The festival season has wound down. This always makes me sad because Autumn is here and that means we have to wait through what seems like an eternity of grey skies and rain and cold until it starts up again in June.
Earlier this week I posted my review of Remix by Non Pratt and revisiting that book sent me on a trip down memory lane. So many good things, and few bad too, have happened to me at festivals. And I started off by thinking about all the weird things you hear people shouting across the campsites. It’s like a meme in RL. And then I started thinking about other ’10 things…’ lists.
So here’s the first: 10 things you’ve heard shouted across a festival campsite:
- “Back-scratcher!!!” – this often evolves into the following:
- -“Butt- scratcher!!!”
- -“Maggie Thatcher!!!”
- -“Fanny Stretcher!!!”
- “Dave! Dave! Dave!” – can anyone tell me the origins of this plz?
- “The king of the North!” – yaaas, Game of Thrones hunty!
- “WAAAAAAAAAAAAY!” – vocal mexican wave
- “Marco” with the response “Polo” – This one seems to have fallen out of favour. But I like a classic.
- “If you’re 555 then I’m” with the response “666” – this is a band specific shout out. I used Slipknot as an example.
10 things you thought about packing, but didn’t, and then wished you did when you got there:
- Wellies – we’ve all done it. Thank gosh there’s a stall that will sell them to you for extortionate prices!
- Waterproofs – as above. Seriously guys, this is the UK. It’s gonna rain!
- Sun cream – Usually when you’ve brought full wet-weather gear and your feet are literally boiling inside your wellies. Mmm.. foot soup.
- Air bed – Oh but it’s so heavy! But so worth it when the only pitch left is full of lumps and bumps.
- Toothpaste – Because we cool like Ke$ha and we can brush our teeth with whiskey, right? Wrong.
- Painkillers – I developed toothache so bad once that I was shaking because of the pain. Again, there are places that will sell you painkillers… for a jacked up price.
- Wetwipes – Ladies and gentleman, welcome to your new washing utensils. You need nothing else. A wetwipe washdown will see you right until you get home.
- Plasters – because you’ll get yourself some pretty tasty blisters.
- Small rucksack – this is maybe more for the ladies? Because sure as hell a handbag will not survive long in the pouring rain and the pushing and shoving that goes on.
- Sandwich bags – for waterproofing your phone and money.
10 things you will witness that often cannot be unseen
- Willies – Nope, not a typo. These won’t be aggressive willies. But some drunk bloke having done his business against the fencing near your tent stumbles away with his trousers by his ankles. Be neighbourly and tell him (while taking pictures ofc)
- Tent pole vault – this goes for guy ropes too. These are horrendous in the dark, and if you don’t trip over one face first into the mud, then someone else will.
- Broken bones – You’ll walk passed, wonder what all the fuss is, and then notice the poor sausage has two pieces of bone sticking out of their leg. Yikes.
- Someone weeing into a cup – Because they’ve got a good spot to see the stage and the loos are waaaaay over there…
- Flying cups of wee – I didn’t want to say ‘golden shower’ but it might as well be. Words of advice: Human shield.
- Fancy dress – This is usually fun! But there’s always someone who has to ruin it all by dressing in a morph suit… having cut out a butt flap.
- Break-ups and make-ups – One you won’t admit to like witnessing.. the other you’ll vocally protest. Which applies to which is up to you.
- Boobs – Lots and lots of boobs.
- Free hugs! – Never a bad thing. But there’s always someone who has to ruin it all by dressing in a morph suit…
- Sex or squatting in a stranger’s tent – Hopefully not YOUR tent. And by ‘squatting’ you can use your imagination.
10 of the best things about going to a festival
- The freedom – there is something weirdly liberating about it all. The campsite becomes a community, and the community is good.
- The sun – when it decides to grace you with its presence.
- Meeting like-minded people and making friends.
- Great music, on tap.
- People that dance like their alone – I love these people. I always want to join them… but would that ruin the effect?
- Fond memories and crazy stories are always in the making.
- Deep fried vegetable tempura with NOODLES – I’ve got my food vendors sussed.
- Contactless payment – Ok, this one sounds weird, but I loved the contactless payment system at Download Festival this year. It made everything much simpler.
- It’s fun! It encourages a ‘go with the flow’ attitude. But if you’re like me and you have to organise, then I suggest doing plenty of pre-festival prep. Know what you want to see and when but don’t force others to stick to YOUR plan. Go do your thing and meet back up later. Everyone will be happy.
What do you think? I tried not to be too negative, but it’s not just the positives that makes a festival so memorable. It’s that sense of having survived something as much as experienced it.