Heading to a music festival this year? Be prepared to encounter some weird, wacky and wonderful spectacles. Certain trends seem to pop up year after year – by now, music festivals wouldn’t feel complete without them. While many could be seen as examples of how strange we’ve all become, not all are crazy premeditated stunts. Some things are just inescapable.
It seems as though sitting on somebody’s shoulders is an essential part of the festival experience. This may have been promoted by TV coverage that seems to make ‘human chairs’ festival icons.
Good Points: More chances to get your face on TV; better view of the acts onstage.
Bad Points: A nightmare for those behind you.
Not talking about tea or mulled cider here! The warm weather seems to play havoc with refreshments. Drink cups emblazoned with “best served chilled” have no hope once festival season rocks up.
Good Points: It’s still a drink.
Bad Points: It tastes like an evil genius has set a plan in motion.
If you were surveyed for a family TV quiz show and asked to name ‘Things You’d Find at a Festival’, chances are tents would be pretty high up in the responses. If you haven’t been to a festival before, you won’t believe your eyes when you see the sheer amount of canvas sleepers that appear before you. Be ready to sleep virtually head to head with the guy next door.
Good Points: You need a tent to sleep (or not) and store your possessions; being so close to others makes socialising and meeting new people a doddle.
Bad Points: Claustrophobia Central; sleeping next to a canvas covered toe is still sleeping next to a toe.
T-shirts, vests, hats, bags; anything you can think of is being sold (and bought) onsite. Some people kit themselves out with one of everything while others look on in disgust.
Good Points: An everlasting reminder of a great festival; could come in handy if your clothes fall victim to the elements.
Bad Points: May end up looking like a walking advertisement; probably not going to touch this stuff ever again once you get home.
You name it, it’s probably been a fad at some stage. Face paints, fedoras, headbands and even hairstyles have come and gone down the years. Even religious items, such as rosary beads and bindis have become mainstream – often to mixed reception.
Good Points: It’s fun to dress up – even if it means following a crowd; adds to the feel of everybody having fun.
Bad Points: Looking at those photos a few years down the line and wondering why anybody would ever want to wear hair beads.
Wristbands are an essential piece of a festival-goer’s kit. They’re essential to the whole party and some even create custom wristbands to spice things up.
Good Points: Eternal memorabilia; custom wristbands add a sense of personality; seem to last forever even when untreated.
Bad Points: If left too long can become a hive of bacterial activity; some people like to show off their wristbands six months after the fact.
Whether it’s for an overpriced burger or a race to get to the front of the stage, chances are you’re going to have to wait – either that or unceremoniously barge your way through (not recommended).
Good Points: Gets you excited about what’s coming up; a bit of quality time with friends while nothing is happening.
Bad Points: Who likes waiting?