(Intended to be posted when we came back; real life got in the way so forgive the odd tense)
We arrived back in Coventry from the third SFX Weekender a few hours ago, all of us tired, ever-so-slightly hungover and in need of decent edible food. Now the wristbands have been cut off, it's time to take stock of our experiences there.
We'd got a good deal on VIP tickets because we went last year, so it cost very little for the six of us to go - so Thursday evening saw us all packed off and heading Northwest up the M6 to Pontins at Prestatyn. It was mid-evening and dark when we drove onto site (fuelled only by a necessary McDonalds acquired at Services) to find ourselves confronted with a queue of ridiculous length. We'd been forewarned in advance by SFX emailing me to request that only the primary booker (yours truly) join the queue to avoid congestion, so the others went off into the Queen Vic (the onsite bar) to grab a drink whilst I queued. And queued. And queued some more.
If you're anything like me you'll find that any queuing experience is made infinitely better by it being in the freezing cold, by not being given any actual indication as to how long you'll be queuing and is then perfectly topped off by the presence of some drunk whiny emo manchild in front of you with a backpack who insists on drunkenly reversing every couple of minutes and bumping into you. Funnily enough the free gift for those queuing of a keyring bottle opener and a piece of card that made a Tardis noise when you opened it did little to raise my mood.
After around two hours (with a few visits from my friends to grab a sip of beer) we were inside the building. Warmth at last! But unfortunately the queue then proceeded to continue inside the building, doubling up on itself. Whiny Emo twat and his friends jumped the queue and went straight to the main counter to pick up their keys but in this case I was happy for them to do so, because If I'd been forced to spend another half an hour listening to his inane bleating I'd now be in prison for assault. Tara was now queuing with me and she was, if anything, even more irate than me and she'd only had to put up with the twat for about half an hour.
And all through the 2 and a half hour queuing experience I was dreading what our accommodation would be like - after the concentration camp vibe of Camber Sands at last year, I was dreading living in the same squalor again for another three nights - but as it turned out when we arrived there (after collecting our lanyards and a quick pint) it was actually half decent. This VIP lark would appear to have its benefits after all.. or so we thought.
Having unpacked we hit the pub again. An amusing end to the pub experience was Tom having a mini rant to one of the bar staff about being turfed out into the cold when she told us to take our drinks out, to only find that leaving the pub in fact put us in the screening zone - (another room in the complex) showing Halloween which also had a bar! We sat down with our drinks with a terrified Fran (who isn't mad keen on horror films) and then called it a night.
Thanks to James Stace for the Knights of Prestatyn pun