At the ripe old ages of 33 and 29, it’s fair to say our days of late night raves and partying until dawn are far behind us. As a married couple, our idea of great night is usually a good bottle of red, a Marks and Spencer Dine In (with extra pudding) and a few hours binge watching the latest drama on Netflix. That is not to say we didn’t enjoy the days of our respective misspent youth, in which drinking games, week long benders, memory loss, shame and embarrassment featured heavily in our social lives. But as self-identifying OWL’s (older, wiser lesbians), we like to think we don’t need alcohol induced mayhem to have a good time. Or so we thought until we went to L Beach!
We discussed the festival thoroughly before leaving the UK. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but we definitely didn’t want to go out partying every night. The festival had some great day time events we could go to, which didn’t rely on alcohol, they were workshops, sports sessions and films we could watch. There were some amazing live music acts that we wanted to see but that didn’t mean we had to get drunk every night. As a mature and sensible adult couple we could make good choices, couldn’t we?
Apparently we could not. When we arrived at the L Beach resort at Weissenhauser Strand we were given a goody bag, a press pass and the key to our apartment. Once we got settled in our very comfortable accommodation we looked inside our goody bag to find a small bottle of Baileys accompanied by all sorts of leaflets, post cards and brochures advertising LGBT events to the largely German audience. At this point we should disclose that Sian speaks no German at all and Emily has a basic knowledge acquired in her GCSE’s. Which essentially means we can say hello, ask you out to the disco, order a drink and tell you one of us has a brother that is 12. We are very embarrassed by our poor foreign language skills and wish we could understand and communicate better, especially when other nationalities speak English so well. Anyway, back to the goody bag; with no one else to blame except for us and our terrible understanding of German, we quickly realised the only thing we could make use of was the alcohol. We downed our Baileys and headed out to explore the start of the festival.
The first evening at L Beach was quite intimate, with most people not arriving until the following day. Our program told us we could either go speed dating or head to the bar for opening night Karaoke; one of life’s great levellers. No matter who you are, where you’re from or how much you’ve had to drink, karaoke is always watched with a mixture of distain, pity, jealously and downright admiration. With our singing being as bad as our German, we decided to ease ourselves into the party with a few drinks. As is always the case with Karaoke, the more we drank, the better the singing got. We also found that our understanding of the language and ability to talk with people greatly improved which each drink we consumed. The exception to this being a confusing conversation about beer, in which we thought we ordered a light coloured beer, instead we were given two very large schwartzbeirs. Being far too English to explain the mistake, we decided the only option was to drink the tar coloured brew and hope for the best.
That evening we saw some great live music and met some fantastic women from across Europe. As the news came in about the untimely death of pop legend Prince, we made a subconscious decision to drink, dance and party like it was 1999. Ok, maybe more like 2007, but you get the idea.
The day time program at L Beach looked great. We managed to haul our hung over selves to watch one of the English films that was being shown in the cinema. As well as films, festival goers had the opportunity to take part in art and craft workshops, martial arts, wake boarding and all sorts of other activities. Of course when you drink like we did, your main daytime activity is sleeping, eating and trying not to dry heave. Luckily the resort had a shop with a bakery that sold everything our hangovers desired. After a day of carb-loading, we were ready to party again. Like in our university days, we decided to buy some alcohol and have a few drinks before leaving the apartment. Half way through a six pack of fruit cider we spotted our mistake. We were pre-drinking alcohol free drinks. This mistake couldn’t even be put down to our poor German, 0.00% is the same in any language. Feeling embarrassed, but unusually hydrated, we headed out to party.
Another crazy night, followed by a hangover spent in the resort’s impressive swimming pool, brought us to the final night of the festival. We had a train to catch early the following morning so we planned to have a few drinks, watch the live acts and head home after the Peaches show. But remember that press pass we told you about? That pass gave us access to the front of every live show in order to take pictures. As a result of that pass, we were able to watch the entire Peaches show from the front of the stage. The atmosphere at the gig was electric and we left in a state of euphoria, forgetting all about our early night and the following morning. We joined in the buzz around the red carpet and got to meet Peaches herself. Again we met some fantastic women and ended up partying all night long. We finally got back to our apartment at 5.30 for three hours sleep. Most of the last night, leaving L Beach and the train back to Hamburg is all a bit of a blur for us. Hungover, destroyed and defeated we took refuge in our hotel room to recover from the festival.
L Beach was such a great experience, we loved the people we met, the acts we saw and the whole vibe of the festival. For us it was a great way to socialise with European women and relive our party days. It really didn’t matter that we couldn’t speak much German, the L Beach festival goers welcomed us with open arms and we loved every minute of it. Whilst we may be secure in our status as OWL’s, we know it’s important to spread our wings sometimes and live a little. Wandering Wino’s strike again. Now, where is that M&S Dine In?