Festivals: Fun or Foul?

Featured image courtesy of ideasystems.co.uk

The season of spring sees a great many things; lambs arriving into the world, new flowers blooming and of course, festival tickets becoming available for purchase Then, once the excitement of the spring is over, summer arrives along with its long list of music festivals. But are festivals really as good as the hype constitutes or are they masking an ugly truth behind the brightly coloured banners and neon wristbands? Or alternatively, is it the camping element that many festivals offer that make them a ‘no go’ for many? Having attended one day festival, Wireless in London, and one camping festival, V Festival in Staffordshire, England, I thought I would review the components of these events for what they really are.

The vast majority of people wandering around still attached to those entrance wristbands weeks after the event probably will have booked their ticket for the sake of the music, which cannot be faulted. In 3 days of good music, people are able to see a variety of artists whose concerts they would be unlikely to go to, and for a reasonable price at that as well. Losing your cool to Nicki Minaj, singing along to David Guetta, waving phone torches in the air for Drake – perfect ways to end the night of a day festival before getting on a train home. However, does standing a matter of metres away from Rihanna herself really outweigh the experience of wading through mud to a soggy tent at the end of the night?

Understandably the standards of sanitation at a day festival are better than those at a camping one, as people return home each night and don’t actually arrive at the festival until midday or so, meaning those Portaloos have far less to deal with and are ever so slightly more bearable. If the toilet situation is not bad enough at a camping festival, just think about the personal hygiene of the hundreds of thousands of happy campers: multiple nights of sleeping coated in mud, sweat and probably rain water (if the festival is in Britain at least) without a proper wash in between, unless people feel like facing the portable showers, which are frankly even grimmer. We have not even considered the discomfort of sleeping on a field floor under a thin canvas sheet next to a load of excitable strangers when you could be sleeping on a comfortable mattress in a quiet, warm, dry room. Here is an example of the questionable conditions that you will meet when attending a festival:

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2013/08/16/v-festival-at-weston-park-off-to-a-muddy-start/last-16-weston-30/

If you enjoy staying in campsites full of people who have been drinking since they woke up and at least 3 days of a diet consisting only of food that has been fried in the back of a truck, then maybe camping at a festival is for you. However there are many, yours truly included, who will be sticking to a box at a concert or purchasing a day ticket at most.

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