Archie Hume of A Hume Country Clothing issues advice for those in their 40s and 50s bitten by the Festival bug.
Summer festivals are attracting a growing number of us away from our traditional summer pastimes, namely cricket, golf and slapping another prawn on the barbie.
I felt quite strongly that should you feel at all tempted to join their ranks, then you should be properly advised in the do’s and don’ts of festival attendance.
Tinder Festival Mode
OK, so pretending you’re still young is part of the fun. Which is why it’s okay to download Tinder and explore festival mode in the company of friends – ‘as a laugh’!!! Do not on any account upload a 20-year-old photo of you doing your best Alex Garland impression and attempt to join in the fun unless you have an appetite for ridicule and arrest.
Going Totally Mental!
Don’t go bounding into the mosh pit without first doing some stretches and putting on a knee brace. It’s really much the same as attending bootcamp.
Travel with Your Tribe
As a rule, festivals are an ultra-marathon/endurance event best experienced en masse as part of a tribe. Within a crowd there’s room to sneak off for a cup of tea and a wee lie down. No pressure to get out the glowsticks and keep up with the weekend warriors when you’d rather catch up on the Gardener’s Question Time podcast.
When venturing beyond the boutique/glamping zone do expect to encounter toilets that are effectively an open sewer in a box. Your choices are, a) grin and bear it, or b) for the blokes – the trough (don’t ask!), or c) for the ladies – the Sheewee (sorry for even mentioning this).
How to be Middle-aged and Popular
Man, woman or beast, take as much in the way of wet wipes and hand sanitiser as you can. They are also priceless social currency. Liberal sharing in the vicinity of the bogs will draw a crowd faster than a headline act.
Take no notice of the festival fashion guides. Approach them as you would any other outdoor adventure. If you can hear the reassuring rustle of polyester when you stride forth in your sensible trainers, then you’ve nailed it.
So, everyone knows about festivals; the rain and the mud. Luckily, you’re a middle-aged country sort and you have no end of wellies and Dubarry boots to choose from. Pack them all!
What if it’s sunny?
However, only a festival fool believes shining sun makes sandals a sensible footwear choice. As your farming friends will tell you, a field filled with 10,000 people is still a field – especially if it’s their field they’ve cleverly rented for a princely sum that means they need never worry about school fees again.