Which festival is your university?

What’s worse, getting tickets or getting results?

Each festival has it’s own distinctive vibe, and your uni is no different. One is disgracefully overpriced with rowdy crowds, filthy living conditions and the other is festival.

Uni is just a three year long celebration. UCAS deadline day is just like the morning you try to buy tickets which sell out in minutes – and now it’s time to enjoy the rewards.

Your lectures are just like the bands: sometimes you go and see them but the real reason you’re there is for the party vibe.

But just like how every festival has it’s own distinctive line-up, nightlife and even dress-code – so does your uni.

So here’s a list of your unis and their UK festival counterparts. Unlucky if you go to York or Warwick.

Bristol – Secret Garden Party


SGP? Just Motion in a field to be honest.  The drug security here is about as pathetic as Motion’s one infamous guard dog who looks like a family pet missing its basket at home.

And welcome to the uni and festival where you’ll feel most mesmerized and miserable by the masses of good-looking people. Seriously, why is everyone at both so hot? They even make gurning a good look.

In short, Briz and SGP are the UK’s two homelands of wide-eyed, middle-class blonde girls dressed as if they have just come out of a Vietnamese thrift store cutting shapes at a rate even faster than they spend their inheritances.

Crochet crop tops, glitter and Rebook Classics are mandatory in both Insta-ready settings.

Manchester – Bestival

Both have a somewhat sink-or-swim vibe – literally in Bestival’s case if you brave the challenge of swimming to the Isle of Wight for a free ticket.

People either see them as too big and overwhelming, or bask blissfully in the chaos. Both can boast some of the best line-ups: Manny gets Brian Cox and Warehouse Project; Bestival Outkast and Missy Elliot.

Just as it’s hard to slot Manchester students into one category, it’s hard to pin down Bestival festival-goers. Both are home to the lads, the hipsters, the old, the young, the foreign, the middle-class edgy Londoners. You get a mix of anything and everything.

Oxford – Glastonbury


Two old and very historic places. Oxford has been about since slavery was legal and Glasto since there was no such thing as Snapchat.

Ironically for a festival that was founded on anti-nuclear anti establishment grounds, entry to Glasto has in recent years become almost as much based on elitism and keeping it in the family as Oxford.

Both establishments thrive on giving places to loyal lineages. In Glasto’s case this means the grandchildren of cracked-out hippies who got off on the ban the bomb symbol, and in Oxford’s case anyone who would feel at home in the current Tory cabinet.

The nerve-wracking experience of maniacally refreshing the Glastonbury ticket page could also be likened to an Oxford entry exam.

Leeds – Boomtown

As Leeds is the smaller, edgier cousin of Manchester, so Boomtown is to Glasto.

Like Leeds, Boomtown has the rep of the being the crackiest of the cracked. Both are full to brim with K-Holes, chewed-off bottom lips, but also the wild, untamed youth of today bugging out on harder, weirder psychedelics.

They claim you need 2Es and an LSD to get into Leeds. Well throw some DMT in there and you’ve got your Boomtown application requirements. Let’s hope you make it out of your three years and festival weekend alive.

Sussex – Womad


Both small, Guardian-reading, hippy-ish, with a chilled live-and-let-live atmosphere.

Anyone ever been to Coalition on a Saturday night and wondered why there’s some 50-something shuffling next to you? This fezzy will provoke similar existential angst.

Womad encapsulates the Lanes’ serene, Bohemian, fair-trade coffee vibes. Peace, harmony, love, lots of weed and lots and lots of yoga.

Newcastle – Reading

Think Geordie Shore with more grass. Reading’s herds of GCSE students overexcited at losing their festival virginity and that A* in Geography would fit right in at a Newcastle fresher’s prinking sesh.

They also probably have similar tolerances (aprox: half a WKD.) Also featured at both: Lads on Tour of any age, fake eyelashes, the sort of people who yell “UNAAAY” un-ironically.

Edinburgh – Latitude

Or Larrrrtitude. Say no more. Both pretty, picturesque settings that are moderately enjoyable until it turns midnight and you wish you’d picked Bristol/SGP…

Warwick – Isle of Wight

Warwick is a prestigious and academically strong institution yet for some reason that no one can quite put their finger on, no one really wants to go there. They’d all much rather be going mad for it at the Manchester-Bestival experience.

The older Isle of Wight always has a mad lineup but always falls by the wayside due to a lack of hype.

Nottingham – Wireless

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Nottingham has a reputation for sheltered kids living it large in a controlled environment – i.e. the structure of a weekend festival.

Both packed with middle class North Londoners who are yelling “Bitch Better Have My Money” just want to have fun, but too much fun.

Oxford Brookes – any other London day festival

The low fence of all unis, Brooks’ painfully low grade requirements make it as easy to get into as it is to jump into a London day festival, Wireless included.

Sheffield – Download

Sheffield, e.g. the “Steel” city, is nearly as filled with metal as Download.

With one of their biggest nights being the infamous rock club Corp with its deadly trebles, the Yorkshire powerhouse links perfectly with the sweaty Download vibe.

Birmingham – V Festival

Both host to Budweiser-fuelled fights between lads and girls dressed in less flamboyant crop tops than even those spotted at Secret Garden Party – standing on the side screaming, “It’s not worth it, Dave.”

Everyone is wearing aviator sunglasses whatever the weather.

Exeter – Parklife


Exeter is famous for its rugby teams, Parklife for its violence and mosh pits. Basically the same thing.

Just like Parklife’s uniform – wavy shirt and Bindi – Exeter have their very own identity in the blue shirt chino combo.

York – Wilderness

Wilderness is basically a more boring version of Secret Garden Party – its sister festival on a lake.

In a similar way, York is essentially a duller version of every other decent university – and also happens to be on a lake.

Liverpool – Creamfields

Lads on diz who love to dance paired with fake tan girls tactically chundering.

If this sounds like your idea of paradise then Liverpool Uni and Creamfields festival are definitely the ones for you.

Durham – Glyndebourne

Durham, with its nightlife more disgraceful than its state school intake, can only be likened to the UK’s classical music festival, Glyndebourne.

Posh boring people engaging in posh boring activities with just a handful of clubs.

Cambridge – Edinburgh Fringe


The transfer rate between the two is astounding. All Cambridge students seem to inevitably find their way to the Edinburgh Festival through the world famous Footlights comedy troupe.

John Cleese, Sacha Baron Cohen, Stephen Fry, Lily Cole, Ian McKellen, Eddie Redmayne and even Will from The Inbetweeners made the jump.

Generic London art school – Fordefestivalen

Obscure small Norwegian festival no-one’s heard of. Postmodern enough for you, pretentious hipsters who make up the population of every London art school?

London Metropolitan – Leicester Comedy Festival

The uni that’s officially last in the league tables can be likened to Leicester Comedy Festival because they’re both such a joke.