But despite the ingenuity displayed by a shoey, the vulgarity of it as a drinking ritual has seen it evolve and transform this side of the world. Normally accompanied by general hollering and whooping, it’s a sight to behold to see a sea of shoes pumping skywards. It’s a scene of pure euphoria and, let’s face it, spur of the moment stupidness. But the idea that you would take your shoe off, potentially soaking your socks through with mud all in the name of a laugh is exactly the kind of IDGAF mindset you want to achieve at a festival. It’s an act that tells the artist, “this is so good, I will gladly risk trench foot for it”. A gesture that shows you’re at ease with the musty stank of your new neighbour’s boot.
The earliest sign of a good shoeing (née shoey) doing the rounds on the internet was in June when a damp crowd lost their shit to the stylings of Australia’s Harvey Sutherland And The Bermuda Festival at Gottwood in Wales. The video was only four seconds long but an instant highlight, capturing the inebriated eco-system only the best festivals cultivate. We don’t know if it was started by someone who had just done a shoey or was confused as to what a shoey was. We don’t know if the person who started it was Australian. What we do know is that it was exactly what the summer festival circuit was missing.
Naturally we saw the practice again at Glastonbury, the world’s biggest breeding ground for levels of silliness. Over at Peggy Gou’s set a new wrinkle was added, with punters chanting the truly delightful play on words ‘Peggy Shoe’ at the same time. As documented on Gou’s Instagram, it was fun, it was irreverent and it was life-affirming because it didn’t matter how fucked up you were, you could just thrust some footwear into the sky and be a part of this thing. You didn’t even have to drop a fiver on a plastic inflatable animal that would only get used once before discarding into one of the world’s never-ending landfills. A shoeing is so Glasto, my dudes.