A couple of years ago, my slightly delicate friend and I attended the Byron Bay Bluesfest where we camped in the rain and danced in the mud.
Despite the weather I had a blast. My friend on the other hand, never really got into the spirit of it. I was never sure if this was because of the colony of ants that decided to take up residence in her backpack or the fact that she somehow contracted whooping cough and ended up in quarantine, but whatever it was, she just didn’t enjoy herself. Strange.
Either way, festivals are not for everyone. You need a lot of energy, patience and a high tolerance threshold for less than hygienic environs. If you possess these qualities then going to a festival is just about the most fun you can possibly have in gumboots.
Here are a few more tips for a smoother festival:
Don’t – smuggle in contraband by taping it to your legs, stomach or genitals – you’ll appear malformed, cheap and stupid. Whether you get caught in the act or not.
Do – avoid festival sex. You’re a bit smelly and your only real option for ‘privacy’ is a tent. Need I say more?
Don’t – camp within a 5 minute radius of the toilets. Don’t be fooled into thinking it will be ‘useful’ to be that close. It will quickly become apparent that you need to breathe fresh, pure air, untainted by poo.
Do – pack your supplies in a backpack. It is a mistake to think you can drag a suitcase across a field. Even if it has got wheels.
Don’t – be THAT guy/gal who brings the acoustic guitar. Just put it away. That is what the bands are for.
Do – strategize before you go, but keep it flexible for some aimless wandering time, discovering new bands and chatting to random people. No one likes a festival Nazi with a laminated excel spreadsheet of bands.
Do – decide on a meeting place with your friends. There’s nothing more irritating than walking around in muddy circles looking for your errant mates.
Don’t – forget to keep hydrated. Although there is fine line between drinking plenty of water and queuing for the amenities, you’ll feel much better in the long run.
Do – dance like a madman, talk to everyone, sing at the top of your lungs and fall exhausted into your tent every night.