So, there I was, stuck in the kids area for hours on end, formulating a plan. I elbowed about 1000 crying children out of the way, and showed the facepainters a photo of a t-shirt that I'd taken around the field, and explained that to get the proper effect, you needed blue and purple rather than just blue (the proper effect is here but they haven't sold t-shirts with that exact design for years and I didn't see anyone wearing one this year). I think he did a pretty good job, don't you? The number of people who said 'are you going to wear it to work tomorrow?', who clearly don't understand what happens when you sleep in facepaint.
The festival as a whole? Great in every Oyster-related respect (great two-hour set on Friday night, including 'Early Days of a Better Nation' whoo hoo!, and a splendid ceilidh with original band member Ian Kearey and with Gordon Potts calling), with some very good music otherwise too (Bellowhead, though every festival has them this year, and The Handsome Family, LAU, and McDermott's Two Hours, who are also in that sort of 'stuff that oysterfans quite like' space. Most irritated to miss the Blockheads, who were on opposite Oysters, and not at all irritated to miss Steve Earle or his wife). But either the site or the promoter appears to have got it into their head that the Oysterband are optional for this festival. Given that every third person appeared to be wearing an Oysterband t-shirt, I think they might be missing the point.
Weirdest thing about the festival; the main stage at The Big Session is indoors. But this year, the second stage was a huge opaque tent; so it too felt like going into a dark interior show. Festivals are a great way to sit in the sunshine with a beer listening to music; nearly impossible this year.