Finally flagged up - flags at festivals!

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Daniel Fahey | 04 August 2009

Oh rejoice! It’s finally happened! Flags have been banned from festivals. That’s right; Reading Festival bosses have finally given the giant-poled dishcloths the push with little more noise than a swish in the air. Instead they discreetly hid the change with a, “Flags won’t be allowed in the arena. They restrict the view of people behind,” warning in a cobwebbed corner of the official website, which practically eradicates the arm-aching attention seekers from the Berkshire bash.

But why have they done it? It can’t be because it restricts views for the fans, not unless event chiefs are expecting thousands of 12 feet tall indie kids to attend this year. Surely it’s not through fears that they’ll turn on one another in some style of ‘my flag’s bigger than yours’ jousting contest. One possible explanation, offered up by our intern for the week Francis, is because of the BBC coverage. Apparently as TV cameras panned from over the sound desk area towards the main stage at Glastonbury, the view was somewhat restricted. And after the Beeb missed out on recording Rage Against The Machine at last year’s Reading (this was down to the band and their management, not the BBC) and following the constant backlash from newspapers about the amount of staff the company is sending to festivals (to give what is actually brilliant coverage), perhaps they felt they needed to get it perfect this time around.

Anyway that’s beside the point, flags are boring. If there isn’t anything funny written on them, what’s the point? To tell your mates that you were the tiresome tosspot who stood in front of the main stage all weekend? To record the television coverage to show your mum your were behaving yourself and you weren’t off your face on cheap Tescos vodka? And what happens if you want to catch some of the bands in the tents? Your not going to ask a steward to look after your flag while you quickly pop in. It’s not like leaving your bike outside while you buy some fags in the local Spar shop. Someone will nick it and no good will come of it when you confront them pleading, “that’s my flag.”

So, for me, it’s great news. But I’ll buy anybody a pint who can get a huge flag in with “Flags won’t be allowed in the arena. They restrict the view of people behind,” emblazoned on the theirs.

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