On a break from our travels, Jay and I, amongst other friends, travelled to the North of England for our first festival, Y Not. I’ve always been skeptical of festivals:camping with drunk strangers never really appealed to me. But it’s an experience nonetheless, and very different to the rest of our travels, and for £99, a damn bargain.
So the end of July arrived, and with backpacker rucksacks and a sledge of booze we drove down to Matlock (in the North, near the Peak District), pitched up and let the festival antics begin…
Its pretty hard to put into words what happens at festivals. You drink and dance and then fall asleep and repeat. Only a lot less glamorous, camping in a tent isn’t fun at the best of times, but with 30,000 people still making noise around you, its almost impossible to get some sleep. And don’t even get me started on the toilet situation. Don’t get me wrong, I had a brilliant time; I’ve never had a weekend-long party with my mates; there were lifelong memories made, 100%.
With the Earlybird 2017 tickets sold out already, you can tell next year is going to be something special, even bigger than this year. So I thought I would give my best tips to anyone going either this year to a festival (Leeds is only a week away now) or if you fancy the look of Y Not 2017: there’s a few things to remember…
- Bring your own booze: Prior to the festival, Y Not had brought in an absurd limit on alcohol: you were allowed one bottle (I think) per person. I’m not one to drink a lot, but for four or five days camping, you definitely need a few more beers to keep you happy. It was removed after much debate, thankfully. Bringing our own in was a damn-sight cheaper than the fiver-a-pint in the arena.
- Be prepared for ANYTHING: I do mean this; sickness, theft, a flying crocodile- it all happened that weekend. Just keep your wits about you and drink sensibly, you’ll be fine.
- Essentials include: A sledge, glitter and fairy lights: I promise they’re a lot more practical than they sound! We strapped our drinks on to the sledge with duct-tape to pull across the grass and admittedly it may have been the best decision I’ve ever made. The sledge also doubles up as seating, especially if you snap it in half (though that was an accident). There were few people without glitter, so embrace the fairy-look vibes, and tell your friends its fancy dress! Finally, when its dark and you have no clue where your camp is pitched, stumbling your way to fairy lights is an absolute lifesaver.
- The toilets will be disgusting, unless: you go at lunchtime. They’re cleaned out in the mornings, so if you can wait until then, you’ll have a much more pleasurable experience, (if that is at all possible). Still remember your baby wipes though.
- Five minutes makes all the difference: if you can make it to the stage five minutes before they play, you’ll get into the tent stage just fine, if you don’t and it’s a headline act. Don’t even bother. Or just annoy everyone and push your way through, either works.
- Embrace it all: Don’t miss an opportunity, sometimes the best fun can be made outside of the music. A massive paint fight, campfires and guitars, Mr Motivator’s exercise class, there was so much to get involved in, you’d be mad not to.
I hope this is helpful! I’m currently in France still, trying to get as much posted as possible, so hopefully there’ll be more Y Not videos to come!
Until next time,