Festival crowd

The Surprisingly Easy (Survival) Guide to Glastonbury 2014

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Everyone’s favourite mud and music extravaganza kicks off this weekend and thousands of inexperienced souls will be losing their Glasto virginity.

You might think going to a festival for the 1st time would a fun, life-enhancing experience – but you’d be wrong. Without preparation, a fresh-faced Glastonbury greenhorn will be eaten alive (or at least get a bit lost and miss their favourite bands).

That is why we’ve compiled this surprisingly easy guide to (surviving) Glastonbury. Take heed, youngsters; these wise words may just save your life (or, more likely, help you have more fun)…

Be prepared to miss a lot of good acts

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first, eh? You’re going to miss a lot of good bands over the course of the weekend, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Scheduling conflicts suck, but they’re a necessary evil.

Here are a few key decisions you’ll have to make over the course of the weekend:

Metallica or Mogwai?

Massive Attack or Disclosure?

Manic Street Preachers or Jack White?

The Horrors or Dolly Parton (although this one is pretty obvious)?

You also need to factor in the time you spend a) drunk, b) hungover or c) completely lost. Basically, you won’t get to see everything no matter how hard you try.

Don’t buy rubbish

Ooo, look! A funny hat! Some magic crystals! Lollypops made from hay!

No, no, no! Don’t buy rubbish! This is a game of survival, and you’re going to need all the cash you can get because…

Everything costs 20x more than it normally would

A small bottle of water will set you back £3. A hot dog will cost you a £10. And alcohol? Well, we’ll leave it to you to discover that little surprise…

Bring something to stand on (if you’re short)

Short people are dealt a poor hand at festivals. It’s guaranteed that someone really tall will stand in front of you when your favourite band is on, and all you’ll remember is hearing your favourite songs while staring at someone’s bald patch.

Don’t fret: just bring a nice stool to stand on. You might think that this is bad etiquette, but anything is fair game since people broke the ultimate taboo and started putting chairs out in front of the stage.

Be prepared to put people on your shoulders (if you’re tall)

You’re over 6’3” – congratulations! Or should we say commiserations – you’re about to get pestered by small people wanting to sit on your shoulders for 3 days. Enjoy (and remember you can say no)!

Remember: the greatest plans fall apart

Even if you’ve drawn up a master plan to see every band you want to see, it’ll fall apart at some point – usually for one of the reasons stated above (money, getting lost, etc.) Relax and don’t let it bother you.

Learn to love your own stench (and those of your friends)

You’re probably not going to shower for a couple of days so you’ll need to learn to love the smell of yourself. Try not wearing deodorant for a couple of days as a dry run (warning: colleagues might think you’re an unhygienic layabout).

Bear in mind that your friends won’t shower either, so you should get used to their smell too. In fact, just get used to terrible smells in general.

Pack a survival kit

Festival life isn’t the glamorous fun it appears to be on television. Remember to pack for every eventuality: baby wipes are near-essential.

Oh, and a nice pair of ear plugs for getting your beauty sleep.

Don’t worry about your phone

There are dedicated charging tents but you’ll have to queue for hours to get into one. Just turn your phone off and appreciate the atmosphere…man.

Or buy a charge bar. Hippies need smartphones too.

Have you got any top Glastonbury survival tips or stories you’d like to share? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments.

And if you need some cash after your Glasto jaunt, sell CDs with musicMagpie.