Don’t laugh at people for wearing eye masks at night, they are the sensible ones
If music festivals were desserts, Glastonbury would be the sweetest of the lot.
The Somerset rager is the crème de la crème of festival season, attracting the most esteemed acts and the sprightliest mix of attendees, spanning generations, backgrounds and musical tastes.
Unlike its festival counterparts that are renowned for just one thing – think Bestival and its peculiar dress codes or Coachella and the copious Instagram #content it spawns, Glastonbury is famed for its variety.
Some may venture into its muddied fields for the music, but others attend for its extensive holistic offerings, or its avant-garde nightlife, while a few are seduced by its eco-conscious spirit – environmentalist group Extinction Rebellion are speaking at The Green Fields this year.
Whatever the reason may be, if you’re one of the lucky 175,000 people attending Glastonbury this weekend, there are some crucial dos and don’ts that everyone should abide by.
Whether it’s preparing for the unpredictable British weather or knowing how to go five days without showering, consider this your ultimate guide on how to make it through Glastonbury in one, mud-covered piece.
Do: Bring a portable phone charger, or prepare to rely on the kindness of strangers when you lose all of your friends and wind up making small talk with Becky from Dorset and the rest of her “Brunch Babes” WhatsApp group.
Don’t: Be that person who brings a suitcase to a festival. People will point and laugh and you will deserve it.
Do: Bring baby wipes. Not only will they help you maintain a semblance of hygiene on your pits and bits, but they’ll also provide some much-needed support to the rest of your mud-covered/beer-soaked body. Buy several packs and choose biodegradable ones if you can – it’s cool to be a sustainability snob.
Don’t: Laugh at people for wearing eye masks at night. Chances are you’ll end up pinching one when you’re sleep deprived and grumpy on day three. Bring your own.
Do: Pack light. With an eight mile-long surrounding fence and over 1,000 acres of land, Glastonbury is practically a pop-up city. You will have to walk a long way to get from the festival’s entrance to your tent. Bring only the essentials (a few pairs of pants and socks, one jumper, one warm jacket, etc) and keep any cumbersome personal items to a minimum, so as to lighten your load. Remember, this is a festival, not a luxury holiday; there are no bell boys, only bell tents... and the occasional bellend.
Do: Bring wellies, even if the weather forecast is predicting blazing sunshine (one can dream). When it comes to Britain’s volatile forecast, trust nobody. Not even meteorologists.
Don’t: Go dipping yourself in a pot of glittery fluorescent paint just because you saw someone do it on Instagram and reach double digits in likes. With festival fashion, less really is more. Trade gaudy patterns and neon co-ords for slip dresses and band T-shirts, or an early noughties vibe à la Kate Moss and Sienna Miller, aka the bastions of boho chic.
Do: Plan ahead. Strategically compile your outfits for each day. Not only does it mean you’ll pack less, but having everything prepared will also save you having to make difficult decisions about what to wear when you’re battling a raging hangover.
Food and drink
Do: Bring snacks. Ideally small ones that can fit in your wellies: think chocolate-filled crepes, breakfast bars and cheese strings.
Don’t: Let your hangover dictate your spending habits. The food at Glastonbury is delicious; there are hand-made Keralan curries, crispy falafel wraps and cheese-covered chips to sooth your cider-soaked soul at night. But said dishes are often more expensive than those at an east London cafe, crawling with hipsters who’ll pay £13 for avocado on toast. It’s important to remember this because hangovers can do crazy things to a person’s rationale, like making someone think it’s perfectly normal to spend £4 on an oat milk flat white. It isn’t.
Do: Bring boxed wine. It’s the cheapest way to enjoy the grape-based beverage at the festival. But be sure to drink it early on, especially if it’s white, because warm white wine is unpleasant at the best of times, but it’s really something when it’s been stewing inside a box that has in the corner of a hot tent all week.
Don’t: Bring liquid-based foods that are just waiting to spill all over your bag and ruin all of your clothes. We’re talking yoghurt, milk and custard – if you want to bring your own custard to Glastonbury, you might as well just sell your ticket now. Also definitely don’t bring tomato juice – if you want a Bloody Mary that bad, there are hundreds of cocktail bars on site ready and waiting to charge you £10 for one.
Do: Pitch your tent somewhere recognisable. In other words, don’t simply arrive, dump your bags in a random spot, haphazardly put up the tent and return several hours later to find your blue tent with the white flap is actually really similar to 27 other blue tents with white flaps. Nobody wants to wake up in someone else’s tent, or find a stranger snoozing in their own.
Don’t: Camp at the bottom of a hill. Water flows from high ground to low ground. It’s not rocket science, it’s basic physics. And, despite what a green witch in a Wizard of Oz prequel will tell you, you cannot defy gravity. Pitch uphill so you don’t end up getting soaked.
Navigating the crowds
Do: Come up with a strategy to get to the front of the stage. If there’s just two of you, then you should be alright just being polite and wiggling through. But if your crew consists of 12+ people, you need to get savvy. Hold hands and wind your way through like a human chain. Watch out for death stares from the aggrieved spectators you’re passing, though. And when more than five people have muttered ”selfish millennials” at you under their breath, you know you’ve gone too far. Also, feel free to call out people who get this wrong – they’re the ones who passive aggressively push past you, spill beer on your shoe and ask you to buy them another beer.
Don’t: Text your lost friend and tell them to meet you by “the red flag”. There will be thousands of red flags. Give specific details for meeting points: food stalls, stage names, bars. Otherwise they will never find you and wind up spending the weekend with Becky and the “Brunch Babes”.