Nine things you’ll only know if you’ve been to a summer festival

Tuesday 23 August 2016 03:00
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From surviving the unpredictable British weather to the joys of discovering the best new music acts, these are things any festival-goer worth their wellies knows to be true.

1. The weather is a cruel mistress

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If British summers are known for one thing, it’s the changeable weather. But while you can usually puzzle over Blighty’s baffling meteorology from the comfortable indoors, at a festival the most you can hope for is the limited space inside a tent. Rain one minute, scorching sunshine the next – if you’ve been to a festival in the UK, you’ll be an expert in preparing for unpredictable weather.

2. The marvel of sanitation

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Taps you don’t have to queue for, clean toilets that flush – you’ll never appreciate the wonders of modern sanitation quite like you do in the days after you get back home from a festival. It’s also probably the only time the sight of all your favourite products lined up in the shower will bring tears of joy to your eyes.

3. All the coolest up-and-coming acts

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One of the best parts of the aftermath of a music festival is hunting down all those new tracks you spent the past few days throwing shapes to – or at least the ones you were sober enough to remember throwing shapes to. And all that hanging around by the BBC Introducing stage finally pays off when you get to suss out the next big band ahead of anyone else.

4. The joys of a proper bed

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Starfishing across a double bed is always a dream, but it’s never quite as exquisite as when you’ve spent a whole weekend squashed into a space even a small mouse would call cosy, with only a paper-thin mat between you and the cold, hard ground. And swapping your smelly sleeping bag for clean sheets is one of life’s greatest simple pleasures.

5. The impossibility of squeezing your tent and sleeping bag back into their tiny cases

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There’s no torture quite as cruel and unusual as desperately trying to squish a practically palatial six-man tent back into its suspiciously tiny bag when you’re hungover and sleep- deprived. If you’re lucky, your friends might lend a hand; if you’re less fortunate, they’ll probably just sit and watch you struggle.

6. This year’s hilarious thing to shout at the top your voice

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For some reason, when British people gather together in large crowds, they like to shout seemingly random expressions at the tops of their lungs. Perhaps inspired by Alan Partridge’s ‘Dan’ sketch (if you don’t know it, YouTube it), these usually include (but are not limited to) single-syllable men’s names. Every year there’s a new one, whether it’s ‘ALAN’, ‘STEVE’, ‘DAVE’ or the slightly creepier ‘GET IN THE BACK OF MY VAN’.

7. Your thighs will never be so toned again

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Think of a festival as a small town with major transportation issues: the only way to get around is to walk. Throw mud and wellies into the mix, and you’ve got a serious lower-body workout, where every day is leg day.

8. The wonder of walking on solid ground

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When you’ve spent several days trudging through mud, finally touching down on solid ground again is a seriously special moment. You’ll realise how much you appreciate not having to worry about retrieving your wellies from a sludgy abyss or risking your personal stability to rescue your mate Mark, who has fallen over AGAIN.

9. The bliss of a fully charged smartphone

Picture: Richard Isaac/REX/Shutterstock

Who knew a 100 per cent fully charged battery would feel this good? No more taking your phone on and off airplane mode to conserve energy; no more squinting to make out texts because you’ve turned the screen brightness down so low you can’t see a thing. Oh and when it does run out, all you have to do is plug it in. Sweet civilisation, why did we ever leave you?

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