I went to Glastonbury pretty unprepared. When you speak to people who have been to Glastonbury, a glazed over look comes across their face and they will talk for so long without making any real point at all. I am a bit too practical and so I wish to offer a few tips on what happened whilst there, what I observed and how I prepared.
My top ten not so alternative or cool tips to festivals
1. Take appropriate clothing – Are you really dedicated enough to looking cool that you will wear something so wholly inappropriate but fashionable that you will end up hiding in portaloo’s to escape the rain? They smell you know, it lingers and it will help you get laid as much as looking like a rat who stayed aboard the Titanic will.
I took: A hoodie, four t-shirts, a pair of trousers, pair of jeans, pair of shorts, six pairs of boxers, six pairs of socks and a waterproof coat.
2. Take appropriate camping gear – I took a blow up mattress to Glastonbury and it saved me from inevitable back pain and sleepless nights. I did however forget to take a pillow and paid dear for it. It may be a pain in the arse carrying camping equipment but it is an even bigger pain in the arse having a pain in the arse.
I took: A pop-up tent, a blow up mattress, a sleeping bag.
3. Be honest with yourself – If you know you don’t like something, don’t do it. I am not a huge fan of dance/nightclub music and as such, I didn’t attend any of the light night venues which played that type of music. It did mean that some nights me and my friends separated but we all had a good time in our own ways. There is so much to do at festivals and in particular at Glastonbury, that I genuinely believe the cliché, that there is something for everyone. To extend on this point though, you don’t have to do anything you don’t agree with. I don’t do drugs and as such, I didn’t partake. Get into the spirit but don’t compromise what you believe or you’ll not enjoy the festival.
4. Take an appropriate amount of money – I took some alcohol with me to try and save money over the weekend and although good in theory, you are out of your tent for so long in a day that you will have little desire to carry it around and your tent is often too far away to bother going back for it. I took about three cans of cider out with me and a few cereal bars to have a nibble on and then bought alcohol and food as required. Glastonbury was relatively well priced and living in London, I even found it cheap in some areas.
I took: 12 cans of cider, 8 cans of whiskey/coke, £40 in cash and my debit card of which I withdrew £200.
5. If you want to see a band, see them – You will always regret not seeing someone you want to see no matter how popular and ‘uncool’ they may be. It’s great to go off and watch unknown acts but if you really want to see someone, even if they are on the main stage, then see them.
6. Leave your inhibitions at the door – Whatever they are, leave them behind. People really don’t care what you look like, what clothes you are wearing or anything like that. They care that you’re a genuine, honest, fun and friendly person. Unfortunately nothing else will do! I guarantee that if you are all of the four mentioned above, you will make friends and stretch yourself beyond what you ever thought you could do and come home a happier and more rounded person for it.
7. Look after your possessions – I took a bum bag…not cool (see point 6) but it made me feel safe and therefore more relaxed and comfortable. I had my wallet, phone, camera and notepad in there and I was more than happy. Most other things you can replace at the festival but it would be very difficult to access cash or a phone without your cards.
8. Live for the moment – You will have so many moments where you will know that when people think of Glastonbury, they will think of that time. You will cry with the sheer joy of existence, so embrace it. Mine were as I walked across a muddy field watching Mumford and Sons in the pouring rain and laughing until I cried because I was there, I was fucking there and no one could ever take it away from me. Also, when I looked out over Glastonbury from whilst Beyonce belted out her first number, I knew that I didn’t ever want to leave. You will have your moments, live them.
9. Be kind to others – A stranger helped my girlfriend out of the mud when both of her wellies got stuck, that was very kind and in return we helped a child who got stuck in the mud and lost their wellies. We carried him to his parents and someone brought the wellies. It’s that whole what goes around comes around thing.
10. Take clothes for the way home – You won’t win any prizes for being the smelliest person on a train/coach. You certainly won’t want to be sat in soaking wet clothes as you make the long journey back to wherever you have come from. It’s not cool to not take enough clothes. It’s NOT!