Festival etiquette can seem like a minefield. If you’re not well versed in the dos and don’ts of these alfresco music extravaganzas, take a look at the following top tips, in our series of Festival Essentials.
DON’T get too hung up on personal hygiene
Even with the best intentions in the world, and a bag full of toiletries, you won’t finish festivals feeling fresh and clean. Even if your event of choice advertises the fact that it has ‘showers’, don’t picture yourself enjoying refreshing and cleansing morning washes. If you’re brave enough to venture into these facilities, expect little more than a cold trickle of water and beware, you might have to surrender your modesty.
Barring some sort of a disaster, it really isn’t worth bothering with showers, especially if you’re only at the festival for a couple of days.
DO take your toothbrush
That said, there’s no excuse to stop brushing your teeth during festivals and bear in mind that you can do this right by your tent. After a night of drinking and dancing, your mouth will need certainly need some refreshing.
DON’T be restricted by the pack mentality
Pack mentality tends to kick in at festivals and you might be tempted to stick by your pals at all times, even if they don’t want to see the same bands as you. However, you shouldn’t be afraid to explore the site by yourself. Just make sure you can contact your friends if you need to. If you don’t have mobile reception or your battery’s low, set a meeting point where you can rendezvous with your buddies.
DO drink responsibility
The temptation to overindulge on the alcohol front is always there at festivals, but don’t succumb to this urge. Firstly, buying beverages at these events can cost a small fortune. Secondly, if you down a load of drinks, you might find yourself in the medical tent rather than by the main stage.
DON’T film on your phone
Humanity seems to be gripped by the compulsion to film virtually everything that moves, and this is never more true than when bands appear on stage. However, note that holding your phone above your head in a bid to record the action can be both irritating to those behind you and completely pointless. At best you stand a chance of capturing some blurred, muffled footage of the act you’re watching and, at worst, you’ll get a two-minute clip of some guy’s back.
Bear in mind that most festivals are documented by a team of professionals, so if you want to relive your experience afterwards, the chances are you can simply look it up online.
DO camp well away from the loos
Getting a good spot to set up your tent at a festival can be tricky. Ideally, you should make sure you arrive at the event early so that you have plenty of options and, whatever you do, avoid spaces that are close to the toilets. At the start of the festival, the loos might seem relatively inoffensive, but after a weekend of revelry they’ll be anything but. The chances are, you’ll end up downwind of the toilets at some point, and if your choice of booze hasn’t yet turned your stomach, this uninviting odour most likely will.
Meanwhile, when you’re on the hunt for the best festival tickets around, you can head to websites like Gigantic.