So the festival season is upon us, drawing gleeful excitement from some and jealous cynicism from others.
Belong to the latter group? Well you’ll be one of many who aren’t attending a music festival this summer then, sucks doesn’t it? Don’t worry too much though, as here’s a little guide on how to make your festival-less summer a bit more bearable.
1. They’re horribly expensive.
Music festivals, as you probably already know, will burn a deep deep hole in your wallet/purse, and the prices are only ever going to massively increase. Want to get spiritual at Glastonbury? Well you’ll have to part with £205 of your hard earned cash to do so, and that’s without booking fees et al. The price seems even more extortionate when you consider that in 2003 a ticket cost only £103, meaning there’s been a rise of 95% in ten years. Reading and Leeds, £95 back in 2003, are now 113% more expensive. We won’t bother trying to explain inflation and that to you (none of us are economists, obviously) but that’s definitely an unreasonable hike.
What you’ve also got to take into consideration is how much money you’ll spend on equipment, food and drink, clothes etc. The likelihood is that you’ll stock up on an unholy amount of alcohol before you set off, but you’ll probably find yourself buying a £4 glass of Pimms from the extortionate bar as well.
So, work over the summer, pick up any extra shifts you’re offered, and be safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to endure that dreaded post-festival bank balance check.
2. Super Dry
Camping out in a field at the mercy of mother nature is all part of going to a festival, right? Well yeah, it’s definitely part of it, but as someone who’s been lucky enough to attend Barcelona’s sunny and dry Primavera Festival I must say that trying to sleep in a slightly flooded tent is not something I’d ever look forward to. We all know it’s miserable being wet but we attach the whole ‘festival experience!’ badge to it in order to make ourselves feel better about getting drenched and having absolutely no escape from it.
Being inside when it’s raining is absolutely incredible, so sit yourself by your window and look out, rest assured that your house isn’t going to flood and all your valuables aren’t going to be ruined.
3. The filth and the fury
Let’s face it, living in a tent for four days is basically a slightly more glamorous version of roughing it, and your 21st century body, climatised to comfy beds and central heating, is always going to struggle. You spend almost all of your time in varying states inebriation, getting too little sleep in a cramped and damp tent, and eating rubbish food, meaning you get home looking, feeling and smelling absolutely rank, suffering desperately from Festival Flu. Whenever you begrudgingly venture over to the porta-loos you’re potentially making a one-way trip, but it doesn’t really matter, you’re going to get covered in piss when watching bands anyway. Now, we’re not ones for over-exaggeration here at The Raccoon, but going to a festival is tantamount to spending a few weeks in the trenches.*
4. The general sodding public
Being surrounded by fellow members of society is never a particularly joyous experience, but add in copious amounts of alcohol, drugs and sunstroke and you’ve got the recipe for a social catastrophe. There’s a challenging mixture of angry and weird people, some of whom will want to break your jaw, the rest will want to grope you.
5. Post-festival blues
Is there an order to this list? I hadn’t thought about it, but number five is definitely the worst of them all. If the act of actually getting out of the festival site isn’t arduous enough, then you’ve got to endure a miserable journey home in a car rammed with tents, raincoats and body odour. Then when you get home you have to put up with the depressingly crushing feeling reality returning to you, where careers, money and rent force their way back into your consciousness after being ignorantly absent for a short while. You’re also most likely going to be really ill and really poor, yikes.
So, please don’t fret if you can’t get to a festival this year, you’re probably having a lucky escape, and if you are, then you’re more than likely regretting reading through this article, written, admittedly, by a very jealous cynic who is having to work all summer.
*no disrespect intended to soldiers who fought in the trenches.