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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

"OMG! Had the best time ever at..."

We've all seen it. The emoji-riddled social media post gushing over a festival, all the amazing people that were there and how much every single DJ smashed it. Let's be honest, most of us have written it at least once after we've returned home, feeling like a lizard following a week getting smashed in a field or sun-drenched beachside resort.

People love to make everyone - from mates and siblings to that one-time love interest they pulled at Liquid's under-18 night back in the day - aware of how much of a ten-out-of-ten time they've had. But does everyone really, really mean it?

It's totally understandable why people want a festival to be everything they hoped for. They cost a shit load of money and gallons of energy goes into saving the dosh for a ticket, travel, accommodation, (usually overpriced) booze and food and all the other 'extras' needed.

For many, that means clocking up minimum wage overtime at the local supermarket or boozer, getting up early on Saturday and Sunday to do so and probably sacking off countless Friday nights' worth of clubbing so you're not totally ruined to manage that shift hangover-free. And unless mummy and daddy are slipping you £50-a-week for no reason whatsoever, that flight and four-star hotel on the Spanish coast are going to have to be put on hold until next year.

With all this in mind, you'll look like a complete tool after those "YAY, Glasto here we come!" statuses if you admit the festival turned out to be a money-wasting shitter.

It's time to accept that not all festivals are the bundle of euphoria the aftermovies make them out to be. For a start, there's the moment when you erect a Bambi-legged Tesco gazebo to shelter you from torrential rain and your Strongbow-guzzling 'mate' (fuming at being sold a Pro Plus thinking it was ecstasy) decides to take his anger out on the one thing keeping you dry. Or the seemingly never-ending 'why-the-fuck-am-I-seeing-gargoyles?' acid trip. Or the military water cannon-like shit explosion giving you a full-body makeover.

 
 
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