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Why it’s OK to have a shit time at a festival

We don't always have the best of times, but there's no shame in admitting it

  • Words: Dave Turner, Illustration: Alex Jenkins
  • 15 October 2015
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We're not making these case studies up, either. Just type "dance tent poo" into Google and, if you don't already, you'll find all you need to know about the 1998 Glastonbury 'poonami'.

Then there's the danger of weak, airy soundsystems (which sometimes get cut off because of storms), your favourite DJ dropping clanger after clanger 'cos they're way too fucked, your phone and wallet being pinched from that not-so-secret sleeping bag pocket of yours, hours spent looking after your wobbly pal who's mistaken Snoop Dogg for Katy B and dreaming about drowning, only to wake up in an actual pool of water. Again, we're not making any of this up.

All these stories are funny on recollection, yes, but not so morale-boosting and life-enhancing at the time.

We're not saying all festivals disappoint – far from it. There are plenty out there, all over the world, that provide the music heaven we're all searching for and there will be heaps more popping up in locations you never knew existed. But here's our advice to you: it's OK to admit you had a rubbish time. Besides, if it's likes, retweets or that little, orange Instagram notification you're after, all you've got to do is post a pic of yourself covered in shit because the portaloo fell over while you were curling one out. Turn the crushing disappointment (and an early trip home) to your advantage.

Once you've realised that you can't win them all, there's a long road of progression to undertake. Follow the correct signs, take criticism of events into consideration and you and your pals can work on unearthing a festival gem next time round. Just make sure your status bigging it up isn't a carbon copy of everyone else's.

[Illustration: Alex Jenkins]