Solosetter: A guide to your first festival

So kids I’m going to my first festival this weekend. I’m a mere few weeks off from my 40th and as my bestie Cims said;

let’s try something new
— Cims

11 July 2019:

A few months have passed and the big day is approaching. I’m so unorganised it’s crept up on me real quick. So 2 days to go I’m panicking. What the hell am I going to wear? What should I put on my feet? So if you’re a newbie like me here’s what you need to know before hitting the summer festival circuit.

Getting your tickets early
Glastonbury has just ended, you feel inspired and want to hit the next big festival. Well news flash that won’t be this year! Tickets go on sale well in advance, some close to a year before. So if you want to hit up a big festival start making plans early.

Avoid the ticket stampede
You know what I’m talking about laptop, phone and iPad at the ready all waiting for those tickets to go live. He who blinks first wins. It’s not unusual to read “tickets sold out in 5 minutes”. And just like that all your festival dreams have gone up in smoke.

So how do you jump ahead of the queue? Well think smart, think loyalty schemes, think memberships and don’t forget to sign up for newsletters and early drop notices.

What to wear
Ok I may be approaching 40 but the hot gal in me still wants to look cute, but I’m not gonna lie comfort is my God. I went from no knicker wearing, heels at all times (no I’m not a lady of the night); to power pants and trainers in what seems like overnight. So like I said comfort is key.

I rush into Primani (that’s what it’s call in my world), for a pair of leggings. Then I thought I’m not showing my ass off so are leggings even cute enough. I figured leggings, a sexy top and my trainers. Then I thought what if it rains? Will there be mud? You see I’m already overthinking it. So not only was I rethinking my whole outfit I’m now worried about the bloody weather.

So I figure don’t wear anything you don’t mind getting ruined. So those £800 Yeezy’s are out. I’ve opted for a cute top, I just cut down an old pair of jeans and I’m thinking of wearing my black timbs a: because they’re comfy as hell and b: because if it did turn into a sloshy wet mess my damn feet would make it out alive. Although sshhhh I’m already second guessing that choice.

Update: I went with leggings a cute top and my timbs

Wear something comfortable that you’re able to dance the day away.

If you’re pulling a weekender
Two teeshirts, one vest, shorts, jeans, one skirt, a hat, pair of leggings, a jumper or hoodie for evening, a (light!) raincoat, boots and trainers, that should do you.

Top tip: It might be a good idea to wear the heavier items to travel down to the festival. Nothing worse than lugging around a heavy load.

What not to wear
Anything that you would be devastated to lose or get ruined. So no designer gear, or expensive trainers and heels sorry kids they’re definitely out. Remember it’s a long day so wear things that are comfortable, durable and lightweight.

Food & drink
So you can’t take food and drink into most festivals. You can usually take an empty bottle in to fill up with water from the water taps, but that’s about it.

At Lovebox fortunately there was an array of foods from all over the world so I’m sure you’ll be able to find something to eat. It seems like I needed to eat every few hours, eyeing up another revellers plate thinking ummm what’s that, where did they get that?

For lunch I had jerk chicken and rice n peas. I’ve had better is all I can say, much much better. And I’ve never ever in nearly 40 years seen a combination between kidney beans and conga peas in one. Weird but I was hungry. Everything tastes better when you’re hungry. More drinks then the churros. Like I said you get enticed by seeing what everyone else has. Big mistake £5 x 3 of us and yikes it was a greasy hard mess. Not enjoyable at all. And annoying there was more than one churros stall so we probably picked the wrong one!

On that note, prices. Be prepared every and I mean everything is ramped up. If you want to eat and drink it’s an expensive business.

As the day approached an end with Chance the rapper wrapping up his set, we headed off to see if you guessed it we could get something else to eat. The final place a Cuban shack I got a surf and turf with chips. The best thing I had eaten all damn day. Prawns plump, chicken tasty and chips well seasoned; delicious!

The best thing I ate all day!

Oh the bloody English weather
As it says on the tin this is Blighty, be prepared for sun, rain and even a few storms thrown in. Anything can happen and usually does. If you’re going on a weekend festival I would definitely take a pair of wellies because honestly, I can’t see how you’d survive a muddy mess all weekend.

My mums always on at me about using sun cream. My response was always “I’m black and I actually want to get darker”. But after seeing a campaign of black women, who actually had skin cancer, I’m making a point to use it. It’s now become an essential item in my festival must haves. Just think standing in scorching sun for hours without your skin being protected. That’s not cool. A hat and a lightweight rain coat is a good option too.

Baby wipes
No I’m not one of those clean freaks (like my mum), but the thought of using one of those porta toilets fills me with dread. I can only imagine the plethora of germs and just down right all round disgustingness. So baby wipes is the least you should do. I’m planning on hitting Boots too for a bottle of antiseptic gel. If only you could see my face right now. Yikes!

I don’t know the songs
It’s the day before and I haven’t a clue who most of the acts are or their songs. I haven’t listened to the radio in ages. And I know I’m going to sound really old, but music today ain’t what it used to be. Now I do know the headliners even a few of their songs. But if I were a student I’d be somewhere close to a D grade.

What I should of done is created a playlist, so I at least had a chance to familiarise myself with a few of the acts. But as I said right from the beginning this is all new for me, I’m always planning and thinking ahead so I’m taking my unprepared self to Lovebox and you know what? I may just be pleasantly surprised.

Side note: Most of the day was spent queuing, for just about everything drinks, toilets, food. I figured we spent more than 50% of our time there in queues. I guess that’s festival life!

Update: So Lovebox was a blast, not because of the acts/bands (they were a bit naff and there wasn’t enough acts if I’m being honest), but spending the day with my girls laughing, drinking and a little of my famous 2 step and I had a great day.

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