Despite only ever having been to two festivals (unless you count accidentally attending Newquay Boardmasters way back in 2004 before it was a real festival with music and stuff), it doesn’t stop me gazing longingly at line-ups every year wishing I could justify the expense and get off my bum and go.
If I had my choice of festivals this year it would definitely have been Wilderness with it’s focus on foodie events (like feasts put on by Ottolenghi and Mark Hix) and awesome line-up (Rodriguez, Empire of the Sun & Noah and the Whale).
I’m going to embarrass myself and Nick (and some others) greatly here by showing you some photos of the two festivals I did attend all those many moons ago….
The first one was Leeds Festival in 2005 which I went to with my two good friends Mickey and Sam. I had only met Nick a few weeks before this so he was obviously a bit nervous about me going off to festival to stay in a tent with two other boys but we’d all been friends ages and it just wasn’t like that. I have to admit that I felt pretty safe as they are both big lads and no-one was going to mess with them. Luckily we had pretty much the same taste in music so there was no arguing about who to go and see. Although at one point they did drag me into the mosh pit in one of the tents to see Bullet For My Valentine and I was slightly scared for my life! Looking back at the line-up for that year makes me so very happy. My fondest memory from that weekend was sitting on Mickey’s shoulders watching Iron Maiden do ‘Run to the hills’. Just awesome.
The next festival I went to was Reading Festival in 2006 with Nick. We met up with a couple of his other friends and pitched our tents together but mostly Nick and I spent our time by ourselves. I don’t know what happened to me within the year between going to these festivals but at Reading I was suddenly very aware of how much more rowdy and dangerous it all seemed. So much so in fact that me & Nick opted to drive home in the very early hours of Monday morning rather than stay overnight in the tent again as lots of the tents were being set on fire and there seemed to be loads of noise and riots going on.
My favourite memory from this festival was seeing Pearl Jam as I’d never really heard of them before but he just seemed like such an awesome guy. I also had loads of fun dancing myself silly to Reel Big Fish (on my own as Nick is strictly a non-dancer) and Coheed and Cambria were insanely good too – although I did fall asleep against the side of the tent at one point from sheer exhaustion.
I thought I had a picture of me in the generic festival attire of wellies and a short denim skirt but it appears to have gone missing so you’ll have to do with this photo of Nick and his big bushy hair.
After our experience at Reading Festival, Nick and I have never really returned to the festival scene as we’ve always been far too worried about having our stuff stolen or destroyed by drunken partiers. Staying safe at a festival is always the first thing I think of when people tell me that they’re going and I have to admit that I get a few odd looks as the first thing I always mention is personal possessions cover from Allianz Your Cover* rather than the traditional and more widely accepted ‘that sounds awesome, I’m so jealous, have an amazing time!’
To help you out, here’s a handy infographic to help you stay smart during festival season