenage daughters when they’re sound asleep is about as dangerous as rousing your wife early from her slumber on her day off. Think angry lion on a zoo’s starve day and you wouldn’t be far off. They slept all the way home in the car and stunk like they’d been living in the trenches.
Most of the acts they saw, I’d never even heard of. Today’s headliners could turn up at our front door, introduce themselves, play their biggest hit and be met with the standard: “Not today, thank you.”
It wasn’t just daughter #2’s first festival, it was the first time she’s seen a band play live. Under normal circumstances she has no interest in pop music, despite offers in recent years of a free ticket to Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses and Prince, among others. Put it this way, her driving instructor lets his learner drivers choose the music on the car stereo as they tootle around town performing mirror, signal, manoeuvres and handbrake turns. Other kids play Stormzy and Billie Eilish. Daughter #2 picked the soundtrack to Les Miserables.
So the request of a Leeds ticket for her birthday came as a bit of a shock. Daughter #1’s been to more festivals than The Levellers so we asked her to watch out for her little sister. Apparently they met up three times, once on the way in, once on the way out and once when they bumped into each other watching Bastille. The rest of the time they were with their own mates.
Of course, on Saturday, every parent with a kid at the festival felt sick when the news broke that a 17-year-old girl had died of a suspected overdose. Word quickly spread around the site and daughter #2’s party immediately called their mums. She didn’t mention what had happened to the boss because she didn’t want to worry her.