Friday, 19 April 2013

Festival Regrets

If you're heading off to a festival this year, I hate you. Nothing personal, I'm just jealous. I went to Download festival last year, and as it was my first festival, I had no idea what to expect. Unfortunately, I'm out of funds this year, so I won't be able to rectify the things I got wrong the first time. So in sharing my regrets from last year, I hope I'll be able to help you enjoy your weekend if you're going to a festival this year you lucky bastards!


Pack light!
This is top of my list for a very, very good reason. Now, everyone that was with me at Download last year will be screaming at their screens 'HALLELUJAH, SHE'S SEEN THE LIGHT', because I ruined the entire festival because I simply didn't pack light. I'd never been away for the weekend by myself before, and I'm also the most indecisive person on this planet, so I had to take more clothes than I needed, just so I had the options available to me for the three days. I packed enough for at least a week. More's the point, I packed it all in the only case I had big enough for it all - a wheely suitcase. Not a hiking bag like all the sane people, ooooh no, that common sense is beyond me. I even had to make my then-boyfriend drag said deadweight suitcase through the mud on the way in. I apologise profusely if you're reading this. That bloody suitcase ruined the entire weekend.

Take a comb to backcomb that dirty hair, girl!
This time last year, I was using a heat wave styler to make my hair a little tousled, and the waves were so loose, they'd be lost by the end of the day anyway. So in a situation where I couldn't wash my hair, it just looked and felt disgusting by Monday morning. I'm a person that can't go a day without washing my hair, so that was half of my problem with wishing to be detached from my mop after one night in a field.

Take a megaphone!
My fondest memory of Download 2012 is waking up one morning to the sounds of Rick Astley echoing from a nearby tent. I sat right up and joined in, singing every horrendous note in my half-asleep state. Next time, I fully intend on being that tosser that wakes everyone up with the catchiest and downright most annoying tunes when they've had zero sleep anyway.

Buy an extra phone battery!
I took very few photos at Download purely because I was so scared my battery would run out when I needed it most. I never bought a backup battery because I thought they were just too expensive, but now I see they're worth their weight in gold if you actually want to remember the weekend.

Take a bigger mirror!
As you can tell by the photo, I painted my face like a different member of KISS every day, and as such the task of putting on the face paint was a nightmare in a very small compact mirror. As too was the removal of said face paint, as I discovered in the service station toilets halfway home when I noticed the big black streaks down my face that I was earlier convinced I'd wiped off.


Brush your bloody teeth!
Chewing gum might tide you by during the day, but there's nothing worse than that 'oh shit I haven't brushed my teeth since I left home' feeling. I brought a toothbrush and paste, yes, but I couldn't bring myself to use the sink troughs, the bacteria were screaming at me from a mile away.

See more bands, don't sleep in or give into pain!
We were all ridiculously achy and tired all weekend as none of us had really gone to a proper festival before. We were by no means prepared for the 2 mile walk from the car to the campsite and the mile long walk to the arena. Our feet arrived virginal and left positively hookers. But as a consequence, we missed so many amazing bands because we were just too tired, for example Corey Taylor and Ghost, the latter a decision that I still bitterly regret. Although we never had the problem of sleeping in, because we didn't get much sleep at all, we didn't leave the campsite early enough because we were simply too exhausted.

Accept that bands will overlap!
I ruined many a time at Download because I just wouldn't stop complaining that I was missing another equally good band that were playing at the exact same time. My heart was beating for You Me At Six who played on second stage while I was made to watch Metallica on main stage. On reflection, Metallica were amazing and I'm so glad I saw them live, but I should have shut my mouth and enjoyed them, which I didn't.

Buy merch!
Goddamnit this may just be one of my biggest regrets, I'm seething just thinking about it even now. I spent the entire weekend walking straight past the merch stands - I'd decided what I wanted, but I thought to myself 'nah, I'll get it tomorrow'. Alas, I never did. And now I'm severely regretting not just taking the plunge because I was simply too busy/tired/wanting to save my money in case I needed food the next day.

Go out at night!
Another big regret was that we were just too tired to do anything in the evenings. We were so close to the village that we heard everyone going out at night, enjoying the funfair and coming back at 5am bellowing 'FENTOOOON', but we really missed out on a good environment at night because we missed the comfort of sitting on our fat arses.

Most of all... enjoy the ride!
On the way up to Derby, I was so tired and scared of the quagmire we were about to face that I completely forgot to enjoy the ride. It was a 4 hour journey and it was the furthest north I've ever been, so I really should've paid more attention. Although I will say I enjoyed the last hour of the journey because we were lost on our way to Donington so I became the resident navigator wielding an A to Z. Which surprised me considering I lose my bearing the minute I leave a shop.
Not only should I have enjoyed the journey there, but the (seemingly endless) journey from the car to the campsite, from the campsite to the arena - every single step. I took too much for granted.

One thing I don't regret?
Buying this baby from Poundland. This torch/glowstick was invaluable to us, from taking muddy wellies off at night to finding our elusive mobile phones in the pitch black. So if you're heading off to a festival this year, buy one of these, you will not regret it.

So my questions to you are - are you going to a festival this year? Who are you most excited to see? Or if you've been to a festival before, what was your biggest regret?

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  1. No festival for me, never been to a real one just one-day event types. I'm jealous of anyone off to one too!

    1. I thought a weekend long festival would be more tiring than a one day one but I was sorely mistaken! My first gig was a mini-festival with 5 bands in a night and I fainted!

  2. I took a wheely suitcase too. And brushed my teeth with a bottle of water and some toothpaste behind my tent. Classy Kirsty. Wish I was going this year! xox

    1. Haha high five on the bad preparation! That's a lot classier than not brushing your teeth full stop like I did! Guh if we go again we definitely have to camp near to each other, just so I can wake you up with show tunes on a megaphone :P


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