Forget the hype, forget the Do’s and Don’ts on the festival website. This is all you really need to know about English festivals.
1st myth to dispel- It doesn’t always rain so you don’t have to be muddy in a dirty tent…. But it’s soo much more fun!
Leave your inhibitions at home, smuggle some rum in plastic bottles between your sleeping bags and get ready to hug complete strangers over a weekend of debauchery.
1. Tickets- Festivals are roughly the same time each year so save the date and get 1st release. Failing this, hold your nerve and buy as late as possible. A ticket on the day from someone who suddenly realises they can’t go will sell for peanuts! The event’s Facebook page is the best place to look.
2. Travel- Car is by far the best. You can gather supermarket supplies, have sing alongs and generally bond beforehand. The car is also a refuge if it all gets too much, and a luxury hotel suite if you manage to hook up with a fellow dirty festival goer.
3. Tents- Don’t invest too much thought or money here, especially if you have come by train as you’ll be dead tired after the festival and packing up a dirty tent is the last thing you’ll want to do with a banging headache…. Just walk away from it (or set it on fire if you’re a knob). Tents are collected and usually sold on for charity (or so we like to assume). However… If you have a big car you can do what we call the junkyard dash! This is where you stay late and stroll the fields to pick out an abandoned expensive upgrade for use next year.
4. Location- You came for the headliners, so what about the other 68 hours?! Most of this will be spent larking about with your mates and people camped almost on top of you. These noisy neighbours will make your weekend as you’ll trade goodies and create a super-group. So bring something ridiculous to break the ice: this can be anything from a giant inflatable banana, a flag, water guns or even a multipack of Monster munch; its a sure way to add a few more people to Facebook you’ll never talk to again. So when searching for that spot on high ground and away from the toilets, keep an eye out for the already drunk lads with shirts off and shoddy tents as this will indicate fun times ahead!
5. The Essentials
– Wet wipes for “showers”
– Toothbrush and chewing gum
– Water container
– Plenty booze
– Money for food and party favors
*The real festival hardcore will walk from the train station to the festival with nothing but the clothes on their back and some cash. They Will risk life and limb to get in, sleep rough and party hardest!
Glastonbury– It’s the best for a reason. Think of a gated island under hippie rule (or lack thereof). With over 200,000 people, it’s more populated than Barbados! You can be in a skate park one minute, then stroll to the healing fields for a massage before free lunch at the Hare Krishna tent. There are spectacles everywhere, some professional like the troops of actors in costume; some not so professional like the guy sat waving at the grass and crying with laughter. At night the mood changes from family friendly to dark underworld. Head to Arcadia and I kid you not there are people riding fire breathing metal horses in the sky between the legs of a giant spider…. Mental.
Global Gathering – Rowdy because its a niche festival. Mostly dance music so everyone is after the same thing, similar ages, no children. Much stricter than glasto with police dogs on the gates and a long list of restricted items. Do not attempt to BBQ… I tried and a full scale response team came storming in to extinguish it (fascists). But the level of banter is crazy! One guy was naked the entire time and didn’t see any music.. Just stayed in the campsite and snuck into tents when girls went for showers so they were greeted to a naked man spread eagle inside upon their return. HERO!
Not the sunglasses-at-night type? That’s fine! To relax and listen to the music with grass between the toes head to One Love Festival where Saxon sound will keep the reggae and good vibes flowing. Barn on Farm is for the twee indie fans… expect to see daddy dropping the girls off in the range rover. It’s actually in a barn so super intimate.. Ed Sheehan(the ginger ninja) was literally spitting in my face.
Don’t fancy camping? Ok Baby steps..
Head to the day festivals –
LoveBox is a staple, the Friday is for the dubstep and grime heads who wanna get rowdy at the rinse arena. Saturday is more mainstream with the biggest headliner, Sunday is what we call gay-day so expect leather and sweat in the Horsemeat disco.
SW4 always good fun in the sun, let down only by the outdoor sound system being slightly too quiet when it’s windy. But head to a sweaty tent and wriggle to the front, I usually shout “security!” and watch the paranoid ocean part in fear..
Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with choice of festival so don’t stress the lineup too much and just buy tickets to the most convenient and get RoWdy!
Don’t even know where to start? here are some that come to my blurry memory:
Bestival (My mum wants to go…)
Isle of Wight (On an island)
Creamfields (Top lineup… Can flood)
Reading Festival (teens running riot)
Leeds Festival (Northeners)
Eastern electrics (Do it!)
Download Festival (long hair and mosh pits… mmmmmmetal)
V Festival (Pop. No rowdyness. Everyone in bed by 12..)