...for the over 30s.
There. I said it. The game's up. I'm a tricenarian and proud.
Although I do get stupidly excited on the rare occasion I'm ID'd – except that one time in Waitrose when I misunderstood and triumphantly brandished my driving licence at the cashier, only to be told that she'd actually just asked if I wanted a carrier bag – I have to admit to myself that some things have changed since hitting and exceeding the big 3 0.
Things like my sensibilities towards sanitation, sleeping conditions, noise pollution and people in their late teens; all of which can be experienced at festivals.
There was a time when I'd have rolled around like the proverbial pig for 4 days straight and not batted a mud-fused eyelid. A time when a 10 minute snooze every 48 hours would have happily kept me going. A time when I could have emerged from a vomit-stained tent with a hangover gifted by Beelzebub himself, looking dewy-skinned and perky.
Not. Any. More.
I appreciate that the Glastonbury babies, born into a pair of wellies, will already have this down. They’ve been doing the festival thing for years and are well versed in both the necessities and horrors of camping en mass to music. But, for those of you who may have come to the world of festivals slightly later in life, here are a few points to note and some essentials for what will, no doubt, be a brilliantly fun weekend.
Not. Any. More.
1. Toilets / Lavatories / WCs / Loos / Shitbox
When, on the first day of the festival, someone asks you if you'd like to purchase unlimited usage of the 'luxury loos' for a tenner, you say 'YES'. 'Luxury' does not mean luxury, it just means clean. By day two, you'll be willing to sell your tent for that privilege. By day three, your husband/wife/children.
Alternatively, buy a Shitbox (below) and DIY.
If you're planning on getting more than a little squiffy, I would recommend attaching some kind of insignia to your tent. Picking your way back drunk, in the dark, through a giant campsite full of tents that all look the same is a recipe for disaster.
You could invest in a Field Candy classic to ensure your temporary home really stands out.
Clearly this is a matter of personal taste, but one thing I would say is that it makes life a lot easier to wear swimwear instead of underwear. For some reason, stripping down to your bikini in public makes you feel far less exposed than whipping out your smalls; useful when trying to get changed in a space the size of a kitchen cupboard.
I also favour short wellies over long - much cooler in the heat and can always be supplemented with a big pair of wooly socks if it's particularly chilly.
4. Slap & Barnet
Wet wipes, Flash Balm, BB moisturising cream, waterproof mascara, dry shampoo, done.
5. A good night's sleep
This is where I start to sound like a bit of a fogy, but if I'm only going to get three hours sleep, those hours had better count. This is where the ear plugs and eye mask come into play. Don't be embarrassed, no one will see you wearing them inside your tent and you'll emerge smug and much more rested than your neighbours who've been kept awake by your drunken snoring all night.