Friday, April 27, 2007

muddy shoes with dirty souls

I don’t know it, but it’s three in the afternoon. What I do know is that the chemically induced euphoria is wearing off and I am having to begin telling my body to stop dancing, as both my vision and hearing come back into focus I notice something strange; the “music” that me and my two best friends have been dancing too is becoming more and more discordant, then as my faculties fully return I realise the awful truth – the three of us have been standing in middle of a motionless but bemused crowd, dancing like loons to a folk band tuning their instruments for god knows how long.

Its becoming that season again folks, were ordinary, reasonable people go live in a field for a few days to watch the countries hottest bands from very far away, while they load their bodies with semi illegal consumables and forget to wash. Festival season is so close you can almost smell the hippies.

What follows is a basic festival survival guide submitted by my humble self, a veteran of two Glastonbury’s and numerous other grass roots and folk festivals.

The closest I have ever came to cooking at a festival is heating up instant noodles over a open fire in a opened water bottle and eating them with the only utensil at hand – a glow stick. If food is your thing then its probley a safer bet to buy on site, the larger festivals have a vast selection of catering trucks just itching to take your money, if not chuck some crackers in your bag. I guarantee that the times you actually remember to eat, you are going to be in no state to operate picnic stoves or do anything as complicated as cook, just bite the bullet and the take extra cash. And don’t eat anything that hasn’t been cooked well, because you in no way want to get yourself a dose of the squirts and deal with the dreaded Festival Toilets.

People often talk about Festival Toilets in the hushed tones of dread usually reserved for the truly despised and disgusting, but are they worthy of such of a reaction? In a word, Yes. In nine words, for the love of everything that is holy YES. The horror. If the smell hasn’t got you retching just standing outside then the huge pile of nasty inside will. Avoid. One year I remember seeing people doing their business inside plastic carrier bags, tying them up and leaving them or launching them. I’m not suggesting you go to that extreme, merely pointing out the lengths that people will go to to avoid the plastic huts of stank. Its probley worth packing some Immoduim or the equivalent.

And that leads me to the eternal problem of what to pack, generally never take anything that wouldn’t mind stolen, broken or losing, including; clothes (destroyed by mud, left in the wrong tent), your tent (sat on in the night by a stoned and drunk reveller wearing a funny hat) and, indeed your mind. Seriously I have never brought a tent back from a festival. Tent + Booze = useless broken ass giant kite. Don’t take your expensive digital camera, get a disposable, admittedly all your shots may be blurry out of focus messes, but so will your memory. Other useful things to Bring with you;
• Baby Wipes - to swab the crust from your face and bits if you do manage to pull, it’s the least you can do.
• Condoms – don’t be an idiot, protect yourself.
• Booze – I know you’re not supposed to, but if they ARE going to charge four pounds for a pint, they have to expect for most enterprising students to smuggle in a bottle of Tescos finest brand vodka, if found it will be confiscated though.
• A very open mind.
There is a universal piece of advice for packing that applies here – “half the clothes, twice the money”.

When you arrive and before you throw yourself into the unwashed Dionysian frenzy, take a few minutes to arrange a meeting point and time for when you inevitably get separated and are found terrified out of your mind, crying while watching Being John Malkavich in the cinema field (true story), your mobile will run out of juice. Also before you launch with unfettered abandon into the revelry, get hold of a programme and plan what you want to see, that way you won’t be sitting in a cabaret tent staring in disbelief as a seven foot transsexual sword-swallows a massive pair of scissors while the Chemical Brothers are playing a gig that will later be described by your friends as “epic” (sigh, another true story).

And as a parting piece of advice, make sure you have a couple of days after free too recover, I slept for a day after one Glastonbury, waking only to drink two pints of milk and eat an apple.


Blogger here kitty, kitty... ranted..

AWESOME..... I loved this story.... I laughed, I cried, I totally felt for your silly ass.... what a fun time... minus the nasty toliets... I would totally be plastic baggin it in the woods. I will do most anything, but nasty smellin porta potties.... no way in hell!

9:12 PM  
Blogger Puck ranted..

yeah i got a confession to make - i was one of those guys with the plastic bags. my friend launched his randomly just to get it away, 10 minutes later the bag was outside his tent door.

to be fair im not even that ashamed, its just that this was an article i sent to the uni magazine i edit for and revealing it was me could of caused problems.

2:31 AM  
Blogger here kitty, kitty... ranted..

would anyone really be surprised Dan?

11:20 PM  
Blogger Ultra Toast Mosha God ranted..

This was handy to know.


Nice pictures, by the way.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Puck ranted..

thank you, i cant remember taking them.

except the "crabtastic" one, i was so out of my box i laughed at that for hours.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Olulabelle ranted..

So, DUDE...

Are you coming to the Sunrise Festival now?

8:34 PM  
Blogger Olulabelle ranted..

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Olulabelle ranted..

BTW, the random word generator said upurbm. I kid you not.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Tumuli ranted..

Duly noted! You're a festival survivor.

11:31 PM  

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