Glitter, glitter and more glitter… Oh wait, let us not forget titties covered in glitter and incredibly fit guys on Molly trying to smash. Yup, that right there my friend pretty much sums up my experience at a music festival.
Growing up in Hong Kong, attending music festivals really isn’t all that common. In fact, because Hong Kong is such a small city, we can hardly find a place to fit 10s of thousands of people in one area to rave from day till night. Plus, you get the occasional overly conservative aunties complaining that the music is loud and tasteless and it disrupts the serenity of the city. High schoolers and college students would hit the usual Lan Kwai on the weekends, and hookah bars on the weekdays. An aspect that took me by surprise is that attending a music festival is completely different to going to a club. Anyways, since I have been studying in the UK for about 7 years now, and have never been to a festival, last year my friends and I have decided that the best thing we could all do as a way to experience the British festival culture, and to make the most out of my time in the UK, is to attend parklife. So on the 8th of June 2018, my friends and I decided to purchase tickets for Parklife festival. Parklife was the first festival I had attended ever attended in my life and it is in Heaton Park Manchester. Although I had a blast and a top time at Parklife, there was definitely a few things I wish I knew before heading to my first festival and something that caught me by surprise. So here I am, trying to give you new festival goers some candid advice that I wish someone had told me before. (Again, these are all just my subjective opinion, therefore my experiences might not necessarily reflect yours.
- Drugs are more common than you think
The only “drug" I have ever tried and genuinely enjoyed in my life is weed. I know, I know, only taking baby steps here because I know for a fact that I have a lack of self-control and discipline. What caught me by surprise the most are the amount of people who are high as a kite, you can see it in their eyes that they are completely out of this world, casually rolling around in the mud with their friends and talking non-sense. It is also incredibly common to see people causually doing cocaine on the dance floor especially at techno stages. ps. *You can also try legal highs, you’ll see men selling ballon’s at the corner of the festival and they charge you up to 10 quid per ballon which is mad expensive, but do anything for the highs and the fun right?
2. Bring lots and lots of cash with you
Since most festivals don’t want you bringing in your own alcohol, since they lose out on profit, and the smirnoff ice costs 12 quid per drink *complete ripoff I know, but when you are grooving and in the mood for a good time, money just slips away magically. That 12 quid smirnoff ice, vodka shot, Blue vk or that really cute festival merch you really want to buy? Well then, I suggest you better bring more just in case. I would also suggest you to pre-drink A LOT first but drink responsibly before coming into the festival so you can have a lit time at a safer price. However, there is always that option of pouring all your drinks into your camelbak, so the bouncer isn’t going to question that that’s liquor and not water. I would suggest bringing at least 200 quid minimum. When you feel secure about your money, it’s easier for you to have a good time.
3. Fashion, dollskill and insta dpop festival outfits are important, but warmth and comfort is even MORE important
Bring something that’s warm in case it starts to rain, because lets be honest, the weather’s always abit shite in the UK. I would also recommend you to wear some cheap and comfy shoes, something you wouldn’t mind getting it dirty, because when it starts to pour, your shoes are going to get very dirty and very muddy. Well I mean, unless you’re about that DofE life, I would suggest you to take my advice, thank you very much.
4. Fanny-packs are your newest best friend.
You can dance, shake, twerk and move around without being paranoid that someone is gonna steal your wallet or phone away. It’s also very convenient to have the essentials in your pocket and not having to worry about things missing. Bumbags are your best friend when you are trying to have a good time at the festival. I would also advice you to have your phone fully charged and be sure to bring a portable charger if you can so you won’t be afraid when you lose your friends at the fest because IT HAPPENS.
5. Plan ahead so you don’t miss out on your favourite artists
You may also have to compromise with your friends which artists you want to go see and which ones you might miss because there are several stages not just one. Your friend and you might also have to split up if you want to go see your favourite artists and she wants to go see hers. Just remember to have your phone with you at all times and be safe. Another tip I would advise you is to,
6. Just enjoy yourself and have fun because this is going to go down on your highlight reel
In the end, everyone has paid so much to be at a festival for one purpose only, they want to have a blast, let loose and enjoy themselves. Be nice to everyone, enjoy the rhythm and the music and loving those around you.
7. If you are going to do the deed *wink wink, do it safely.
It’s better to be safe than sorry right? Plus, if want to have some fun with a stranger, you never know what their past history is like, so I wouldn’t risk it if I were you.
The music festival you attend is going to go down as one of the summer highlights, so enjoy yourself.