What did I learn from going to my first festival?
- Take less crap!
The least amount of times I have to go to and from the car to get things the better. For example we carried 2 lots of 6x1litre bottles of lemonade (for mixers) but we only drank 1 pack of 6.
But this then does lead to….
- Taking more money.
Then I can buy soft drinks already chilled rather than trying to keep ones I’ve carried for half a mile cool in a tent. It also means I can buy more Viper 10 gear that I don’t need but I want and not feel guilty for. Plus no matter how much alcohol you smuggle in, you’ll either drink it all or you’ll fancy something different on the day (next year I’m getting me some cocktails). Lastly you can buy more food. We carried food in like snacky bits but because they were there I ate them. If I took more money I probably would have ate less as it wasn’t in the tent. I have even started budgeting for next year. Savings pot has £50 in there ready to go.
Girls if you’re looking for ways to smuggle drink into a festival use your assets that boys don’t have! Security can do pat down searches but they can not touch you where you could feel violated. Grab some drinking pouches and pop them in your bra!
ONLY FILL THEM THREE QUARTERS FULL. Mostly because one pouch burst and covered my friend in Pasoa. Make sure you take full water bottles with you every time you enter the festival (some times they told us to throw empty ones away) so you have something to decant your alcohol of choice into. Then every trip to the car you refill.
- Only pack the essentials
I know everyone has heard this before but I think this is more for myself to realise I don’t need ‘just in cases’ outfits. I actually took the correct amount of underwear for once! (N.B I’m not prone to wetting myself or anything but having spare undies just in case has always been a thing for me).
Because you can get free t-shirts for doing challenges or you buy ones – you don’t really have to pack an outfit for the Monday. I was too tired to care what I looked like so the previous nights shorts and my new SCI-MIX t-shirt I was all set.
Travel size toiletries just help reduce the weight you’re carrying.
Don’t take a second set of rugby kit in case it gets wet and muddy the first day. I took another pair of shorts and socks – not needed! Plus if you’re going to get wet and muddy the next day whilst playing, I’d rather have one set of damp clothing to carry rather than two (again think of the weight). I did however take a vest top to change into between games. Due to our kit not being summer weather friendly, I didn’t want to get the shirt overly smelly.
If some of your group stay in other areas of the festival like us then there is a knack to take off your wristbands. First off your wristbands will need to look like this…..
When getting them put onto your wrist put two fingers on top to give your wrist a bit of natural breathing space. Then twist the extra material to the right to make a spiral. Then you can twist the clasp to the left. You know ‘righty tighty, lefty loosey’. Ta-dah! Sneak your friends into places. Try to do it incognito though.
- Take a backpack.
I stupidly took two kit bags that were more for carrying in your hands. What a plonker. You can spread more of the weight when you carry things on your back. So then I’ll have my hands free to hold awkward items and I shouldn’t need to stop as much because my arms are aching.
- Wear my walking boots to the festival.
I cant fit into welly boots because of my ginormous calf muscles (However I’ve recently learnt there are half welly boots and they fit!). Anyway I took my walking boots in case it rained and the ground became slippery etc. I only wore them for the army night out (to look authentic) but I realised it didn’t make my feet hurt so much. Traipsing across the fields in trainers the previous day didn’t do my feet or legs any good. Also I should have known this from when I’ve been skiing. You wear your winter boots on the plane to reduce weight in your luggage. **I am fully aware that I sound like a bore talking about supporting my feet and ankles. But anything that’ll make next year easier the better.**
That’s all the technical stuff out the way.
In my previous post #14 – Day 3 it may have sounded like I was bitching on my friends. I apologise. So next year I going to follow these rules….
- Do what the fuck I want.
I’m very independent, so why I stuck around waiting politely for friends to get food or so we can walk home together I have no idea. I will invite people to come with me but I’m not waiting around for no one.
- Care less.
It’s a little hard due to my anxieties but its good to push myself. So I’ll stop caring about what people think of me. Stop caring about how I look. And stop caring about what others are up to. They are adults and can make their own decisions, I am not there to babysit them.
- Help organise.
Nina, our group organiser, was insane. She managed to get us tickets, kit, upgrades and so on. She was asking for money here, there any everywhere – which is the hardest thing to chase from people! I’m thinking next year I’ll offer her my services to make it a little less stressful for her. She was ill over the weekend due to catching germs from her house mate but I’m sure dealing with all of the last minute preparations for the festival didn’t help.
- Always go explore the festival.
I’m not missing my chance of meeting any more famous rugby players. Period.
- Play more.
I held back playing rugby because of my thoughts and feelings. Fingers crossed by May 2018 I’ll be healthier with my mental health and physical health. Due to only having a limited number of games I should be playing. Everyone else is.
**Finally, drink more and have a fucking good time**