We asked people who have sneaked into festivals exactly how they did it
It’s not just the wristband trick
Is there a greater irony than spending literal HUNDREDS of pounds to comatosely roll around in a marshy field for three or four days? It’s like there’s something in people’s heads that makes them feel the need to subject themselves to absolute depravity as a form of self-induced torture just to get it out of their system. But why willingly let yourself be robbed in return for substandard toilet facilities, a shitty night’s sleep and a banging headache when you could do it all for free?
We spoke to some of the people that have successfully broken into the UK’s biggest festivals, and it turns out you just need a bit of confidence (okay, a LOT of confidence). It’s always going to be a classic risk versus reward situation, but some people have not only been successful with sneaking in, but have ended up spending the entire weekend there with no money whatsoever.
We were found with a grappling hook
A friend and I decided to try and break into Boomtown 2014. It started badly when, after a few circuits of the site, I had to climb a tree whilst a security guard and dog walked underneath and ended up snapping the branch beneath my feet, leaving me hanging by my arms just as they went underneath me.
Once we’d got back to searching in the woodland bit, it seemed like someone else had had the same idea as we came across a stashed grappling hook, which we promptly took ownership of. We found a few other people and a nice bit of fence and managed to get over it (we didn’t even use the grappling hook).
All was going well until we got stopped for having no wrist bands. They searched my bag and found a fucking grappling hook, at which point they kicked us out. My advice is to go for the fences – there will be other people there to group up with and plan your break-in.
We stole ladders from some nearby Sky vans
Back when Secret Garden Party was still a thing, me and a couple of mates drove four hours up to Cambridgeshire without tickets – we had a lot of mates at the festival so we were just gonna do the wristband trick.
However, when we got there and called everyone they were too fucked, so we were a bit screwed. We ended up just milling about in the carpark next to the fence trying to figure out ways we could get in. It didn’t help that security kept threatening to throw us out if we went near the fence, but it was quite nice because there were quite a few people trying to break in – a bit of a community.
Anyway, as it got dark we were pretty resigned to sleeping in the car and going back home. But then loads of the groups who were trying to break in banded together and saw that there were a couple of Sky vans with ladders on the top.
So we grabbed the ladders from the vans and, with about 10 people per ladder, ran up to the fence and 20 of us went over the top. It was like Helm’s Deep.
I ended up bagging a free weekend ticket and parking
Me and a friend decided out of the blue to sneak into a festival nearby, even though I had no money because the night before I had gone out and lost my purse, and it was completely sold out.
We arrived and walked around the edge to try and work out how to sneak in, before all of a sudden this pissed woman came out and offered me her weekend band.
I turned up to the festival with no money and no ticket, but I ended up bagging a free weekend band and free parking (that you would have had to pay extra for) for the rest of the weekend. We stayed for the entire weekend.
You just have to walk with confidence
My boyfriend and I decided that we’d try to get into a local festival called WOMAD. It’s not exactly Fort Knox as it’s smaller than most festivals, but their security is fairly rigorous and you’d have just as hard a time sneaking in here as you would any other place.
After a quick reccy of the site entrance, it became apparent that we wouldn’t be getting in via the main gate, for the fact that there were multiple volunteers and security. As we drove around the perimeter, we noticed that there was a through-road that went across the site and that there were vans going into it.
When we got to the guy standing at the checkpoint, I instantly panicked and looked over to my boyfriend. He told them that we were catering staff with the trucks ahead – how this worked is beyond me, but we were allowed forward. From here on we saw a small car park to the side, so we went for that. Hiding our wrists and walking with unbridled confidence so as to not give away that we didn’t have wristbands, we walked into the arena trouble-free and had a very boozy day.