Top Tips For Middle Aged Festival Goers!
As the ubiquitous Music Festival season begins its approach, guest blogger Flora Dallas from www.fatlama.com takes a wry look at the outdoor music scene, and gives a bit of advice to those of us of a certain age, on how best to re-connect with our youth!
Going to a festival, especially the larger ones like Glastonbury, appears on the bucket list of many people. But, for many of us life intervenes and before you know it your children are packing their tents before you have even so much as set foot in a mosh pit!
Well the good news is that leaving it late may not be a bad decision. In fact, if anything, the longer you leave it the more hardcore and trendy you become (the Somerset Women’s Institute famously did their first Glastonbury in 2015). This is not just idealised speculation, statistics from Glastonbury show that in 2016, the 41-50 year old age category came in a close second behind 21-25 year olds as the largest age group - beating the 26-30’s by a whopping 5%. Move over millennials, the children of the revolution are still in town.
Maybe it’s related, but recent years have also seen a resurgence of some musical legends from the sixties, seventies and eighties as festival headliners include the likes of Mick Jagger, Dolly Parton and Lionel Ritchie. So if you feel like you have missed your chance to go to a festival with the music you grew up to think again. If they can still perform the least you can do is dance and sing your heart out.
If you are thinking of taking steps to get a festival under your belt, here are 5 tips that you should bear in mind before you embark.
1. Don’t know what to pack?
I am not going to bore you with a list of essentials, anyone who has spent more than a week in Britain in summer knows that the weather is volatile at best... in short you will need wellies, a coat and suncream. What I will do is highlight a few unlikely essentials you might not have thought of:
Duct tape does in fact solve everything from a hole in your tent or wellie to holding your torch aloft in your tent like a glorious chandelier (sort of).
Phone battery pack - remember you are going native. No plugs here.
Hand sanitiser - see the loos and you will understand.
Head Torch for anyone who may wish to find their tent again.
Ear plugs if you intend to catch any winks.
2. Where to lay your head
Sleep is key. In the past, you may have been able to survive off two hours sleep grabbed in that window between 5am and 7am when neither a dance floor nor a bacon sandwich are on offer, but now getting a (slightly) more substantial kip is key to being able to make the most of the music.
Of course ‘glamping’ is always an option for luxury seekers here, but it comes at a cost (literally) with a 6-man teepee priced at circa £995 before you even factor in the cost of a ticket. For the hardcore, I would advise planning and pitching your tent well away from ravers, slopes and bogs as the key to sleeping success. For luxury seekers on a budget, consider renting your own teepee or campervan from sites like Fat Lama.
3. Brace yourself for the loos
From glampers to budget campers there is one feature of festivals that treats all visitors as equals… the toilets. Having to face a long queue when you need to go is never ideal but it is especially disappointing when the result is an unsanitary and occasionally alarming facility - on the plus side you will develop excellent quad muscles hovering! Just make sure you have some hand sanitizer in your pockets and for the ladies a ‘shewee’ in reserve (device for allowing females to wee standing up - desperate times and all that!).
4. Go with the flow
Perhaps the most important point on the list, especially if you are a first-time festivaller. This is not the holiday to bring a pre-planned itinerary to. Yes it is good to earmark the artists you do not want to miss, but if you go in with every minute of the day allocated you will end up missing out on half the fun.
Festivals are notorious for their hidden areas and outlandish events so just kick back, go with the flow and see what you encounter along the way.
5. Wear what you want
From flower chains to facepaint or ponchos, the most important thing at a festival is that ‘you do you’ regardless of what anyone else is wearing. If you find yourself wondering around in dungarees with a unicorn horn smoking a joint so be it, but it’s important make sure that you are happy in what you wear.
You will be outside all day in all weathers, so footwear that is applicable for mud, heat and most importantly dancing is key. Another useful accessory is a bum bag, once the epitome of unfashionable practicality, but now actually rather on trend (and no less useful because of that).
Are you sold?
In many ways, doing a festival after your twenties has passed is ideal even preferable. You tend to have a little bit more budget so that you can actually afford to buy drink, food and even glamp if that’s your vibe. You are free from the bounds of peer pressure to stay up all night, experiment with life and pretend you know edgy bands but, most importantly, you can do what you want! For three glorious days, you are free from responsibility in a playground designed for adults. So, go forth and make the most of it!
Top Tips For Middle Aged Festival Goers!, 28th March 2018, 9:12 AM