Bad music, huge crowds and pricey drinks: What’s so good about festivals?
Elbows, mud and piss everywhere
Drinking, dancing with your friends in the sun and listening to music you love sounds alright.
But the reality of a festival is so far from this. Why would any normal human being would wish to subject themselves to five days of torture in a cheap tent with an unrelenting hangover?
People say this is the fun of festivals, but it’s possible to have clean fun too. Apparently there are showers, but if you have a wash you’re somehow not considered a “true festival goer”.
It seems a festival is basically a glorified Duke of Edinburgh, with only one tap to clean your stagnating body, without any soap, and one toilet for you all to use and fight over.
At least on D of E you know any gifts left in the toilet have come from someone in your group, not some random man whose piss you’ve just touched and DNA you’ve picked up.
Everyone smells but that’s hardly comforting. If anything, it’s even more repulsive.
You feel broken by day two
Day one is probably pretty fun – arrive, drink, explore, drink, set up, drink, listen to music, drink, dance etc.
Unlike at home, however, you can down a gallon of water after a night out and then turn in. Mine is a Queen size bed, and there’s nothing better than nestling under a feather filled duvet.
At a festival you’re stripped of these simple luxuries and forced to stay awake and continue drinking to avoid being stuck with a hangover from hell.
Hair of the dog might stall your pain the next day, but it doesn’t make you feel quite as fresh as a long sleep.
So by the second day everyone is tired and feels sick and they just want to go home.
That’s assuming you drink
Maybe you power through the muddy days and cold nights another way – what better way is there to ensure that you don’t sleep and don’t get a hangover?
You might even be drawn to festivals because of the promise of drug-induced bright colours and acid trips.
Why would anybody prefer to plummet into a K-hole towards the ether or have a breakdown on a dodgy MDMA dosage than relax in their own bed with a book and some classical chillout in the background.
The music isn’t that great
It’s supposed to be all about the music right? When did “ferience” become a legitimate thing?
This is why it’s always better to go and see the band or DJ of choice at their own show. Forget Kanye butchering Bohemian Rhapsody, if you want to get drunk, dance with friends and listen to decent music, do it in your garden with some decent speakers and Spotify.
The crowds are hell
Maybe I’m the strange one here when I say that I do not enjoy being pushed and shoved by random people with sharp elbows.
Once I was pushed so violently in a crowd by the kid behind me at an outdoor concert that I turned and punched him in the throat and was then forced to leave by security.
Maybe if you have a short tempter you shouldn’t be at a festival. When struggling to comfortably watch some bands, blood pressure has a habit of rising unprecedented and invariably dangerous levels. You should have just taken your coke. Ever wish you’d just stayed home and streamed it?
Who do you go with?
Friends are great. Friends are fun. Hanging out with friends is fun. Hanging out with friends for a number of nights when everyone is intoxicated and Stacy’s throwing up and Jess thinks she’s been spiked and Molly just had unprotected sex and is crying about it is less fun.
Much like going on holiday together, a festival can make or break friendships. And then it’s rarely your friends being pains in the arse or idiots, it’s everybody else. Back in 2014, teenagers were left with horrific facial burns after someone threw an aerosol can into their fire at Leeds festival.
Everybody has their own traumatic festival experience. Naomi was pissed on during The Kooks at T in The Park back in 2013. Hannah suffered a concussion after a glass bottle hit the back of her head at V Festival last year.
In 2005 a riot at Leeds fest injured several members of staff and numerous crowd members. In 2003 at Reading, a man had his ear bitten off and a woman was sexually assaulted. Strangely enough, all this just doesn’t sound fun to me.
Leeds and Reading cost £213 for a weekend ticket, V Festival is £189 to camp (excluding the £10 booking fee), Gotwood costs up to £125.
This is the equivalent of eating at Wetherspoons 30 times, buying 70 double vodkas (in Sheffield, granted), going to Barcelona for a week or working for a solid 32 hours on minimum wage.
Then the prices at the festivals themselves are extortionate. My friend Aran Uner sadly speaks of forgetting sun cream at Reading 2014 and getting sunstroke – then being unable to afford enough £3 bottles of water.
Festivals are pricey, to say the least. And don’t claim that it’s worth it as it’s fine to spend money on making memories, because I’m pretty certain the alcohol consumption will eradicate any memories that £200 went towards creating.
There are two kinds of people in this world, those who go to festivals and those who don’t. I’m not sorry that I find the idea of going to a festival somewhat distressing. It’s easy to get drunk and listen to music outside in your garden or the local field.
Then I can shower afterwards. You know how much that costs me? Nothing. You know how much being pissed on by a stranger would cost me? £200.