“I lied about being the outdoor type, I’ve never owned a sleeping bag let alone a mountain bike”, as The Lemonheads once sang. I know how they felt. I am not outdoorsy and I don’t pretend to be. I don’t like camping, why would I want to sleep outside on the hard ground rather than in a comfy bed? Why would I want to feel dirty and vile when I could have a shower and straighten my hair? Some people call that vain, I call it appreciating normality. However, obviously as the summer approaches and festival season is around the corner that same question I face every year comes up once again; how do you deal with festivals when you’re not outdoorsy?
As a big music fan I love going to festivals and each year I’ll study the line-ups to see where we should try out. The second stop after that is to assess the accommodation issue. Now, believe it or not I have some friends who are far more high maintenance than me, who wouldn’t even entertain the idea of going to a festival because of the outdoorsy and potential camping issues. Some of those people are beyond help but most of us aren’t. Most of us can find a way around the issue and still enjoy a great weekend with our mates.
So what are the main things to consider?
> Avoid camping at all costs. Yes, I said it. I know it’s a festival, but those people who say “you’re not getting the full experience if you’re not camping” are talking bollocks. These are outdoorsy people who grew up going camping and probably even go hiking at the weekends for fun. Don’t be offended if that’s you, it’s fine and I’m glad you enjoy it, but I don’t so don’t preach to me.
A few years ago a group of us went to Benicassim in Spain and 1 friend opted to camp whilst the rest of us hired a villa. “Are you sure you don’t want to stay in the villa?” we asked as we were about to book. “No, because you know what, I’m not a princess”, he replied. A nice villa on the beach or a hot, sweaty tent with communal showers? Princess or not, I think we know who was winning.
There are always other options besides camping so don’t let that be what puts you off going to a festival. You can opt for a day ticket instead of a weekend (if you’re going to chaV Festival then believe me 1 day will be enough), stay off-site and find cheap local accommodation as most festival sites will run shuttle buses to the nearest town, or perhaps even look at festivals close to home where you can crawl into your own bed at the end of each day to recharge for more fun.
> Handbag essentials! Never ever ever consider entering a festival site without the following 2 items about your person; hand sanitizer and toilet roll. This is basic common sense more than anything. Festivals toilets are no joke. For some reason when at a festival people turn into savages and behave in ways they never would at home making the toilets truly grim. Save yourselves some of the mind-scarring upset by ensuring you have a personal supply of toilet roll because the chances of there being any are slim to none and the chances of someone having already pissed on the seat are high to inevitable.
> Wear sensible clothing. I hate this point because nobody likes sensible clothing, where’s the fun or fashion in that? I don’t mean head to toe waterproofs but footwear especially, just be sensible. Do not wear flip flops or little open sandals because you will get your feet trampled on, you will cry and you’ll have nobody to blame except yourself. If you wear a hat expect to get it stolen off your head. And always remember as sunny and hot as it is at 2pm by the time the headliner is on at 10pm you’ll be shivering and wishing you’d brought that jumper that you couldn’t be bothered to squeeze into your bag. For some top festival fashion why not check out the latest fashion at Bank before hitting the event – http://blog.bankfashion.co.uk/
The list could go on but I’m limited in my word count, but the lesson to be learnt is this… Music festivals are fun. They’re for everybody. And even the most high maintenance of people can put certain measures in place to ensure they can join in the fun with their mates.
Unless it rains of course. If it rains, you’re screwed.