The Summer Festival Ten Commandments
Festivals are immense, mind blowing experiences. They're all about community, and everyone coming together to have a good time. We thought it would be fun to make up ten summer festival commandments to help everyone make the most of the festival season. Enjoy.
Photo credit: Stephen Arnold
Thou shalt go to many festivals
Festivals are epic, literally indescribable, magical. They’re so varied, from Boomtown to Glastonbury to El Dorado to Big Love to Creamfields to Lost Village to Shambala to the thousands of others around the UK, each and every one is going to deliver a unique experience. Find ones you like the look of and try them all out. You might fall in love with one or two and end up going year on year; it’s an amazing feeling to feel at home at a festival. Yet it’s always good to branch out again and see what wonders await.
Thou shalt not take the name of thy festival in vain
No festival is shit. Well, perhaps Fyre festival, but unless the festival was as scammy as that, give it credit. Not every festival will appeal to you, but that doesn’t mean you should trash talk the ones that don’t. Each has its charm. Boomtown’s got the most insane audiovisual production. Glastonbury has immense variety. Both festivals can’t compete with the quieter community vibes of the smaller festivals. No UK festival will beat Creamfields for electronic line up. You can’t beat a festival near a beach. So on and so forth. Every festival has its perks and its problems, focus on the good, not the bad.
Remember to book some recovery days off work
Festivals can be exhausting. A friend of ours tracked his mileage to be over 25 miles a day at Glastonbury. Add that to the debauchery and lack of sleep, and you’re bound to want a day or two off work afterwards to recover.
Honour thy volunteers, festival staff, promoters, organisers and artists.
Putting an event on is never easy. Everyone there is doing their best to make sure you have a good time. They might not get it right all the time, but trust us, if you knew what went into making a festival work, you’d be gobsmacked. So, when you’re in the queue, don’t be complaining to the Oxfam Steward that you’ve been waiting for 45 minutes. And when they say everyone is doing everything they can to get you in as soon as possible, believe them. When an artist doesn’t play your favourite track, don’t be mad. Imagine if they had to play the same hits at every single set. Their soul would slowly disappear. Let them be artists. Artists create, not repeat.
When the sign says don’t piss on the grass, it’s probably for a reason. When the bar staff take a while to get to you, it’s because they’re serving 200 other people at once. It’s nothing against you. Everyone wants to enjoy it, including the staff, so we need to make sure we all do our bit. Pleasant punters go a long way.
Here's an image of Arcadia at Glastonbury to get you hyped for your next festival. Image credit to Arcadia.
Thou shalt bring good vibes only
Leave your stresses at home. Let go. Have fun. Smile. Talk. Laugh. Dance. Go f**king mental. Be yourself, relax. Have the best time in the world.
Thou shalt not be a d*ckhead
Have respect for everyone and everything. Don’t piss on your neighbour’s tent. Don’t throw a cup of piss into the crowd. Shit in the loo and make sure it goes down the hole, not the rim, not the floor, not your neighbour’s tent. Don’t boast about how many beers and boomers you’ve had, so loud that every man, wife, kid and dog can hear you – nobody cares how hard you go, they just want you to have fun; less is often more. Don’t start a mosh pit in the wrong place. Don’t barge past people. Don’t play generic jump up drum and bass on your Minirig until 8am. Don’t behave inappropriately towards others.
Thou shalt not steal
It goes without saying. Respect other people’s property. That nifty little deckchair you see unattended in the campsite. Someone wanted to come back and relax on that in a bit. That phone you found on the floor, someone desperately wants it back, take it to lost property. And for the true criminals who go to festivals, robbing tents, pickpocketing… please get some help, you don’t have to be such a burden on society.
Love thy neighbour
Speak to everyone you can. Meet new people. Listen to their stories. Hear of their love and their pain. Festivals are all about getting to know new people and one of the best things about them is how happy and welcoming people are towards each other. If only the real world was like that eh?
Thou shalt not go too hard on the first night
We’ve all been there. The campsite is firing up, your mates have all arrived, the beers are out, you’re pissed up flying about the place taking everything in and thinking - This is going to be four days of madness.
A few flash memories of the smaller stages; walking through the woods. – That’s all you wake up with, because you’ve gone too hard. Your head is killing. The sun is beaming through your tent. You check the time. It’s only 7.00 am.
‘What time did we get in?’ You ask your mate.
‘Mate, you passed out at 1.00 am. You were ruined. We had to take you to welfare. Don’t you remember?’
…. Pace yourself. 4 days of fun is much better than feeling like crap just because you smashed the first night too hard.
Thou shalt clean up the campsite and take your tent home.
Most festival campsites look like Armageddon these days. People have become accustomed to leaving their tents and rubbish in the fields as if that’s normal behaviour. It’s not. Would you go camping in your gran’s garden and just leave the tent, the food wrappers, the wet wipes, the deck chairs, the umbrellas, and all the other sh*t there? Well if you would, take a hard look in the mirror and come back to us. The only reason people do it now is because everyone is doing it. Because supermarkets sell ‘Festival tents’, which suggests you don’t need it for anything else.
And don’t get me wrong, we’ve all been there. Festivals take you outside of yourself. It’s easy to leave your responsibilities at home. The good and the bad. And when you wake up that Monday morning feeling like you’ve journeyed to another world and back and lived to tell the tale, the last thing you want to do is pack up the tent and take it with you. Some people think the tents are all recycled. Only a tiny percentage are. The rest are complete waste, sent to landfill. And next time you complain about the price of the ticket, realise that it includes the cleaning fee. Easy way to reduce that fee? Clean up after yourselves.
We were so astounded at the festival waste problem that we came up with Rhetorik Reworked, and we’re currently making colourful festival rainwear (jackets, ponchos, etc) out of abandoned tents, to try to reduce the impact. But in a perfect world, there would be no tents to upcycle at all.
- Drink loads of water.
- Eat healthily.
- Bring wellies.
- Get involved with fancy dress.
- Explore EVERYWHERE.
- Listen to genres of music you don’t usually listen to.
- Go see random artists.
- Take biodegradable wet wipes, they’ll save your life when you least expect it.
- Share lifts to the festival, it’s better for the environment and you’ll save on parking.
- Wear biodegradable glitter. It looks and feels good.
- Get your face painted.
- When it gets too muddy, embrace it, roll in it.
- Get involved in the mosh pits.
- Bring a poncho / rain jacket.
- Don’t spend all day seshing in the tent.
- Take mints instead of chewing gum.
- Sweets like lollipops are a lovely way to keep the sugar levels up. Fruit too.
- Get your drugs tested, if the facilities are offered.
- If you can’t afford a ticket, volunteer.
- Go on adventures.
We hope you enjoyed this piece. It’s supposed to be light hearted, but some of the values in here definitely ring true. If you can think of any more, let us know on Facebook.
Be sure to spread the word.