How to have a great time at a music festival
With festival season just around the corner we thought we share some of our insights on what festivals are like from our experiences of supporting people with learning disabilities to attend them, from small ones to big and massive ones!
In our previous festival article we shared of the ways in which Glastonbury festival, and others, try and make things as accessible for disabled festival goers.
Festivals aren’t for everyone, you’ve got to be up for camping for a start, and maybe not getting a lot of sleep but they are great things to go to if you like that sort of thing, or at least want to try it out.
If you watch Glastonbury Festival on the BBC you’re only seeing a small part of what’s on offer. Of course you’ll get to see some of the most famous artists in the world performing one after the other with thousands and thousands of other people but it doesn’t need to be all Ed Sheeran. There’s so much more that you can do.
This post is about some of the other things that festivals have to offer.
Most festivals will have a range of other activities on offer such as:
Sit it a tepee and be enchanted by a skilled storyteller who can take you to another word
Learn how to sign a sea shanty, weave a basket, do a dance or meditate
Listen to some stand up comedy
Always a popular one with us, so popular in fact we often dance so late it gets early again and the sun is back up!
Watch some death defying trapeze artists, jugglers and fire breathers.
Listen to activists talking about a whole variety of different campaigns or join in a debate
Have a massage or some other complimentary therapy in a quiet space.
Wander in to the smaller venues and listen to a band you’ve never heard of before. You never know you might be watching the next Ed Sheeran.
One of the joys of a festival is wandering round and seeing random things happening, you never know what you might see but you know you’ll see something interesting or maybe just plain weird
Try out the different food stalls, there’s always something new to try but don’t forget to take plenty of money. Festival food and drink prices are never cheap so budget for this.
Watch crafts people making things; you’ll often see blacksmiths, stone masons, wood workers, chain saw sculptors and all sorts.
Head in to the cinema tent and watch a classic movie or one you’ve never heard of before. (A great thing to do on a very hot or very wet day).
Random stuff – hidden venues
Some festivals have hidden venues, at Glastonbury there is the mythical Underground Piano Bar, you won’t find it on any map and some people say it doesn’t exist. We found it one year, at least we think we did or maybe it was a dream!
And at Latitude we even saw a flock of bright pink sheep.
One of our favourite things to do at a festival is sit around a camp fire and chat with other folk in to the night. If you become a festival regular you might find you end up chatting with the same people each year. We do.
There’s hundreds of ways to enjoy your time
We hope this article gives you a bit of a taste of what it’s like to go to a festival. It’s a huge amount of fun but can also be really tiring, especially if it’s really hot or wet.
We always say to the people we go with that it’s best to just pick one thing you really want to see and not try and see everything.
Festivals can be really stressful if you’re running around trying to get from stage to stage (and that can take a long time through all the people) so it’s best to just soak it up and enjoy the unique atmosphere.
Everyone is there for the same reason you are, to have a few days living differently and having a lot of fun. So go prepared we hope you have as much fun as we do.