20 essential rules for music festivals

We’re lovers not haters – until we get into a field full of moaners, poseurs, pissers and Instagram posters, that is.

festival rules

No overeager Instagramming

If you’re too far away from the stage to see an act’s face, please don’t try and take a photo. If you’ve drunk a box of wine and it’s 3am, please don’t try and take a photo. If a brand’s provided you with fancy dress and an official hashtag to use, please never, ever take a photo.



No pushing to the front during ‘that song’

Only fools lead a chain of spiky-elbowed friends to the front just as The Anthem of the Summer starts to play. The rest of us know that the only polite times to force your way through a festival crowd are: during a self-indulgent guitar solo, during an obscure album track or during a political rant. If 70 percent of people are shouting ‘this is my jam’; everyone should remain exactly where they are.


No having sex anywhere that’s not a tent

What one person sees as ’60s free-love vibes, 100,000 other people see as a sweaty pillhead getting fingered outside the recycling point. It’s hardly Woodstock, is it?



No detours to meet your mate from work

It’s always ‘the mate from work’. And, he’s always wearing an awful novelty T-shirt with a ketchup stain down the front. We don’t want to meet him, we’re probably not going to talk to him and we’re only coming because we’ve run out of phone battery and don’t want to end up watching the headliner alone.



festival rules

No acoustic guitars

Our Music editor not only took a guitar to his first festival, he also ceremoniously buried it there. Don’t be like him. Acoustic guitars lead to singalongs and singalongs inevitably end with ‘Wonderwall’. Truly, nobody wants that.



No bell tent smugness

Bell tents have really taken off in the last few years, and yes, they’re big, brilliant and comfy as hell. But we’ve also seen some insane luxury items turning up in them: coffee tables, full length mirrors, a sheepskin rug, a clothes rail and a lamp that turns on and off at the clap of a hand. Earth to bell tent owner: you’re at a festival – it’s not meant to be a Hello cover shoot.



No queue jumping

Not to be melodramatic or anything, but the people who jump queues at festivals are the same people who’d have pushed you off the lifeboats while escaping the Titanic. We’ve all spent 20 minutes thirsty/hungry/desperate for the toilet while waiting in line at a festival. But, that’s no excuse for pushing in, or, y’know, pretending to throw-up so people will let you get to the front – which is definitely something we’ve not done before. Honest.



No tutting at the youth of today

Yes, scrawny teenagers might use the term ‘fleek’ and sometimes drink out of funnels, but we’d be gutted if they were replaced with middle-aged alternative music fans. Anyone who bangs on about how there’s ‘too many kids in Class of 2015 hoodies’ should buy a set of fold-up chairs and go to a classical music festival.



festival rules

No weeing in the crowd

Ever been hit in the back of the head with a bottle of suspiciously warm liquid? Maybe you’ve felt a trickle of it creep into your open-toe shoe? Roaming bodily fluids are not okay. No pissing on the ground, no throwing cups of pee and no discrete weeing in a bottle, even if you’ve politely chosen an Oasis one with a wide rim to avoid spillages. At the very least, just walk 100m out of the crowd and do it by the fence.



No moaning about fancy dress

It’s an objective truth that if you hate fancy dress, you hate fun. And, we’re not talking onesies and novelty hats (they don’t even count as fancy dress). We’re talking about the kind of complex cardboard costumes that take weeks to plan and several people to carry into the festival. Anyone who’s not willing to go to Secret Garden Party dressed as an octopus isn’t worth hanging out with.


Show more