This post originally appeared on my old Tumblr blog pre Bestival 2013. It got a spirited response, from 30 and 40somethings mostly, and looking at the festival fashion filtering through to the high street this year I think it definitely still applies.
So, in readiness for festival season 2014, here are my five reasons why 30somethings are better at festivals.
PS: Agree/disagree? Just want to talk about poppers? Please share in the comments section below...
1. WE DRESS BETTER: Our festival chic has been finely honed at various gigs over the years, and whether the look is a well-loved 90s T-shirt or a sequinned catsuit we save for the summer circuit, there’s always a ‘story’ to our wardrobe. Our denim really IS vintage, kids, having been worn in muddy fields five years on the trot, and this authenticity gives us massive style points over a box-fresh ‘festival fashion’ look bought direct from BooHoo.com. And just think of all that money we have saved for poppers.
2. WE CAN AFFORD IT: We don’t really need to save money for poppers, we can afford pints of them. And the rest. And nice brand booze. And better tickets. And an emergency cab home for a younger friend if it all gets too much.
The wristband shuffle skills learned as a youngster are still put to use, but this time not to enter the festie for free (tickets were purchased on credit cards promising extra air miles months in advance, or secured via a connected friend) but to enter the VVIP areas illegally to use the posh loos and find a blow-up sofa for a recharge.
And we will probably still try to smuggle in our own vodka in water bottles, but only because most of us are raging alcoholics who can’t get to the bar quick enough to replenish our booze levels. And it definitely won’t be Smirnoff.
3. THE WEATHER CAN’T FAZE US Unless you were at Glastonbury in 2007 or Bestival in 2008 you have no idea just how wet a festival can get. As 30somethings very rarely go on weekends away on a whim. There will have been weeks, if not months, of preparation going in to our festival experience (shopping lists made, babysitters booked, Spotify playlists shared, spinning classes endured) and the British weather will not be allowed to ruin our plans to have as much organised fun as possible in 72 hours. Prepping for a British open air event requires so much more than a spray tan and fold-up wellies and seasoned field ravers carry the crucial kit that means the party can and WILL go on, whatever happens in the skies.
4. WE MAKE EVERY SECOND COUNT For a real life grown-up three days off the grid and away from responsibility is a precious, precious gift. There is NO WAY that we are going to get so bongo’d on the first day that we sabotage the rest of a weekend away from our inbox.
We have learned how to pace ourselves after missing too many amazing Sunday headliners nursing friends at the St John’s tent or trying to work out the best way to throw up in an overflowing portaloo (clue: there isn’t one). Yes we will hit it hard on Friday (we’re MAKING EVERY SECOND COUNT remember), but we have probably packed ear plugs and eye masks or at least lots of Tylenol PM to wring the maximum benefit out of even the smallest amount of shut-eye. Plus we know how to make effective Bloody Mary’s and have plenty of stag and hen do practise at ‘manning-up’ … so, we’ll be sitting on a stranger’s shoulders, actually making it to the hippy fields for massages and herbal highs AND throwing shapes in the Silent Disco till the wee hours while the 20somethings are facing the tent shakes and asking for their mums.
5. WE MAKE EXCELLENT FELLOW REVELLERS We won’t be pushing you out of the way to get to the front of the stage because we learned the hard (Foo Fighters mosh pit) way that first is worst when it comes to festival crowds. We are organised so will be carrying essential kit like chewing gum, lip balm, tissues, and water and don’t mind sharing (if asked nicely) because we’ve all been there. We take fancy dress really rather seriously and so will be a great source of comedy props, and we might even buy you a cider if you catch us in a particularly loved-up mood (see point 2). True - we might use words like ‘revellers’ - but you can’t have it all.