This is long overdue. Apologies for lack of updates. Note to self- blog little and often…!

This summer as festival season has descended upon us once more,  these events continue to become more and more mainstream. Something dropped into place for me though this year, indicating how I believe this works as part of a wider and stranger phenomenon. Every year, for the past half decade at least, summer festivals have become a mainstay of the Sunday supplements. Columnist well north of 30 obsess over line-ups, this years ‘hot’ festival fashions, camping essentials (not necessarily in that order) and every weekend paper feels obliged, come late May, to publish a festival pull-out. The cost of these events continues to rise, pricing out much of the youth that these events were intended for. Unless you go with your parents…

Christa d’Souza declares herself earlier this year in the Guardian as ‘ageorexic’, Madonna parties with her daughter Lourdes, and I once gatecrashed a party in Paris in 2006 where both Jade and Mick were cutting a rug until the small hours, but this is an occurrence not confined to celebrity. I have thrice this summer seen ‘tweenage’ sons skateboarding or BMXing with 30-something fathers, both dressed in baggy cargo pants or shorts, wearing short-sleeved over long-sleeved t-shirts. The celebration of the cult of youth that we have seen increase ever since the ‘creation’ of the teenager with the extension of secondary education after the second world war, as well as, in the US where it was born, a huge rise in the affluence of families and the available of consumer goods. Youth culture brought the wider world rock and roll, or punk, or goth, or any number of youth sub-cultures which the adult world has at once celebrated and reviled. But now we are faced with a situation where the mainstream is not repelled, only enthralled. New parents in their late 30s wait until their toddlers go to bed on a Friday night to get some friends round, crack out the MDMA and get mashed. They listen to the same music as 15 year-olds and can afford to go to more gigs, buy more MP3s and attend more festivals.

If youth subculture has become popular culture, what is left to the youth as their own. This youth culture that has just become culture is not the whole picture. Previously, any trend that was counter-cultural had to find outlets on the ragged edge of mainstream culture, because recording a single was expensive, running a radio station needed some serious hardware, and, technically, a license. The barrier to entry is so much less, that artists and trends need only become popular in one small group, often a highly localise geo-cultural nexus. The Hackney grime scene, at least as it was nearly a decade ago, is one such example, but again this got mainstreamed. Electro? The mash-up phenomenon? All these got mainlined into the multi-channel television, national radio, Sunday supplements. So what are the current youth trends, the genuine sub-cultures that aren’t being listened to by these kids’ parents? ( And ‘these kids’ are only the most determined, who haven’t given up in the face of the financial clout, and determination to stay young being led by their GenXer parents) I don’t know, but I give it a few weeks before I will on the front few pages of the Guardian guide…