After my unfortunately nerve racking experience attending a movie alone last week, I decided to attempt a similarly anxiety ridden outing on my first Saturday in Sydney. Thanks to Facebook, I connected with a friend from my wild days in Whistler pre University, who I hadn’t seen since – which is, you know, like 11 years. He graciously invited me along with his friends to check out a DJ on Saturday afternoon in Hyde Park at the Sydney Festival First Night. As this was part of a music festival, this outing involved me showing up solo to a crowded venue, seeking out my friend and then making conversation over fairly loud music.
I tried to prepare myself as best as possible:
- Had a relaxing breakfast at home then a lazy wander through Darling Harbour
- Soaked myself in sunscreen and packed some makeup for touchups
- Wore an outfit I’m both comfortable and feel relatively attractive in
- Picked up a bottle of wine to stash in my purse (forgot to get a cup!)
- Lunched at a nearby pub, and warmed myself up with several pints of liquid gold to calm my nerves
I’m pretty sure the few beer at lunch was probably the best idea. I arrived at the park to absolute chaos, there were literally ten thousand people camped out all over this section of the park (with even more apparently in The Domain to see Manu Chao). The sheer crowd size alone would have made locating anyone difficult, let alone someone you haven’t laid eyes on in over a decade. I nervously lingered about near where I expected to find him, and thankfully he spotted me after some confusing texts (“Closer to Elizabeth under a Palm tree”, ok thanks, there are like 50 palm trees on the Elizabeth street side).
Whistler was an excellent host, introducing me around to several of his friends and ensuring my wine was both chilled and quickly consumed. He had clearly invited a ton of people so popped in and out of conversation with me to tend to other visitors. Whistler’s friends were awesome, and the awkward knots in my stomache quickly disappeared – as did my bottle of wine (consumed through cup sharing with Whistler). Hallelujah.
I eventually totted off to a ‘bottle shop’ to stock up for round two with some newly acquired friends and then made for the dance party forming in front of the DJ. Those of you who know Nancy well, will know that dancing in the daylight (did I mention I got to the park at about 3pm?) is practically unheard of behaviour – but thanks to the Beer, Wine and now Cider, I was appropriately fuelled for such activity and promptly became a dancing machine.
Sometime later in the afternoon, the DJ was joined by non other than Jay Kay from Jamiroquai! I’m having a lucky week for Celebrity spotting! For those of you that aren’t super familiar with his music, refer to the legendary dance in Napolean Dynamite – and if you haven’t seen that movie, stop right now and youtube the dance scene. Unfortunately, he wasn’t performing, just joined the DJ on his double decker bus/stage and hilariously pole danced to the music – but looked like he was having a fabulous time doing so and added some solid entertaiment. After googling quite a bit, it appears as though Jay Kay is having quite the bender here in Oz – tough life being a musician, eh?
After a few hours of dancing, drinking and poor photo taking I took a time out on the lawn and had some hazy conversations with fellow revellers. At this point, I pulled the Good Girl card I so rarely use and excused myself to retreat to the sanctity of my apartment. It may have only been about 10:30, but I figured it best to head off when I still knew exactly where ‘home’ was.
I managed to pick up a Meat Pie and an adaptor (for work, odd experience of drunken clarity – I really needed one) on my way home and spent my last waking hours bonding with my couch.
Semi-Solo trip to a Music Festival? Check.