Nick Ladd, one of the Glade Festival head honchos, has given us some pearls of wisdom that you won’t find in the usual ‘festival survival guides’. 🙂
“Survival is for Bear Grylls – you go to a festival to have a good time”
1. IF YOU LOSE ALL YOUR MATES
Don’t worry about it… and especially – do not spend the next five hours looking for them, trying to get a signal on your phone and asking people if they have “seen my mate Dave?”. Instead, go and do some stuff that you wouldn’t normally do with your mates. Go and talk to interesting people with beards in the healing field; get some fancy dress on, dance like freak to a Balkan violin band and drink Margaritas. Go to a Tai Chi workshop… or at the very least go and see some bands you have never heard of with some cool people you have never met. Get out of your comfort zones and find the flow and enjoy it! Losing your mates can be a very liberating thing.
2. IF YOUR RIZLAS GET STUCK TOGETHER
Coz they got damp the night before… Try breathing on them as you try and peel them apart. The warm moisture from your breath will reactivate the gum, a bit like steaming a stamp of a letter. Also, if you are trying to roll one in a dark tent and can’t find which side the gum is on, hold the Rizla up and look down its length and all will become clear.
3. DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES IN YOUR TENT
There is a very small minority of complete arseholes who go to festivals to rip people off. They need to be discouraged in no uncertain terms. My policy with festival valuables is: if it doesn’t fit in my pockets, leave it at home. However, if you have brought the old iPod and speakers so you can chill with your crew early morning back at your camp, then stick it in the free lock-up that all good festivals have while you are out partying and then pick it up on the way back. If you see a group of blokes looking like they are robbing tents, go and find security and let ’em know… it’s up to all of us to take responsibility to stop this crap behaviour.
4. FIND THE NAKED SAUNA
It’s the best way to get a hot shower without having to queue up for hours! You shower before and after the sauna and it’s a great way to cleanse yourself inside and out.
5. DO NOT KEEP ACID IN YOUR SOCK
I was at a rave in the desert in Rajasthan about 12 years ago that got busted by the police cos the promoters hadn’t paid them off. They arrived all heavy, truncheons flailing and me and my mate Pete had to rescue our girlfriends’ bags from behind the decks… We ended up with me being chased a mile into the desert by 3 coppers – they were the last people we saw for the next 12 hours… What I did see was lots of snakes, UFOs, bottomless pits and sand beings from another dimension, none of which were actually there… However, I did have three paper trips I had stashed in my sock and forgotten about which had now absorbed through my skin and I was tripping my tits off…
6. IF YOU NEED YOUR MUM
If you (or anyone you meet) are cold, tired, hungry, skint, sketched out, freaked out or just need someone to talk to, get up to the WELFARE AREA… most good festivals have one, and they are full of lovely people who know what they are doing and are there to help you feel better with hot tea, blankets and calming vibes.
7. BE HERE NOW
Turn your phone off, forget about work, don’t argue with your girlfriend, don’t plan too much and don’t think too much… just wander round and be in the moment… the sensory overload of festivals is particularly good at taking you there.
8. DO NOT USE CANDLES OR GAS STOVES INSIDE YOUR TENT
For what you would think are fairly obvious reasons but you would be surprised at the amount of nitwits whose tents we have to hose down each year… if you feel like cooking your own breakfast and it’s raining, then find a tent with an awning you can sit under.
9. BE PART OF THE SHOW
The best festivals are the ones where everyone is a part of the show… so get stuck in! Bring your trumpet, (whether you can play it or not), bring your wig collection, your vicar’s outfit or be the superhero you always wanted to be… make the costume and get into character. Set up a table with a sign, put on a lab coat and pretend to be a psychiatrist; start a welly wanging workshop… Practise random acts of kindness… LET YOUR FREAK OUT AND BE THE PERSON YOU WANNA BE… people will love you for it
10. DON’T GET INVOLVED IN FERRET LEGGING OR FIRE BREATHING UNLESS YOU ARE SOBER.
Nuff said here, I think.
11. ARRIVE EARLY, STAY LATE
One of the most amazing things about festivals is how they change your life… how when you get to work the next week you suddenly realise that you have somehow still got a bit of the weekend’s beautiful reality bubble with you… the longer you stay, the deeper that feeling goes… so take Thursday and Monday off work and really get immersed. Especially stay Sunday night… often it’s the best bit.