Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Key learnings from Leeds festival

Leeds festival
The August bank holiday weekend up in the north of England means only one thing for some people… Leeds fest!
I’ve personally never been to Leeds fest before as it always falls on my birthday weekend and I tend to do other things for it, but my sister convinced me to go with her this year seeing as she and a friend were flying over all the way from Sweden for it.

Leeds fest crowd
I had only been to day festivals prior to this, and my sister had only been to a really small reggae festival before, so the 80,000 crowd was a bit of a shock for both of us.
But I think we were as prepared as we could have been with our double tent and sleeping bags.

After 3 days of walking around in the alcohol soaked grass and mud, here are my key learnings for surviving a festival.

Leeds festival camping
Go with the flow
Everyone is in the same situation, and no one will judge you for having greasy hair or dirty clothes, or for sleeping off that hangover in a camping chair in the middle of the day… so just let your hair down and make the most of it. 
You’ll have so much more fun if you just let loose and go with the flow. 
Messy hair, don’t care!

Leeds festival arena
It’s all about layers
As we all know, the weather in England is extremely unpredictable, so make sure you plan what clothes to bring, and wear layers so that you can quickly take some off when the sun comes out, or pop a cardigan on when it gets chilly.
Shorts may be great during the day, but bring a pair of thick tights for the evening.
Some of the best items I brought were a cardigan, hoodie, scruffy ankle boots, thick tights, a fold-away parka and standard dark jeans. I also brought some comfy pants and fluffy socks to sleep in.

Leeds fest camp
Everyone has to compromise on hygiene
Bigger festivals like Leeds fest do offer some showers, but they tend to be very basic (a single trickle of semi-cold water in a tent booth) so people often try to stay clean in other ways. Baby wipes and face wipes are your best friends during a festival, and the same goes for dry shampoo! If you, like me, like to wash your hair very often (I admire people who can get away with only washing their hair once or twice a week and still make it look nice and glossy on day 2, 3 or 4!) you may be confused as to what to do with your big but limp crow’s nest hair when you wake up in a sweaty (or freezing) tent on festival day number 3. 
Why not do a practise run of some simple hairstyles back home prior to the festival? 
Maybe some cool 70’s style braids? 
Or just bring a hat!

Leeds fest camping
Stay safe
Never leave any valuables in your tent! 
Also, you may think backpacks are great, but would you actually notice if someone behind you in the crowd started digging out your stuff? Opt for a bag that is close to your body and that people can’t just snatch off you. 
A bum bag, or a cross-body bag are your best options.

festival accessories
Jazz it up
Even though you feel slightly disgusting, it’s a given that you want to look nice. 
Statement accessories is always a fun touch to a festival outfit – personally I went for big, bright blue sunglasses, an oversized metal necklace, and green feather earrings.

Metallica Leeds festival 2015
The new friends we made, and seeing Metallica headlining (from really close to the stage!) made it all worth it, and I already can’t wait to attend another festival next year! Download festival, perhaps? ;)  

 Have you ever been to an all-weekend festival, and what are your top tips and key learnings?

Metallica Leeds festival

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