I hate crowds. I hate the sun. I’m not even the
biggest fan of music – so why I’m sitting in the middle of a horrendously large crowd on the hottest day of the year so far waiting for musicians I’ve never heard of to get on stage, I haven’t a clue.
At some point months beforehand, I decided a festival would be a great way to celebrate the summer. I’ve never been to a ‘proper’ festival, and I wasn’t about to either, settling on a one-day pass to London’s Wireless Festival.
The event, set in London’s Olympic Park, stretches over three days and this year saw the likes of Jay Z, Justin Timberlake and Will.i.am take to the stage. Despite my initial doubts, I found that I actually thoroughly enjoyed the day – even embracing festival life as far as I could.
From now until September, the UK is awash with summer festivals which inevitably gives rise to curiosity from those who’ve never given the experience a try. If you haven’t, take this cynic’s advice and give it a go! If you’re still not sure whether a music festival is for you, here are my top tips for how to embrace the experience, and mould it to be the highlight of your summer.
1. Feel comfortable and look the part.
You know the look – bedraggled, care-free and with a permanent smile on your face. I did my best to master this by buying the festival’s lanyard which slowly got dirtier and dirtier as the day progressed. Stocking up on tea left a perpetual – if slightly manic – smile, and within half-an-hour, I couldn’t care less that my sweat patches were larger than the Atlantic Ocean. An easy way to rock the festival look whilst still picking up maximum points for safety is to don a funky pair of sunnies. I have my eye on this pair from RED HOT, which is the cheapest I’ve seen it so far (and hello free worldwide delivery).
|Effortless style in a pair of ray bans (found here)|
Wayfarers have been seen on everyone from Michael Jackson to Kate Moss and see no sign of hanging up their ultra-sleek ways. The best bit is, with a variety of colours available, there’s every opportunity to stand out in the crowd – helpful if you do happen to get lost in the crowd at your next festival.
Alternatively, these Oakley glasses exude old-school glamour, and wouldn’t look out of place on some of the hottest celebs:
|Oakley plantiff squared sunnies (found here)|
As much as wellies have come to be known as the staple accessory for festivals, if you’re going for a day event like me, I’d recommend avoiding them if you can. Stick to comfy shoes you don’t mind standing in all day and/or running from stage to stage to see the best acts. And – if you want to be a comfy nerd like me – take an umbrella along to shield you if it gets too hot.
2. Take it slow
|*squints* Who’s that on stage? Absolutely no idea.|
One thing which always worried me about festivals is the energy they seem to demand. On TV, I feel exhausted just watching people standing at the front of the crowd for hours – what if they need a drink? Or the toilet? Or get restless legs? On the other hand, being stuck at the back of a massive crowd didn’t appeal to me because of the poor view. As it turns out, we tried both. For Will.i.am’s set we were metres from the man himself, while for Jay Z and Justin Timberlake’s set, there were approximately 5million people between them and us. And, that huge distance did actually feel much more comfortable, with a pretty awesome atmosphere to boot as everyone had more room to dance and sing/rap the lyrics to ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ to their heart’s content (OK, maybe that was just me.) For future events, I would love to just take the day easy and mill around seeing various acts without having to worry about camping out for hours to get a ringside view. It also means you’re closer to the exit so you can get a head start on the masses.
3. Try a day fest
|Not really my cup of tea…
(Image from bbc.co.uk)
While I’m never really going to be someone who loves to camp out for days on end, a one-day festival is the perfect way for comfort lovers like me to get into the lazy summer mood without having to commit to tents and dodgy showers. Most big events (if not all) allow you to purchase a day ticket, which can be helpful if there’s just one day of music that grabs your fancy. For those who aren’t sure whether a weekend festival is for them, a day pass lets you try the lifestyle out! Check out The Festival Calendar for up-coming UK festivals.
So, as you can see, I’m kind of getting there with festival life, even if half my suggestions are to do with avoiding crowds and the nice weather. I’m looking forward to seeing who’ll be playing some of the festivals next summer. Now I know what to expect, I’m certain to be snapping up a ticket for the next one that has an irresistible line-up. For now, however, I’m content with catching the highlights from the comfort of my sofa with a cup of tea in hand.