Ahh, it’s coming to that time of year again—the festival season.
Ahh, it’s coming to that time of year again—the festival season. With literally hundreds of music festivals coming to Britain this summer of all sizes and genres, there really is one out there for everyone. In fact, festival going is almost an essential right of passage these days for young people.
But are they worth the hype? Will you really spend your days merrily drinking in the sunshine and your nights getting up close and personal with your favourite bands? Or will you have a freezing, wet, uncomfortable weekend of no sleep and unsanitary conditions? Trust me, odds are it will be the latter. So here’s a guide for all you newbies about what to really expect.
You WILL look minging.
Every girl envisions herself to look like a boho princess at a festival, with natural beauty emulating from her every pore. Don’t get your hopes up. Yes, there will be the odd denizen of nature who will saunter past you with her immaculate wavy hair and Daisy Duke behind but in reality everyone will look like they haven’t showered in a few days—because they haven’t.
My advice, ladies, is to invest in a lasting liquid eyeliner, a good concealer, tinted moisturizer, gallons of dry shampoo and a pretty floral headband to try and salvage the wreckage that will be you after three dirty, drunken, sleepless nights.
Clothes-wise, don’t plan for anything too spectacular. Chances are it will be cold and/or wet so your lovely little shorts and cropped top will be hidden under a big cagoule or your favourite jeans and designer t-shirt will get covered in mud. Even if the weather forecast is looking bright, a waterproof jacket is essential.
But not too light. This is where some guys trip up. Seriously lads, if you’re hoping to take girls back to your tent, PLEASE pack a different pair of boxers for each day! And a change of jeans is also essential in case the weather gets really bad and you’re soaked through.
Conversely, there is nothing worse than having to trek for what feels like miles to your campsite under a bag that weighs as much as you do. After I had to be virtually towed up the big hill at Rockness with all my stuff last year, I regret nothing more than bringing too much. A way to improve this is to be savvy with your alcohol choices: crates of beer and cider will obviously weigh much more than pouches of spirits.
Expect to get filthy.
You can never go wrong with baby-wipes…and hand sanitiser is a must. A little warning: however bad you expect the porta loos to be, they will probably be worse. First thing in the morning is often the best time to use them as they normally get cleaned around this time. The porta loos in the arena will be the worst; if you can hold until you get back to the campsite, I would do so.
You should also anticipate serious queues for toilets and, if there is any, the showers. One of the best ideas my friend ever had was to bring a pee bucket with her. That way, once the alcohol was flowing and we all needed to go every twenty minutes, we could take the pee bucket into our tent before emptying it outside. It sounds gross but this tip is an absolute lifesaver.
The crowds will be HEEEUUUGE.
Obviously, the bigger the festival, the bigger the crowds are likely to be. This means that for the headline acts, you’ll be lucky to get close to the front. If you do manage to wedge your way forward, expect a serious lack of space and oppressive heat. People will stand on you, faint, throw cups of pee over your head and get way too close with their cigarettes but these can be small prices to pay in exchange for getting right up close to your favourite artists.
Always keep a track on your money and belongings. It is wise to leave your iPhone, favourite scent and designer sunnies at home and instead take things you won’t miss, just in case you are robbed. Most importantly, look out for your friends. As long as you’re there for each other, the weekend should go without a hitch.
Suck it up and enjoy yourself.
I hope I’ve not put you off. If you can handle the weather, dirt and crowds, festivals can be one of the best experiences of your life. Expect the unexpected and go with the flow: this is the recipe to making the weekend a success.