I’m sad to admit that, as a 24-year-old, I have never been to a music festival. Plenty of concerts, yes, and I have attended a day of Longitude in my time – but I’ve never experienced the full camping/ 72 hour/ hangover in a tent/ festival milestone before.
It was always on the list, but as a girl who loves her comforts, it was always brushed off in favour of a real bed and a Spotify playlist instead. But all that is about to change, dear readers, as this weekend, I will be experiencing my very first Electric Picnic.
This year, the prospect of seeing Kendrick Lamar, Dua Lipa, The Kooks, N.E.R.D and George Ezra was too much to resist, and so myself and four of my closest friends took the plunge and got the tickets. That was months ago, and this fateful last weekend in August has crept up like a lovely surprise.
I’m very excited, a little bit nervous and mostly just intrigued to see what all the fuss is about, especially after seeing someone on my Twitter timeline describe E.P as “better than Christmas”. Big praise.
From veterans of various years of servitude to E.P, I’ve been given a plethora of advice. Some practical, some conflicting, some very strange. But the general consensus seems to come down to these five pieces of advice:
Bring practical clothes
Forget the festi-hun Instagram-ready look. Waterproof shoes, warm hoodies and layers are the name of the game. Instagram would have us believe that denim shorts and fedora hats are acceptable attire, but let’s be honest – they only really work if you’re going to Coachella, or any of the warm-weathered festivals in mainland Europe. In Ireland, 20 degrees and minimal rain is as good as we’ll get, so you’ve got to be prepared. I am only ever interested in comfort when I’ve had a hard couple of days, so this one shouldn’t be a problem.
Don’t spend all your time at the campsite
Although it may be tempting to chill out with friends (old and new) beside your tent, the real action is going on outside of it. Many E.P goers have warned against the trap of campsite fun – since the festival is so vast and full to the brim of things to do and see, make sure not to waste it by sitting around.
Play it safe
It’s easy to be swept away with the fun of “woo, it’s a festival!”, but the normal rules of drinking and partying still apply. Don’t wander off on your own. Don’t leave your drink down anywhere. Keep your money and phone on your person at all times. Know your limits. Know where the emergency and health services are in case anything happens. Stick together, and, obviously, have fun.
Baby wipes, water and bin bags
These items have burned themselves into my brain as the holy trinity of festival survival. Baby wipes can be a very passable substitute for a shower, not to mention removing that pesky makeup. Bin bags can be used to store everything from wet shoes to rubbish to dirty clothes without them piling up in your tent. And of course, water keeps you hydrated – incredibly important when you spend all night in a poorly-insulated tent.
Don’t forget your ticket
I’m currently ticking the last few items off my to-do list before shipping off to my very first Electric Picnic experience, but I’ll be right back here next week to write about how I got on. Stay tuned, and pray I come back alive.
Image: Electric Picnic on Instagram