How many times have you been happily chirping away about your mounting festival excitement for it to be greeted by someone entirely taking the wind out of your sails in a mere few words?

    • “I couldn’t be bothered to hang around in the same place as a load of teenagers.”
    • “I really want to to go but not enough of my friends like festivals.”
    • Or, my personal favourite example of douchery; “Camping is for kids.”

Festivals aren’t everyone’s thing and that is no problem. But it doesn’t mean you can piss on everyone’s parade – and certainly not mine. Maybe you’re toying with the idea of booking up for the first time, or maybe you’re unsure whether to go now that a few people in your friendship group have pulled out. Whatever your reasons for uncertainty, I promise you this – as with anything in life, it’s all about your attitude.

Reading festival campsite 2011


In all honesty, the idea of sleeping under a piece of canvas for four days puts the fear of God into me too. It can get nippy and burning sun/torrential rain does naturally come with its own problems. But I wouldn’t repeatedly continue to book camping slots if it was hell on earth (no pun intended). Reading and Glastonbury in particular are pretty easy to book up a nearby hotel with the luxury of a fully working shower, but you’d miss out. Enter into the spirit of the festival goer: accept that your hair wont be perfect and that your feet may get a little grubby (though if you’re starting to develop trench foot, you’ve taken it too far). If you’ve prepared properly as we mentioned before, you’ll have the time of your life. Promise.

Oh and no sex after the first night. Come on now ladies. It’ll be like opening up a cold cheese pasty in the morning. I know you know what I mean.

The younger crowd

There will be people there younger than you, probably (I’m not sure we have any fifteen year old readers, but if we do, welcome to the fam). I do distinctly remember catching sight of some teens who had clearly been set loose without parental supervision for the first time, the results of which ranged from making some rookie pitching errors and waking up in a puddle, to a full scale hospitalised-after-an-overdose scenario. It’s unfortunate, but what festival does that not happen at?

Reading wristbands

All you have to do in this situation is two things:

    1. Make sure that person isn’t you.
    2. Let them get on with it. Unless someone is genuinely in trouble in which case, help them, as I should hope you would anyway.

When you have great music, a plethora of alcohol and your own friends around you, there is just no need to start on the kids. On the flipside, meeting randoms in the Main Stage crowd has been a highlight for us before – while we waited for Pulp a couple of years ago, the bants we had with a few boys who we DEFINITELY had a good few years on was sensational:

“Is the song called Babies… Or Rabies?”

Chill out when it comes to others. Angry people never make friends.

Rude Reading tshirts
These were our favourite randoms from the whole of Reading 2011. I’m sure you can see why.

Drugs and drink

This one’s pretty straight forward – don’t drink until you die. You won’t like it, the people you’re with wont like it, and not remembering any of your favourite bands will be a massive waste of £200.

As for drugs… Look, it’s not my scene but it can’t be hard to stay within the slight buzz boundaries. Let me tell you, a festival is not the place to try drugs for the first time. The risk of reacting badly is high enough in a safe environment like your own home, let alone in a place where there are large crowds, loud noise and heavy drinkers.

If you must do it, stay with people you trust. Though why you would want to do that to your body is a whole different blog post.


Of course I can’t speak for the boys, but something mental happens when it comes to queuing for the ladies. It seemed last year that if you took longer than 3.6 seconds in your cubicle, bitches got angry. I refer those nutters to the above post about chilling the fuck out.

The arena toilets will get worse in the evening as the fields reaches maximum capacity. My advice here is to find the loos at the furthest point from the entrance and use them every time you’re near them as they’ll be clearest, and also don’t join the first queue you see. Most people get too drunk to realise that the ones in the back row will be quieter and cleaner! Don’t forget to go in armed with sanitiser and tissues.

With some preparation and the right attitude, your festival experience will be immense. There’s no need to get uptight about situations that can be stressful in everyday life; a festival is what you make of it. So be with your friends, treasure drinking cider for breakfast, and do things that you won’t be able to do forever. Like get half naked on the BBC for instance…

Topless on BBC
You can’t miss me, I’m the one with the blue hat. And the boobs.

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