Monday, 31 May 2010
Friday, 28 May 2010
But unless you’re blessed with blagging skills good enough to get you out of a dissertation, they’ll be living it up backstage and you’ll be pulling on your best wellies and wading into mudslide land.
So, avoid becoming the next “Poo Girl” of Leeds, who wedged herself headfirst down a toilet and was hosed down by fire-fighters. Live it up as a festival pro.image: smashthirteen (email@example.com)
Pitch up early and choose your territory carefully. Otherwise you’ll find yourself on a saturated slope, by a heavily trafficked path, two feet from the toilets and by some overexcited fourteen-year-olds who will vomit White Lightning over your tent.
Learn to put up a tent before you arrive. Alternatively, learn to charm someone into helping.
Don’t build a campfire unless you know what you’re doing. They’ll be enough friendly people around who’ll lend you theirs.
Make friends with your neighbours. If necessary, bribe them with cigarettes, beer or biscuits. Be considerate: they might want some sleep, even if you don’t. And clear up your rubbish.
Remember where your tent is. Look for the campsite colour and number. Mark your tent. Leave a breadcrumb trail. Use GPS tracking. Just make sure you can get back. Not everyone will appreciate a new tent buddy when you’re lost and cold at 4 a.m.
If bringing valuables is totally unavoidable, hide them in deep pockets with zips, not in your tent. And split up your cash; it’s better to lose ten quid than fifty.
Check out bands you’ve never heard of. Chances are, their gigs will cost you £20 in a few months. And don’t be afraid to brave an act alone. There’re always plenty of other people to talk to.
Always arrange a meeting point and don’t rely on mobiles. Reception can be poor, batteries die, people steal and remember; it’s going to be pretty loud. Just allow plenty of time to move between stages.
Even if you’re the most enthusiastic of moshers, it might be different with thousands of other people. In crowds that big, people get claustrophobic, trapped or injured, so look out for each other.
If you’ve ever been kicked in the head by a crowd surfer, you’ll know how irritating it is. You’ll probably lose everything, including your friends. You’ll get hurt. And you’ll certainly piss off security.
Waterproof boots or wellies are essential and prevent broken toes when moshing. Although your feet will be dry, they’ll also be cold, so wear thick socks. Flipflops are perfect for wandering the campsite.
Remember it’s going to be hot, cold, wet, muddy and windy. Possibly all at the same time. Leather makes you sweaty and jeans take forever to dry. Layer it up and keep it practical. Jumpers, yes, moose antlers, no. If you’re feeling particularly organised, bring some clean clothes to wear home.
You’re probably going to smell. That’s fine: so will everyone. Festivals were never meant to be a beauty contest. Hats are a good way of hiding a bad hair weekend.
Most men duck in and out of the shower in the time it takes a woman to open a bottle of shampoo, so, girls: If you wangle a shower, remember the 50 people waiting would quite like one too. This isn’t the time for a deep conditioning treatment.
Festivals have moved beyond burgers and deep fat fryer reliance. You’ll find an abundance of world food stalls and even the occasional salad. However, for a fiver a go, bring some provisions, save the dirty kebab run for the end of the night and replace your pounds with pints instead.
Supplies should have the endurance of food in a shared kitchen. Take food that can be squashed and doesn’t require cooking: bread, fruit cake or anything with good stodge. Nuts, dried fruit, breakfast bars and apples make great snacks. Choose Pringles, not Doritos. Plastic cheese will probably survive, but does taste of plastic. For emergencies, throw in some cans of baked beans. Don’t bring anything that spoils, like meat or cheese. Food poisoning and Portaloos? Not a great combination.
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Remember you’ll be jumping around and drinking enough alcohol to fill a small swimming pool.
You can’t take glass bottles, so filter your spirit of choice into a plastic one. Unless you’ve got a fridge strapped to your back, beer will be warm. Cold beer is always available to buy, but it’s shockingly expensive. But if you collect enough plastic cups, they’ll sometimes give you a free one.
See those cute looking dogs at the campsite entrance? They won’t be so cute when they’re barking because your meow meow is attracting their attention. Festivals operate a strict no drugs policy and security are more than happy to hand you over to the police.
Even if you make it through, tripping with 177,000 other people about will never be pleasant. And you don’t want to miss The Libertines’ reunion because you were too busy looking at “the pretty colours”.
The aftermath is similar to freshers’ flu, so treat it as such. Shower, rehydrate, take vitamins, sleep and avoid alcohol. The ringing in your ears should soon disappear.
Avoid doing important over the next few days, particularly family weddings or long bus journeys. The pain just isn’t worth it.
Most problems can be dealt by welfare, medical or security teams; that’s what they’re there for, so never panic. Before you know it, you’ll be the one leading chants and saving people from mud baths. So most of all, enjoy.
bin bags: for rubbish, waterproofing, emergency footwear, separating dirty wet clothes from dirty dry clothes and dressing up.
gaffer tape: bring it and you won’t need it. Don’t, and trust me, you will.
string: for emergency shoe laces and guy ropes.
torch: with working batteries. Because falling over a tent really hurts.
lighter: will make you instant friends.
sleeping mat: So annoying to carry. So much better than sleeping on the ground.
a plastic cup and a spoon: for cocktails and cold baked beans. Not together.
sarong: to lie on, under, as a towel and to wipe condensation from your tent so it doesn’t drip on your face.
wet wipes: your best friends. Will save your life.
toilet paper: fairly self-explanatory.
talcum powder: takes the grease out of your hair. And cleans your hands.
hand sanitizer: thousands of people using those toilets? That's a lot of bacteria.
chewing gum: because you’ve probably forgotten your toothbrush.
fizzy vitamin c tablets: a carb and alcohol rich diet will only get you so far.
paracetamol: hangovers and loud music hurts.
red bull: more effective than coffee.
condoms: because all you want to bring back are memories.
poncho: not the coolest clothing item in the world. Better than resembling a drowned rat.
sun cream: mosh pits and sunburn are not a good combination.
sunglasses: for the journey home. Or to hide your mosh pit black eye.
backpack: not a suitcase on wheels. Do we really need the mud talk again?