If you’ve come across this page then the chance is you’ve never been to a festival before and you’re looking for reasons to why you should go. Hopefully by the time you’ve got past the first few paragraphs you’ll be on your way to booking your first festival whether its just a wee local event of one of the bigger greenfield festivals like good old Glastonbury festival. Anyway lets take a look at the question: Should I go to Festival?
Should I go to Festival?
As my wife commented as she looked over my shoulder, I could just type one word and finish the blog. The one word would be ‘YES’. But as blogs go this wouldn’t really provide much information for the avid reader however humorous we might find it.
The fact is if you’ve never been to a festival before then you’re missing out for sure. I can still remember the first festival I went to, I might have only been 15 at the time and although I may have drunk a little too much cider which resulted in throwing up followed by a quick nap I still had a cracking time. I found myself in a place where the buzz of the music the vibes of the people and the general freedom made me feel great.
Music oh wonderful music
Music for me and many people is such a big part of life. I really don’t know what I’d do without music in my life. I love listening to albums from start to finish and really getting into what the musician is trying to do when they create an album. If I had the choice to give up cheese, chocolate, alcohol and music I’d give up everything to still be able to have music in my life. It provides me with focus, makes my day better and without it I know I’d be worse off.
Music is there for you when you are sad, happy of just in need of a good dance. Now think about the feeling of seeing your favourite band perform live. I’m not one for band worship but I do love my music and when a band walks on stage the hair on the back of my neck stands up, then they blast out a song and the crowd all sing along together, wow what a feeling that is. Now add to that the fact a festival has so many bands playing over a weekend you can have that feeling again and again the whole weekend. Granted not all your favourite bands are going to be playing but you’re sure to find some that get the juices flowing.
For me a festival isn’t just about the music, although it does play a massive part. The atmosphere, the freedom and the people have a massive part to play in festival life. The first time I went to Glastonbury was back in the 90’s when fence jumping was still a big thing (I paid) and all the hippies used to get into the site for free (making it a very busy and interesting place). Me, my best mate and our tent were all we needed. Within minutes of pitching our tent we had made friends with fellow campers and had a real blast. We kept an eye out on each others things and sat around the fire together at night, it was a truly great experience.
From walking around the festival and talking to random people to watching bands, checking out the hustle and bustle of the market and enjoying a wide range of alcohol and food it really was one of the best weekends of my life. If you are a real people person you can easily make friends with people, if however you want to just get on and enjoy the festival without meeting new people then that’s fine as well.
My advice is to do your research before heading to your first festival so you can pick one that has the right atmosphere for you. We have found that more commercial style festivals like Reading and Leeds are not always as friendly as smaller festivals like Beautiful Days or Latitude.
More than just music
The best festivals don’t just give you hundreds of bands to listen to, they also provide lots of other great entertainment. This ranges from festival to festival but more often includes comedians, magicians, fire dancers, jugglers and other circus style acts. This means that if you need a break from music then you have plenty of options to keep you going. Just walking around a festival is an eye opener as the decorations, installed artwork and general look of the site is something you’ll want to take in. With many festivals going with different themes to decorate their sites you’ll find each festival unique.
Food and Drink
If you’re worried that you’ll only be left with the traditional festival food options like burger ‘n’ chips or hot dogs then you’re going to disappointed. Festival food has changed a hell of a lot and now caters for everyone with falafels being a big hit as well a halloumi fries making it onto the menu. With so many choices now available from cuisine inspired by food from around the world you’re sure to be able to grab some great grub to keep you fuelled throughout the weekend.
Alcohol is a big part of festival life. People like to have a wee drink and enjoy the festivities and we say why the hell not? It used to be that you’d only find nasty pissy beer and although you can still find such beer you are not limited to only drinking them. With so many options now available you’ll be spoilt for choice. Many festivals now have cocktail bars, real ale bars as well as champagne bars and specially sponsored bars like the Jägermeister bar that pops up at some music events.
As mentioned making friends at most festivals isn’t too hard to achieve, just by popping your tent down you’ll start a conversation with the people camping around you. But if you are able to go with a big group of friends then festival life can be pretty awesome. Camping in a big group offers the chance to get away with your friends, and have a truly wicked time. We have travelled to Glastonbury with around 20 people, this meant that there was always people to meet up with as different groups went off to see different bands or to explorer different areas. Whether you go on your own, as a couple on in a group there is much fun to be had.
The sense of freedom you feel from being at a festival for the weekend is something that is hard to explain. Most of us have been on holiday at some point but there is just something different about a weekend away camping in a field with thousands of other people. With the thought of work far out of your mind you can just enjoy all the festival has to offer. Rise and shine when you want, grab some food from one of the many food vendors, chill and then catch a band. Just respect others and the site, the rest is just about relaxing and having a good time.
Is it Safe?
In most cases festivals are a save environment to be. Yes there have been reported instances where bad things have happened but for the most part people are well behaved with police and security presence being pretty high. No festival wants to be in the head lines because of nasty stuff happening to their visitors so making sure festival goers are safe is a number priority. If you don’t normally travel on your own or would prefer to camp near people who are more likely to keep a friendly eye on you then you might want to consider signing up to be a volunteer, i most cases you get to camp in a separate area with other people who are also volunteering.
Yes hell yes, get your festival clothing sorted (you should make sure you wear clothing that helps expresses yourself). Take a look at the festivals that might be of an interest and then make a choice and get booking. With wonderful live music, a fantastic atmosphere, entertainment of all kinds and food and drink to keep you satisfied all weekend you’ll thank me once you’ve been. Don’t think on this too much, sometimes just jumping in head first is the best way to go, you might find it daunting at first but once you get there you’ll have a cracking time.