How to: Survive a festival


I’m sure you’ve read every tedious festival survival guide, reminding you to pack water-proofs, sun-cream and some sort of mosquito repellent. However, as I learnt at Leeds festival back in 2011, such guides do not prepare you for the horrendous reality that can occur when combining mud, hangovers and sweaty crowds. I’ve experienced possibly every awkward situation that could occur at a festival, from getting thrown into a mosh pit fully-clothed and somehow escaping topless, to being hit by a can of what I really hope was just warm beer. Therefore I, the self-professed Bear Grylls of festivals, have collated a list which goes beyond the blatancy of water-proofs and helps you avoid any risk of a traumatising weekend.

1. Know your limits

No I am not referring to alcohol consumption, I’m referencing crowd location – where you stand in relation to the stage should correlate with your body size. Obviously if you’re small and brittle, do not attempt to get anywhere near the front of the crowd unless you want to lose a limb. It can get surprisingly violent out there, only if you’re built like a tank should you venture near the stage. Petite people – embrace being at the back and get on someone’s shoulders when you inevitably can’t see a thing.

2. Wellies

You’d think this would be one of the necessities that didn’t need mentioning, however there’s always that one person who deems themselves too hipster for appropriate footwear and thus instantaneously loses a shoe to the mud. Don’t be the person that has to walk around one-shoed for the weekend. No one is too cool for wellies. In fact, the more practical the clothing – the better, I even don the headlights that are only seen on cartoon moles.

3.  Don’t take a phone

Although this is probably going to be the most disregarded suggestion, taking your phone to a festival rarely ends well. If it doesn’t get lost or broken, you will waste the entire weekend documenting every single event. I understand how difficult it is dragging yourself away from the addiction that is social media, but Facebook does not need another blurry photo of an indecipherable band playing miles away.

4. Know your limits.

Now I am referring to alcohol consumption. The only thing worse than waking up to vomit in your house? Waking up to vomit in your 2 man tent. Yes, it’s pretty tempting to catch up with your drunken friends and join in with the festivities by downing any alcoholic beverage flung your way. But remember to pace yourself; the last thing you need while nursing the hangover headache is loud music. You have all weekend to drunkenly embarrass yourself.

5. Don’t try and see everything

Undoubtedly you’ll want to enjoy the whole festival experience and be able to boast about the numerous amount of bands you’ve seen, but you will probably be exhausted. Get some sleep and prioritise what you want to see. Maybe start by eliminating the bands you aren’t familiar with, it’s really awkward when someone catches you singing the wrong words to a song.

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