Mud, music and messy hair: a beginner’s guide to coping with festivals


Festivals can pose a whole host of first world problems, especially to someone like me who is partial to their home comforts.

Do you pitch your tent close to the car or the arena? Does fashion or common sense prevail? Which of your favourite acts do you see when the inevitable clash occurs? Is it appropriate to party with people almost half your age into the wee hours (for the record, it’s really not)? Do you brave the never-ending queue for the grim portaloos at 7am or nip into the woods at the fringe of the field?

I also like to take a long, steaming hot shower at least once a day. I like to frazzle the hell out of my hair until that annoying wave I inherited – thanks Mum – is poker straight. I like to sleep for at least eight hours – uninterrupted – in a comfy bed. I like to wear nice clothes, take my time putting on my make-up and use a clean toilet that flushes and comes complete with toilet roll.

I also have a lot of phobias. After my petrifying fear of heights comes my loathing of big crowds; that crushing sense of helplessness as the beat of the masses pushes and pulls, the rising heat of bodies around you, the touch of someone else’s clammy skin all send a paralysing chill down my spine.

With this in mind, you might ask why someone like me would ever choose to go to a festival packed with 90,000 people for three days. The answer is because, despite all this, nothing beats indulging in a bit of festival fun, and this weekend we headed to the V Festival to do just that.

Yes that’s right, for 72 whole hours I was allowed to let my hair down and boy it felt good. It didn’t matter if I wallowed in five-inches of mud – that’s what wellies are for. I can take advantage of being pressed next to someone in the crushing crowd and find a new best friend for the weekend as we dance along to top tunes.

I can dip my head in a bucket of cold water and wash my hair and then hide that uncontrollable kink with a hat. I can – just about – cope with the confines of a tent crammed into a sea of thousands of others.

I can pee behind a tree, and, yes, I can still party like an 18-year-old – up until midnight and then I’m crying out for a cup of cocoa and bed.

Morning queue for the toilets

And of course, as well as the whole “festival experience”, there’s the music because, well, that is after all what it’s all about. The Killers, Nero, DJ Fresh, The Stone Roses, Tinie Tempah, Madness, Ed Sheeran, Professor Green, Sub Focus, David Guetta, The Human League, Frank Turner. The list goes on.

As I sit writing this after taking a long, heavenly soak in a bath filled to the brim with bubbles, my muscles aching from sleeping on the floor and because I really can’t dance the night away like I was 18 anymore, I long for tonight when I can slip under the duvet and let out a sigh of relief as my body sinks into my mattress and I close my eyes and enjoy my first good night’s sleep in what seems like a while.

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5 thoughts on “Mud, music and messy hair: a beginner’s guide to coping with festivals

  1. Pingback: Your Questions About Are Open Spring Mattresses Any Good | Sleep Mattress Guide

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