Festival Fails.

The days are getting longer, the Sun is getting warmer (sort of)  and Vanessa Hudgens has been splashed all over the Daily Mail at Coachella looking like the love child of Jim Morrison and Forever 21,  which could only mean one thing. Festival Season is a-comin’.

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As someone whose seen their fair share of festivals ( My first one was Witnness way back in 2001) I feel like I have made enough Festival Fails to share with you lovely readers.

If you are anything like me, you will imagine your impeding festival experience through hippie flower power tinted sunglasses. You dream of your inner Stevie Nicks exploding out you in the form of a tambourine playing , kimono wearing , peace and love spouting festival Queen. However, this is not California, nor is it the 60’s. Generally festivals in Ireland are held somewhere in the Middlands, in a badly irrigated field, with the constant threat of rain. Any talk of peace and love is shot down by the non stop branding and overbearing advertising from whichever booze company is sponsoring the event. Endless queues for portaloos, guys peeing EVERYWHERE and “mad bastards” wearing fluffy cowboy hats and Ireland flags tied around their necks are all you see for miles.

So, with that in mind, here are some tips that should help you have as much fun at your upcoming festivals…


Your Wardrobe shouldn’t dictate how much you enjoy your weekend.  

You just nabbed the perfect vintage jumpsuit. It’s gonna look amazing teamed with your fringed kimono and floral headband. Except when you have to wiggle out if it in a dark , flooded portaloo. Yup. Not so pretty now, huh?

The same thing goes for your beautiful fringed gladiator sandals. All fun and games until you have to take a chisel and hammer to your feet to chip off all the encrusted muck that’s accumulated in between your toes. Bleugh.

It’s going to rain. Accept that fact. Have a fold up rain jacket in your bag and you are one step closer to avoiding pneumonia. Congratulations.

At night time, it’s COLD. My number 1 tip for a good night’s sleep ( well….as good a night’s sleep as you will get in a field that’s got 4 raves happening) is to bring your onesie. These fleece wonders aren’t just restricted for zany costumes during the day ( in fact if you can avoid wearing a novelty onesie at all out in public, that’s your good deed done for life) but they actually keep you pretty toasty as you try and get some shut eye.

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You ain’t no Kate Moss. 

Celebs party in VIP areas. They don’t have to stand out in wind, rain or the unexpected sun …which means that they don’t have to worry about hay fever, sunburn or pesky bug bites. We do. Always pack sunscreen – you never know when a freak bout of sunshine happens and your skin crisps up like a rasher on the pan. Anti histamines are also good to pack in case your eyes swell up from pollen ( I missed an entire  Royksopp set once because my eyes had swollen shut.Oh yes, I looked so hot. ) I also got a pretty unpleasant wasp sting during Queens of the Stone Age at Slane one year. Clearly the great outdoors does not agree with me. Anyhow, the lesson is to take a trip to Boots, stock up on some lame medication and then enjoy your weekend in a field.


Hydration is key. 

Yes  festivals usually involve a heavy weekend of boozing. And while it’s all very Ke$ha brushing your teeth with a can of Druids, it’s essential to have enough water on you. One year, the organizers of a certain festival decided that the best way to clear the campsite was to cut off the water supply. On the hottest day of the year. This resulted in a sea of very hungover festival goers walking back to their buses moaning, and sweating and generally resembling The Walking Dead. What I would have done for a bottle of water that day. Anyhow, as important as it is to pack your booze, making sure you have enough water will save your asses.

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Don’t spend the entire time in the campsite. 

You’re there for the music, mannnn. Some of my best memories of festivals have been dragging my butt out of my tent, slopping over to a small tent and watching some band that I’d never heard of before. Remember, you have spent a LOT of money on a ticket to see a huge amount of bands. If you don’t see as many bands as possible then you are paying to sit in a field and drink warm cans while listening to a guy two tents over struggle through ‘Wonderwall’ on his guitar.


The most important tip of all is the HAVE FUN! Festivals are the best thing about Summer..enjoy them all!

What festival tips have you learned along the way?


Words: Una O’Boyle , Tabitha Magazine

Photos: Weheartit.com 




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